Wednesday, 25 July 2012

How To Pack For And Survive A Long Haul Flight

Things have really started to get real now. My flight leaves from London Heathrow and touches down at Los Angeles International in exactly 45 days. I have 45 days left in England. My leaving party is in exactly 10 days. I've started to collect travel sizes of everything, and literally the only things I have left to sort out is travel insurance and for stuff in my new apartment, and shipping boxes. Start to expect a lot more travel and packing pieces here and on The Glossy Guide over the next few weeks!
DSC_0329 A few days ago I realised that one area I had not even started to think about was the flight (I love the details), just how I was getting to the airport and what baggage I'm taking, and how I'm going to get to my new apartment from LAX. So, I've decided to put together this post which is half my long haul travel tips, and half a wish list of things I wish I could have for the flight!


Lets start with clothing. If you're not the sort of person who is happy wearing sweats in public (remember you'll be in your flight clothes until you reach your final destination) go for a slouchy long sleeve (the air conditioning on aeroplanes is sometimes brutal, no matter how hot your destination, and you can always roll them up when you get there), a vest layer or two underneath so you can layer on and off temperature wise, and your most comfortable jeans or a pair of leggings. Yes, I am willing, for flying long haul only to lift my rule that leggings are not trousers just this once. However, I still feel I will be travelling in a pair of my favourite black high waisted Topshop leggings, a jersey dress and my vintage Levis jacket as it will take up too much valuable room in my suitcase. 

Footwear is of the utmost importance when you are flying. As my grandfather keeps telling me, don't wear anything that laces up, as your feet swell on the flight sometimes and if you take them off you'll have a terrible time putting them back on again when you arrive at your destination. Some might say flip flops, but remember your shoes have to put up with you walking through airports, up moving stairs, and wherever you're going when your flight touches down. I'm going to be flying in my Havaianas Flash Urban sandals that I have been living in this Summer, as they are basically sandals made out of flip flop that I can even run in, and can hold up to all that extra walking in comfort. For the plane, once you've slipped these off take an extra comfortable pair of cashmere bed socks - I adore the ones from The White Company. 

In flight entertainment is rather important, and just before I get on the flight I pick up a copy of The Times (my newspaper of choice, has lots of great extras and is only £1 on weekdays) and some weekly political journals. I was lucky on my last flight to San Francisco I also got a complimentary copy of The Financial Times as I got on the plane (though how they expected me to read a massive broad sheet in economy seating I don't know!) However, so I have two issues to enjoy, a few months before I hang onto and don't read my favourite fashion glossies; Nylon and Tatler so I can enjoy them cover to cover. Almost everyone these days has an iPod and we'll have those with us, fully charged and chocked full of music and podcasts (I recommend the entire back catalogue of Joy The Baker), but on my last flight I really wished I owned an iPad like the guy next to me; fantastic battery life, your own TV shows and movies, games, what more could you want? 

Touch down. What beauty products in 25ml aeroplane sizes should you take for both your in flight comfort, and for little touch ups before you touch down so you don't look like you've been on a plane for hours (I don't recommend wearing any makeup on the plane at all). In flight, a makeup remover wipe in a clear sealed bag to take off any makeup you may be wearing at take off, and a small clear plastic pot with a little of your favourite moisturiser, as the air conditioning and height really dries your skin out. I recommend Clinqiue's Moisture Surge Intense for this. On the way back from San Francisco, I got one of those special duty free bundles on some Clinique products, and in it I got their All About Eyes anti puffiness roll ons, and I think it is the best in flight product I have ever come across in my entire life. It really does sort out puffiness, and it is super cooling every few hours - no bags on touch down! Finally, lips. I swear by Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour products, so the lip version is essential for dealing with chapped lips in flight. Makeup wise, YSL's Touch Eclat solves all ills, and Benefit's Limited Edition Posie Tint/ California Dreaming duo is a great multi purpose product to do cheeks and lips. Finally, Marc Jacobs have come up with an amazing anti break, 25ml bottle of the fantastic Daisy scent especially for aeroplanes, just a little bit of in flight luxury. I hate those clear plastic bags you have to put things in on flights, so once I have got through the security I'm going to tip my travel beauty essentials into this Vivianne Westwood patent pouch which was a gift from the shoe site Spartoo.   

Finally, I asked on Twitter some of my followers what their in haul flight tips were, and here are a few of the gems: 
Also for in flight tips, I just keep and keep on referring back to this great long haul in flight travel guide by one of my favourite bloggers, and ultimate globe trotter Gala Darling - her tips were very useful when I embarked on my first ever long haul flight!

What are your long haul in flight essentials? 

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  1. I work as cabin crew, and having just got back from a longhaul flight a few things spring to mind :
    You can't take a bottle of water with you through security due to liquids restrictions, but do take an empty one anyway, as you can then ask the crew to fill it for you rather than wait for them to bring around cups of water ( however many times we do this, it'll never be enough to keep everyone properly hydrated!)
    Flip flops are a great idea, as I have lost count of the times I have seen people wandering to the loos mid flight in either socks or barefoot. Trust me, NOT a good idea. Yuck.
    Bring a pashmina, as the blankets can be quite thin and if the flight is full, there won't be any spares if it's a little chilly.
    Earplugs! Sounds silly, but I never travel without them. Solves the problem of noisy neighbours and helps you get some quality sleep during a night flight.

    Hope you have a great flight xxx

  2. So excited for you! I'm not good on planes, I get travelsick and I have a hard time sleeping. My main tip is drink loads of water, though - I find that sugary drinks, even juice, make my motion sickness worse.

  3. Thanks Maddie, this tips are absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much.

  4. Great tips! I'm heading to New Zealand in a few weeks so this was very useful! The only thing I might suggest is that if you are going on an epically long flight like to Oz or NZ and have a bit of a long stopover on the way...take out some local currency to use at the airport to save you having to faff about with the bureaux de change once your there, and also, maybe even take a small towel and shampoo in your hand luggage. I know I was dying for a shower about 20hrs into the journey last time!!

  5. My main tips would be, I second the water bottle idea, I usually buy one after security. And sleep! However interesting the films or whatever are, try and sleep according to your destination time zone, I find that really helps the body clock confusion, and be really strict with bedtimes and not sleeping during the day once you get there.

  6. My main tips would be, I second the water bottle idea, I usually buy one after security. And sleep! However interesting the films or whatever are, try and sleep according to your destination time zone, I find that really helps the body clock confusion, and be really strict with bedtimes and not sleeping during the day once you get there.

  7. My main tips would be, I second the water bottle idea, I usually buy one after security. And sleep! However interesting the films or whatever are, try and sleep according to your destination time zone, I find that really helps the body clock confusion, and be really strict with bedtimes and not sleeping during the day once you get there.

  8. I always take a book that I really enjoy and I never forget my ipod
    because that many hours without a little background music is torture to
    me; especially there is a loud kid in the plane. I try to wear ballet
    flats/flip flops because as Maddie said, walking around barefoot is just
    nasty. I try to get a seat next to emergency exit - extra space or the
    front row - extra space and nobody lies on your lap when they recline
    the seats to get some sleep. I also have a notebook and a pen with me
    since when you have nothing to do but listen to music and daydream for
    hours, a little inspiration for new stories pop up in my head. I also
    keep a medicine with me to avoid nausea; my stomach can get sensitive
    every now and then. Aisle seats are lifesvaers because jumping over
    people to visit the toilet and/or take something from your hand luggage
    can be painful if you're next to the windows. Middle seats are the worst
    for me because I don't like being surrounded by strange people in

    Oh and; not a tip but I'll still share it. If the plane is starting to
    get a little shaky, I always check someone who seems very comfortable
    and experienced with fyling. If she/he looks cool with it, then I stop
    worrying about dying in a plane crash and keep enjoying my travel. LOL.

    Hope you enjoy your flight!

  9. Haha, that HiFashionSherin girl is so funny with that tweet. But seriously though. Great tips. I think I'm flying to the middle east soon so will be using this post.

  10. I love that turbulance tip, that is actually a really good one!

  11. good to know you found it useful! it helps with my nerves as I tend to get nervous easily. Hope you have a safe flight xx

  12. Having flown over twenty times in the last year, on flights varying from two hours to seventeen, I honestly only consider putting my seat belt on at all when the cabin crew sit down. The rest of the time, I'm totally cool with it - don't worry at all!

  13. Though, tbh I've never actually worried about flying when I'm flying, before either. I only worry about my ears popping as I hate it!

  14. In my last semester in Australia, I flew to Melbourne (or my boyfriend flew to Canberra) every two weeks. Although these flights weren't longhaul, they did teach me a lot.

    You should never worry about turbulence unless it's really, really bad. I've been on a plane so turbulent that I was sick - and I am an experienced flyer - but there was no danger at all.

    The pashmina tip further down the comments pile is my top one. ALWAYS YES.

    And accept any and all food given to you.

    Also, you can usually buy a bottle of water once you're through security, so yes yes yes, do it.

    Oh, and final thing - check if you need a landing card, and if the crew have one, fill it out. Immigration can take twice as long if you forget. Checking items are legal/easy to import to your new country is also a good idea (taking hiking boots through customs in Australia took me 40 minutes extra), and ALWAYS have proof of your return flight booking if you're on a holiday visa.

    BOOM. Amy's obsessive flying tips: done.

  15. this is probably fairly obvious but if you have trouble with your ears, buy some boiled sweets or other sweets you have to suck and make sure to keep one in your mouth throughout takeoff and landing - it makes you swallow more which keeps your ears clear x

  16. I've been doing that for years, thanks for reminding me to stock up on some!

  17. Having taken 18 flights to the west coast in the last 24 months... my top tips for you:
    - noise cancelling headphones (so much better than the ones they give you on the plane)
    - lipbalm because your lips will chap (aircon!)
    - moisturiser. but face stuff, not hand.
    - eyemask and earplugs for sleep time!

    I've got a routine down... get on, get changed just after take off into comfy trousers, eat dinner, take my make up off, slap my face in moisturiser, watch a movie in the dark, then SLEEEEEP. Wake up an hour before landing, babywipes over my face, make up on, get changed and voila! And it's super easy once you come out of LAX, straight out of departures, turn right, walk 25m and grab a cab! (just make sure you have the cross street of your address because cab drivers in LA do not have the taxi knowledge!)

  18. The advice on catching a cab from LAX to my apartment, Sinead, I officially LOVE you - thank you so much! I'm used to London taxi drivers knowing every little street detail!

  19. these are some really good things to bring onto a plane, though I rarely fly I will definitely keep the things you posted in mind!

  20. After enduring over 50 hours of flights over the space of 3 weeks if there is any advice I coild give you it would be to pack an eyemask, you may be absolutely shattered however if its is a day time flight the airlines may not always give them to you. Another thing to keep in mind is to carry a few snacks in your hand luggage back, as occasionally long haul flights may feed you as soon as you board and then again when you land, and youre likely to get peckish if you are awake during that time! However my final bit, and probably best bit of advice would be just to go with it, enjoy these hours to watch the films, read your book, and listen to your ipod, because in our hectic lives we rarely get 9 hours to do nothing but enjoy our own company and chill! Good luck xxxx

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