Saturday, 12 September 2015

TRAVEL: Tips for Frequent Flyers

Flying from Milan to London - beautiful views!

As you'll know by now, due to my constant 'banging on about it' - I travel a lot for work. I travel short haul to Europe but then there's a fair few long haul to the US and China in there too. Flying is tiring, airports are boring and sometimes, the whole experience can be a bit stressful. My motto has now become 'why let it be stressful? Get organised!'

It's the little things that make travelling easier - pre-airport, waiting at the airport and during the flight. I try and pack at least two days before I travel. I make a list. I tick things off to check as I pack. It may seem OTT but when you've been living out of a suitcase on and off for 3 months, it definitely helps. 

I have a little clutch bought for me by an ex-colleague (it's so cute, from Beyond Retro) that I keep my passport, currency, travel documents, business cards, a pen and, usually, my phone in there too (you can guarantee it ALWAYS falls to the bottom of my bag and I can never find it!) Simple things like sorting out your hand luggage liquids into a resealable bag and having them in your hand before you get to the front of the security queue (along with your laptop/any electricals) is a real time saver too. 

As far as travel clothes go, I always keep it simple. A dress and leggings, dungarees and a top - something like that. Usually with a pair of Birkenstocks, New Balance or French Sole ballet flats so they are easy to slip on and off as well as being really comfortable.

This may all seem a bit much but, trust me, it makes life so much easier being organised. Having all of your things sorted a few days before, boarding passes printed, keeping things in certain places so you can get to them all results in a stress free experience.

Copenhagen -> Budapest

Very few people like flying. It can be pretty boring and sometimes scary - I am fine once I'm in the air but take off and landing make me so, so nervous. You've just got to think 'I'm on here for this amount of time, I've just got to keep myself busy and look after myself'. Here's a few things I do to keep myself feeling fresh and to avoid boredom:

WEAR EARPLUGS - my dad swears by them, I hate them (plus, with a tragus piercing, earplugs are a difficultly as I'm sure some of you will know). A few months ago I was suffering really badly with ear ache so tried ear plugs for the first time during a short-haul flights. I hate to admit, it made a huge different and now I wear them on every flight. They drown out other peoples noise, general flying noise and leave your ears feeling normal when you get off rather than with that weird echoey feel.

KEEP YOURSELF OCCUPIED -  with music, magazines, a new book, a notebook to write or draw in, the in-flight films. There's plenty you could do to kill a few hours. Watching a couple of films can allow you to pass 3 or 4 hours of time. 

GET SOME SLEEP (WITH AN EYE MASK!) - If you're flying for more than 4 or 5 hours, I definitely would recommend getting some sleep. And, to be honest, I normally end up having a bit of a power nap on short-haul flights too. My main tip with getting sleep is to wear and eye mask. Team that with your ear plugs and you may even get a slightly deeper sleep because you're avoiding a lot of that background noise and those horribly bright lights. 

SKIN CARE - Make a small tube of hand cream part of your hand luggage liquid collection. Plane travel sucks the moisture out of your skin so moisturise your hands (feet and legs too if you fancy!) whilst flying - at least once! I also always carry a small tub of vaseline too - perfect for keeping your lips hydrated and also, if you put a little bit inside each nostril, it helps to fight any germs/bacteria on the plane to prevent you from getting sick!

HYDRATE! - As well as hydrating your skin, drink PLENTY of water. Also, avoid coffees and alcohol whilst flying or this will - it's known to make the effects of jetlag worse but also for the way it dehydrates your body.

MOVE AROUND AND STRETCH - Even if you're only flying for a couple of hours, get up at least once. If it's long haul, once every hour-hour and a half. I've suffered with restless legs quite a bit recently due to constant flying but walking around and having a bit of a stretch whilst flying has definitely relieved the problem a bit. I also make sure I practice some yoga stretches as often as possible before and after flying to improve my circulation. 

EAT - lets face it, plane food is awful. Full of salt, crappy food with next to no nutrients. I always grab some nuts, fruit or healthy bars from the store before boarding the plane. I pack healthy natural-sugar bars (like nakd or natural) in my case so I always have something on hand when I'm away too.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, TRY AND RELAX! - I'm a nervous flyer. I really don't enjoy it - I'm relatively fine when we're up in the air but take off and landing fill me with dread. One of my flights back in June went through horrific turbulence - thankfully it was only London to Milan - but still, I was a nervous wreck. You HAVE to stay calm - meditate, deep breaths, stretch, sleep, music - whatever, just relax. 

I hope some of these tips help you. They're by no means 'expert' tips, just some things that tend to help me pre, during and post travel. 

Let me know of any tips you may have too!


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