Inflight Essentials

Travelling often comes with a love-hate relationship with flying. We speak to three jet-setters who share their top tips for travel. 

By Nadia Gardner

Summer travel can always send us into a panic. Between flight delays, cancellations, lost luggage, and flight connections, enjoying the experience can seem to be a far-flung illusion until you’re sitting in your seat enroute to your destination. Three frequent flyers tell us how to prep with inflight essentials…
Pre-flight, I pack an extra top to change into on the plane, so I arrive without a crumpled shirt. I get a good night's rest - I don't sleep well on planes or the first night in a new hotel room, so rest is essential to tackle the day. I get to the airport early so I can have coffee, browse books and makeup counters - I love a good duty-free! I plan my flight outfit: usually comfy leggings, a shirt, a long/open cardigan to keep warm and pack socks for the plane.

During the flight, I use a face mask (preferably while the lights are off, so you don't scare other passengers!). I use a heavy moisturizer and drink a glass of water every hour. I take a walk and stretch my legs every hour. I wear glasses instead of contacts and put on makeup and contacts 30 minutes before the light lands, so I look and feel fresh. I read the book I've been dying to read but never had time (same for the movie) and enjoy switching offline!

Post-flight, I take a nice hot shower right away. I run an ice cube on my face to reduce pores and swelling, followed by a great moisturizer. I walk, walk, walk! I also have a short nap in the middle of the day to rest and enjoy a nice evening out.

Flying is an inflammatory for your body. Up in the sky in a metal box for hours and hours is not what our bodies were designed to be put through. It’s super stressful on the body. To help your body and its hormones beat the inflammation and bloat, I recommend these simple protocols: Eat a high protein, high fibre, high-fat preflight meal. The protein and fibre will keep you fuller for longer, and the good fats will help your hormones balance and fight inflammation. My go-to preflight meal is grilled salmon with a huge salad dressed in olive oil sprinkled with olives, nuts and seeds. Basically, a big bowl of anti-inflammatory goodness… delicious too!

Swap your inflight meal for an inflight water fast. Airline food is mostly carbohydrate heavy and full of sugar. Most people don’t need all this fuel when they’re sitting on a plane doing nothing, watching movies. So, I suggest considering a water fast during a flight. Go ahead and take an empty drinking flask on board with two chopped limes or lemons inside. When you’re onboard, ask the crew to fill it with ice, water, and a pinch of salt. During the flight, sip away and help your body remineralise and stay hydrated with lime and salt as a natural electrolyte. Keep refilling your flask throughout the flight and keep sipping away. You’ll get off the flight feeling better than ever.

Upon arrival, kickstart your metabolism with a walk in the sun. When you land try to acclimatise to your new location by walking outside in the sunshine for at least 30-60mins. The sun will help you produce melatonin - your sleep and recovery hormone, boost vitamin D level for an immune boost, and balance your circadian rhythms for a good night’s sleep. Walking will help get the blood flowing through those stiff joints from having sat still for hours on end. Both sun and movement are going to be great for kickstarting your metabolism back into action after a long flight

I love flying! Regardless of cabin or class, part of my love for seeing the world is the journey of getting there. I am one of the fortunate people who can sleep anywhere, standing in fact! But when I travel, I prepare to set the tone for a successful trip starting from when I leave my home.

I dress for comfort and depending on whether I am travelling with or without my son, I can add a bit more glam over simple practicality. My hand luggage bag is packed with various mini-bags inside, and I pack bottom to top based on what I will least likely use on the flight at the bottom (like a spare set of clothes).

Taking care of my skin is more important than ever, with my job keeping me in front of a camera – sometimes straight off a plane. On return journeys, I’ve gone straight from dhows in the Indian Ocean or swimming in the Zambezi to getting on a flight, and I need to take extra care of my skin.

On long hauls or between TV shoots, I often shower in the airport lounge, so I always have a mini hand towel and travel-size body wash and lotion in there too. I take tote-style handbags when travelling without my son and crossbody bags to be hands-free with him. In my handbag, I keep my important docs, phone and wallet… and always space for a little duty-free shopping.

Before I fly, I always get a blow dry. I tend to fly in monochromes and love a great quality T-shirt, comfy pants and a good pair of sneakers (usually, these are converse!). Fabrics are important for flights – lightweight cotton and breathable materials help me to stay feeling fresh. I always leave home in time for a coffee in the lounge, and a shop at the airport too!

During the flight, I try my best to get as much sleep as I can, eat well and stay hydrated.

On arrival, I regulate my body clock by adjusting to the time zone of my destination and skipping day naps… and my usual first port of call is food! 

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