In the last few months I’ve been over and back to London like a yoyo, and up and down the motorway between Cork and Dublin more often than I can count, along with conferences and other events…so I am officially an expert at hand luggage and packing last minute (as despite my best intentions, last minute is always how it ends up).
Generally for short trips, clothes are not an issue – and if they are, I am definitely not the expert (I wear pyjamas, aka scrubs, for a living), but when you are limited to a single 1 litre plastic bag and 100ml bottles, cosmetics and the like certainly are. Added onto this is the dehydrating effects of flying, the lost sleep that usually accompanies frequent travel and the less-than-ideal diet that seems to be my main travel companion (chips and hot chocolate for dinner, anyone?).
So, what can one do to ensure every trip, be it for work or leisure, doesn’t completely mess with your healthy lifestyle? Because I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to have a cheat meal (cheat weekend, realistically) I’d like to spend it having fun with my friends or at a festival – not in the lounge at Gatwick airport.
Hydrate – inside and out
Easier said than done, but probably the most important factor. Most of us don’t drink enough water as it is, and our digestive systems, skin and mental clarity can all be noticeably affected by this – especially when you’re then surrounded by air conditioning and heating all the time. If I have an early flight I will always go to bed with a pint of water beside my bed, to be drunk on waking (before bed is not the most ideal time, unless you’d also like to add bathroom trips to your reasons for lack of sleep). I drink a green smoothie before I leave the house with flaxseed oil, cucumber and coconut water in it (among other things – those three on their own are not the most appealing thing to drink), and keep a dioralyte or two in my travel bag.
Coconut oil is my go-to body moisturiser, and always make an effort to put some on the morning of a flight (just watch your clothes, especially if you’re wearing silk – you need to give it a few minutes to dry). Elizabeth Arden’s iconic 8 hour cream really is all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to moisturising – fantastic for lips, cuticles and any dry patches, so along with a hand moisturiser from L’Occitan, I always have one in my travel bag.
Coffee and wine are both dehydrating, but seeing as I’m a shadow of myself without coffee, and CityJet offer a a complimentary glass of wine on their evening flights (I’m not realistically going to turn that down on a Friday evening), I’ve resigned myself to just working harder and hydrating myself and embracing the perks of flying with someone other than Ryan Air.
Buy a silk eye mask
I’ve discussed my love of silk eye masks before, you can get mine here – and even if you have no trouble nodding off at night, you might want one for frequent travel. Along with a pair of ear plugs, a comfortable eye mask is essential for catching up on lost hours of sleep on the train, bus or plane – especially if you’re lucky enough to be sitting near a few kids. Even if I’m only away for the day, the evening light home can be ideal for a half hour snooze, so I always bring my eye mask in my handbag.
Tim Ferris will famously go to the hotel gym shortly after touching down, even if his flight gets in at 2am – because he finds his jet lag, and the general “post-flight feeling” hugely reduced if he does so. Now I am definitely not quite as committed to the cause (yet, at any rate) but wearing runners flying and trying to get some decent walking in shortly after landing helps me feel a little more normal (and tends not to be an issue in London, as there’s plenty of walking to be done anyway). If I’m away for a couple of days I’ll always bring my running gear and try and fit in a short session at least once or twice – even if it’s just 15minutes, once I sweat to some degree I tend to feel better, and my skin certainly thanks me for it.
I’ve learnt the hard way that eating a load of croissants and/or cakes in the departure lounge does not help me feel any better (especially if I’m flying for work), and sometimes it still happens…but the above tips do help minimise how sick I can feel, and definitely help me avoid that post-flight “look” with dehydrated skin and puffy eyes. Have you found a way to resist the temptation of the sugary pastries? My schedule doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon, so I would to hear any advice you have for travelling or flying often.