If a long haul flight leaves you dehydrated, tired and a little worse for wear by the time you reach your destination, fear not as there are some easy yet effective ways to help cure jetlag, reduce nerves and keep healthy and happy no matter how long the journey.
We asked a group of health and beauty experts for their top tips and have created your essential in-flight survival kit so you don’t have to, to ensure you have as smooth a passage as possible from departures to arrivals.
Read on for our top 10 travel tips to have you feeling and looking your best no matter where you’re going on holiday this year.
Tip 1: How to beat jet lag
"If you go on holiday and you cross many time zones then you are likely to experience some form of jet lag, which is a confusion between your biological clock and the local time," says Dr Guy Meadows , sleep physiologist and founder of The Sleep School . "It is typically worse when heading East because you are losing time, hence the reason why people feel jet lagged when flying back to the UK from the USA. The typical symptoms include headaches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, grogginess, irritability, loss or gain in appetite or constipation or diarrhoea.
“Overcoming jet lag is an individual thing, but a rough guideline suggests that it takes one day of recovery per time zone crossed (e.g. flying back from New York would take five days of recovery).”
Here are his top tips for helping you limit the effects of jet lag:
1. Set your body clock to local time: "Whether you are going or coming back from holiday, it can be helpful to reset your body clock to the destination time zone. For example, if you are flying back to the UK from New York the time difference is five hours. To minimise this time difference, go to bed and get up 1 hour earlier for three days before your departure. For example, if your normal bed and wake times are 11pm to 7am, over three days, shift them to 8pm and 4am. The result is that your body clock is now only 2 hours behind the UK and therefore lessening the potential impact of jetlag on your return."
2. Set your watch: "On the last day or when you get on the plane, set your watch to UK time to prepare your brain for the change."
3. Adapt to your destination: "If you are arriving back into the UK in the morning, then try to sleep on the plane, get lots of light onto your skin on arrival, eat at normal times and get on with your day. Alternatively, if you arrive back in the evening then make sure you stay awake during the flight, eat an evening meal, dim the lights and then go to bed at your normal time when you are back at home."
If you do end up suffering the effects of jet lag, some supplements can help ease that sluggish, groggy feeling - try Solgar 5-HTP , £11.99, the name of which is a compound that's proven to boost serotonin levels, making you feel more positive and well-rested when you awake.
MORE GLOSS: 15 ways to get a better night’s sleep
Tip 2: Toughen up your skincare regime
“Skin gets very little oxygen during flight time as you are enclosed in an encapsulated environment without fresh air depending on recycled air and therefore it does not get cleansed thoroughly,” says Noella Gabriel, Elemis Director of Product and Treatment Development.
“This immediately results in dehydration, sensitivity and tired dull skin. It’s important to travel with well cleansed skin – apply two layers of moisturiser and avoid makeup. Always carry a travel size moisturiser to apply during your flight.
“Once on the flight, it is a great trick to use the Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra Gel Eye Masks , £47.50 to moisturise and brighten the skin around the eyes, and Papaya Enzyme Peel , £32 to boost skin’s radiance. Once this is removed a fine layer of rose or lavender oil will ensure you arrive looking refreshed. Using Instant Refreshing Gel , £32 on your feet is also another of the little aids that can help make travelling a little easier.”
Tip 3: Stay hydrated and prepare your own in-flight menu
“The single most important thing to do is to drink water because long haul flights are the ultimate dehydrators,” says nutritional therapist Petronella Ravenshear .
“Book yourself an aisle seat and begin hydrating before you fly with a litre of water. Aim for at least ½ litre every hour on board. Drinking masses of water has the added advantage of necessitating regular trips to the loo, and moving about makes DVT less likely.
“Avoid the microwaved airline food and take a light meal and snacks with you. Ideal inflight food includes boiled eggs, a chicken breast or sashimi with lots of green salad, unsalted nuts and apples – pack everything in a mini cold bag to keep it fresh. Caffeine, salt and alcohol add to dehydration and are best avoided. Protect yourself from cold and flu bugs by rubbing a few drops of antiseptic essential oil into the palms of your hands and then breathing it in – repeat every couple of hours.”
Our favourite is Aromatherapy Associates’ Support Breathe Essence , £19 to help keep stress levels down and maintain a clear head amongst the chaos. Its combination of eucalyptus, peppermint and tea-tree will help soothe frazzled nerves, ease breathing and bring a welcomed moment of calm into the most crammed of cattle class cabins.
Tip 4: Pop on a face mask
If you’re facing a long haul flight, you might as well take advantage of the extra time and supersize your skincare regime to fight dehydration and tight skin. Sisley Express Flower Gel , £85 is wonderfully hydrating and its lightweight gel texture melts into skin, meaning that you won’t have to worry about scarring small children with a face that looks like you fell head first into a birthday cake.
Tip 5: Prep for a good night’s sleep
“On long haul flights I like to be comfy as I am there for a while, I always bring a sleep suit to wear on board so I can feel fresher when I change back once we reach the destination,” says Annee de Mamiel , acupuncturist and aromatherapist.
“I prep my skin so I don’t get off feeling dry and dehydrated - once on board I start by cleansing my face to get rid of the day’s grime and then I apply some of my facial oil and the Aromatherapy Associates Overnight Repair Mask , £59 over the top and spritz my Dewy Facial Mist , £47, every few hours.
“The one thing that has made flights easier for me is my Altitude Oil , £28. I apply it to pulse points as soon as I sit down then put a little on top of my sleep suit and continue to apply every few hours!
“My mind gets quite creative on a flight so I let it roam and have my notebook on hand to jot things down. I also enjoy long haul flights as they are the perfect opportunity to escape from everyday life for a few hours. I like to get some work done but really I am thinking of my headphones, Hollywood and catching up on movies, especially during those brutal middle hours.
“Lastly I like to wrap myself in my cashmere travel blanket and settle in!”
Tip 6: The best serums for dry skin
If your skin requires something stronger than a moisturiser, a rehydrating serum could become your hand luggage’s new BFF. If you’re packing for an overnight flight, make sure to take the aptly named Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial , £49 along with you. Jam-packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and omega oils, it leaves skin glowing the next morning for a brighter, smoother complexion as soon as you awake.
If however, you hate the feeling of product on your face when you’re flying, Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase , £44 could be your perfect match. With a texture that’s as close to water as it can get, it absorbs speedily into skin leaving it soft, moisturised and supple to the touch.
Tip 7: How to be less nervous about flying
“If you’re like most people, when you reach your destination you’re going to be very relieved to be getting off the plane,” says Andy Puddicombe , meditation and mindfulness expert and founder of Headspace .
“Regardless of how comfortable the journey has been, or your relief at having arrived safely, you’re going to be excited about moving on to the next part of your journey. It can be easy to get caught up in a feeling of impatience as everyone jostles for position, trying to be the first to get off the plane. In these types of situations it’s very easy to think that other people are getting in your way. Of course, we often forget that we’re probably just as much in their way as they are in ours. In fact, they’re probably thinking exactly the same thing as us.
“Simply remembering this alone can help take the sting out of the situation. However, you might also want to try just quietly sitting back down into your seat... of course, if people are trying to get past, then let them past. But in reality, how much time are you actually going to make up by joining in the rush? You’re still going to have to go through customs, passport control, wait for your luggage… we’re probably talking about seconds here. So sit back down in your chair, close your eyes, and allow everything to go on around you. Remind yourself what it feels like to be present, calm and ready to continue with the next stage of your journey.”
MORE GLOSS: How to not get stressed about being stressed
Tip 8: How much makeup could you wear?
“I wear minimum makeup over Sisley’s Black Rose Face Mask , £99 which plumps and illuminates my skin as well as containing anti-ageing properties too. The scent is also soothing for the journey,” says makeup artist Florrie White .
"I curl my lashes (dyed blue black) but leave them mascara free. I keep my lips moisturised with Crème de le Mer’s Lip Balm , £48, which is not only deeply hydrating but also tastes delicious, (a mix of vanilla and mint). Throughout the flight I spritz more hydration over my face with Gazelli Hydra Radiance Face Mist , £45, which is cooling mid-flight.
Before landing I cleanse my face using Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes , £6.49 take 15 minutes with a Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energising Eye Mask , £40 apply another fine layer of Sisley’s Black Rose Mask under Clinique’s CC Cream , £29 and a little colour on my cheeks with one of their Chubby Sticks , £18. I re-curl my lashes and add a brightening sweep of YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in No.13 , £27.”
Tip 9: Lip service
Keep chapped lips at bay with a lip balm that’s richer than the one you would use back on earth. To help combat the effects of cold air and the elements, we would particularly recommend Jo Malone’s Vitamin E Lip Conditioner , £23 as not only does it leave lips perfectly moisturised, but it also leaves a subtle sheen that’s refreshingly non-sticky too.
Tip 10: Know your (luggage) limits
Is your hand luggage limit standing in the way of you packing all of your beauty essentials? Well, don't worry about leaving something behind, as Bobbi Brown have come to the rescue and created a super handy set of Empties , £11 to keep you organised when you’re on-the-go. Complete with 20 self-adhesive labels and a handy funnel and spatula to keep beauty spillages to a minimum, there’s no reason why your carry-on should be left bulging at the seams.
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