How I travel for 3 weeks with just hand luggage on flights
I arrived in Australia yesterday and as I get older, if I don't follow my own travel rules, I tend to get 'jet lag' and yes, I broke the rules and it is my own fault.
There are a few things I do that ensures that I never get jet lag:
- Drink lots of water: They all tell you this, but it is true. If you drink lots of water, not only will your body feel better when you land, your face won't look so dehydrated.
- Exercise: Make sure you exercise before you fly out on a long haul flight for at least 1 to 2 hours that same day. I know that sounds extreme, but it exhausts your body, and ensures that you don't need sleeping pills on your flight.
- No alcohol the day before, the day of or the day after a long haul flight: Yes, we all love the glass of french champagne when we sit down in business or first class on a flight, but you have to learn to say no. While you are at it, never eat plane food either unless it is soup. Eat in the lounges pre boarding, with at least 1 litre of water. Drinking before a flight dehydrates your body, and also may affect your ability to sleep on the flight and adjust to your new time zone. Alcohol when you arrive, no matter how tempting it is, is also a no-no. If you are only away for one week or two - make the most of your time away. Look after your body when you arrive so that you adjust, then go have some fun and a few cocktails.
- Always take your own eye mask unless you are flying Etihad. Etihad literally have the best, softest, largest eye masks of any airline. They are pure luxury.
- Do a deal with the air-hostess: You won't ask for anything other than water or if you must have one guilty pleasure, sparkling water, as long as they allow you to fall asleep on take-off so your body is ready for sleep, then wake you up as soon as they start serving to turn your bed into a flat bed. Qantas falls over on this one because their business class is not as good as the other airlines with most planes not having a flat bed in business class. You will fall back to sleep easily after already having been asleep. The slight interuption is worth it.
- Allergy test: Know what foods and preservatives don't work for your body, and make sure you don't have them at least 3 days prior to flying and on your entire trip unless it is an extra special occasion. Believe it or not, food can be your big enemy when you travel, and not just for the obvious. It can make you feel uneasy and lacking in energy.
When it comes to packing, I have got this one down-pat. The reason I had to force myself to do this is because I have frozen shoulder, and it hurts like hell carting luggage around. With my Tumi cabin roller bag and matching Tumi handbag that saddles onto the handle, I can travel anywhere with ease.
I have a number of clothing items that roll up and don't crush, and I tend to take them on most trips. They are stylish but mostly black if I was to be honest. I always throw in a few items that break it up, but I am a black clothing traveller just in case I spill something on myself. It allows versatility for everything other than photographs - but the latter doesn't matter too much when you get to my age and are not looking to take a heap of selfies on your trip.
I wear on the plane a pair of men's Nike drop crouch pants, with a Armani long sleeve black top (planes are cold), Nike runners and a scarf. In my hand bag which is enormous, I always carry a Chanel handbag, for night time. I have a number of 'evening dresses' that roll up easily, and I have worked it so that I don't wear the same clothes for two weeks. A jacket or scarf may be the only thing I duplicate. One pair of pumps, flip flops and flat shoes - are a must. I bought 3 dresses in Milan a few years back that roll up into nothing, and don't need ironing, so I take them. I also always take one outfit that is off my basic black style - to snaz it up a little for that one special night. I rarely shop, but if I do buy something, it needs to be able to be folded into the bag.
I know this is a talent, but I had to make it happen. The reason I wear runners on the plane is so I can exercise when I travel, but also, they are bulky, so they take up space in the bag. I also secure all my makeup, laptop and work stuff in my bag.
At airports, I tend to buy books. This knocks the whole thing off kilter, but mostly if you have bag from a bookstore, they don't mind, as long as you are flying at the front of the plane.