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How to survive a long-haul flight

Even though your rational mind is aware that a long-haul flight is the bridge between home and your travels, the prospect can be daunting. Flights can be uncomfortable and exhausting, and they can also seem never-ending (‘Are we there yet?’), which can be an unpleasant start to your trip. However, they needn’t be dreaded. If you take our suggestions on board, we hope that your flight will be less ‘argh’ and more ‘ahhh’…

1. Wear something comfortable
On a long flight, comfort is key. We favour trainers (take them off when you’re sat down) or flip flops (so your feet can breathe). Team these with comfortable trousers or gym leggings – jeans will feel too constricting after a while – and layer some loose tops to plan for a change in temperature on the plane. If you’re a fan of flight socks, wear them with pride.

2. Pack your cabin luggage wisely

Don’t overload your carry-on with unnecessary bulky items – it will be stressful trying to keep track of everything. The essentials: passport, boarding pass, purse. Be sure to pick up some water in duty-free beforehand to stay hydrated, and prep your skin for flight with our Invisible Finish PrimerSerenity Skin Booster and our new product launch: the Mindful Traveller Duo. The latter contains up to a week’s worth of our hero Pure Glow Cleanser and Daily Radiance Moisturiser.

A toothbrush and toothpaste will keep you fresh on board, and anything for a comfortable snooze is advisable: earplugs, eye mask and a travel/neck pillow. Bring a book or magazine to pass the time, and a fully-charged phone and headphones for entertainment.

3. Seat choice
Travelling alone? Book an aisle seat – that way there’ll be no awkward “excuse me”s if you want to move around the plane (get up every hour or so to stretch your legs; this will increase blood flow, prevent puffiness and aid relaxation) and pop to the toilet. Treating yourself to something more than economy? Practise some stress-reducing stretches in the comfort of your own seat and take advantage of premium luxuries such as blankets, eye masks, etc.

4. Consider your airline
Whether or not your budget is tight, it’s worth doing your research on long haul airlines to your destination. According to Skyscanner, the best airlines for long haul flights are those that offer a seat width of 17 inches. It’s definitely worth a browse for the sake of your comfort and wellbeing on board.

5. Talk to people
Only if you want to, that is. Not only will it help pass the time and break up the flight, but you never know, you could meet genuinely fascinating people with the same interests as you (see our benefits of travelling post).

6. Be a bit self-indulgent
Equally, if you want the flight to be all about you, don’t feel guilty for it. Flying is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy your own company, whether that be watching back-to- back films, letting yourself be absorbed by a book, losing yourself in your thoughts or shutting out the world and putting on an eye mask. In the limbo between home and away you have no one to answer to – except the cabin crew, that is.

7. Practise meditation
A relatively quiet atmosphere such as a plane is offers the ideal opportunity to practise meditation, from visualisation to breathing exercises to help your mind slow down and relax. That way, your brain will be primed for an exciting trip. Close your eyes and visualise yourself getting off the plane, how the temperature will feel on your skin, the type of people you may meet, their faces, their voices… Alternatively, try Dr Andrew Weil’s 4-7- 8 breathing exercise to help you relax and fall asleep.