Have you ever tried to stay relaxed and looking good on a bumpy, cramped night flight? Hard, isn’t it? Here’s the situation. You’re halfway to LA, and your plane suddenly begins to exhibit signs that it’s in the middle of a hurricane. “Think of something relaxing,” your other half says, already blissfully half asleep. However, despite thinking of kittens, Great Yarmouth holidays, Peter Rabbit and old episodes of Grange Hill, you cannot fall asleep – and arrive in LA looked like you’ve been living outdoors for the past month.
Making sure you look good when you leave your flight is hard work; anyone who thinks it’s as simple as settling down with a good book is sadly mistaken. Here’s how to make sure you leave the plane refreshed and raring to go…
Make sure you’re feeding yourself the right foods – and that you’ve got plenty of bottled water to drink during the flight. “But it’s so expensive!” we hear you shout. “Not as expensive as buying a decent sandwich on the plane!” we retort. Bite the bullet – run to M&S after you pass through security, or anywhere else that sells decent food, and stock up for your journey. This means that you’ll be feeling much better after eating, and you can do away with that filthy plane food.
Drink – and avoid drink. Sorry, we’ll elaborate; stay hydrated by drinking mineral water, but steer clear of the heavy stuff, even if you’re a nervous flier (there are other ways to combat nerves that we’ll talk about later). Hydration is the name of the game; this is one of the main things that’ll ensure you don’t disembark feeling terrible. Moisturise your face and your hands. Use eye drops. Don’t forget to slather on some lip balm at every opportunity, and don’t drink booze. Have you got that? Good. Don’t. Drink. Booze.
One of the reasons that you feel so dreadful at the end of a flight are the cramped conditions you’ve been living in. Take off your shoes, and make sure that every hour you do some foot and neck exercises to keep your circulation going, and invest in some flight socks to avoid DVT (that’s deep vein thrombosis to you and me). Even just getting up, going to the toilet and stretching out your calf and foot muscles can make a difference to how you feel. This is a great reason to take the aisle seat, even though your elbows will get banged every time the trolley comes past, and you’ll be the first in line to get barged if small children start running amok.
Sleeping (or being relaxed) is a huge part of getting off that flight and feeling fabulous. Drinking is a bad idea for numerous reasons – it’s expensive, you’ll smell, you’ll get a killer hangover, and you’ll need the loo the whole time. If you’re a really nervous flier, you’re better off asking your doctor for some diazepam and beta blockers, which will take the edge off your fears without leaving you with gin breath. If you’d rather avoid taking strong medication, Rescue Remedy make a range of pastilles and sprays which will calm you down, and there are plenty of essential oils that have the same effect. Book yourself an appointment with an aromatherapist if you’re keen to chill out the natural way. Don’t forget a flight pillow and an eye mask – and some relaxing tunes on your iPod.
Take some make-up on board with you, and just before you land, give yourself a fresh lick of paint. Yes, you may feel tired – but you’ll look tired as well unless you sort yourself out. It’s even worth popping to the toilet to brush your teeth, and give your hair a quick spritz of dry shampoo. Don’t forget that a bit of mouthwash works wonders after breathing stale air for hours, and chewing gum is de rigeur if you’re planning on kissing anyone in the arrivals lounge.