Australia is a really great country to call home. Except for when it comes to traveling to must-see destinations. The Americas and Europe are soooo far away and vice versa. I’ve met a lot of people throughout my travels as a member of cabin crew that said they'd love to visit Australia but would never make the journey because of the transit time.
Lucky for most of us, it seems the desire to travel runs thick through our veins and we won’t let long flights and the fear of jet lag stop us from exploring all the world has to offer.
But let's face it, long-haul flights are still only bearable at the best of times. I’ve put together my list of must-have items and tips for long (or short – a flight is a flight) flights to ensure you feel and look fresh when you reach your destination.
1 Carry On Bag
Pictured: Louenhide Chicago Bag, Vanilla House, $110
First of all you need a practical sized carry-on bag. You may be used to taking a carry on suitcase and a bag, but unless it’s absolutely necessary, save yourself the heavy luggage and fit everything you need into your checked-in luggage. For on-board, choose a bag that is easy to access, can easily be placed under your chair and will fit your in-flight necessities. You’ll be thanking me when you’re running from one gate to another, trying to get to your next flight.
2 Document Wallet and Pen
Pictured: Leather Travel Document Wallet and Everyday Ballpoint Pen, Kikki-K, $79.95 and $14.95
Being organised when traveling is the key to having a smooth journey. Start by keeping all your important documents in a travel wallet and ALWAYS carry a pen. This way everything you need will be in the one place and you won’t have to ask to borrow anyone’s pen when filling in customs forms. Don’t worry about a fancy passport cover, as you have to take them off when going through immigration anyway.
3 Comfortable undergarments
Pictured: Lacies Racer Crop and Lacies Hot Shortie, Bonds, $17.95 and $17.95
Another key to enjoying your transit time is being comfortable. Make sure you wear comfortable knickers that won’t ride up the whole flight and a soft bra, preferably wireless, that won’t cut into you.
4 Papaw Ointment
Lucas’ Papaw with Lip Applicator, Priceline, $4.99
A product almost every Aussie household has, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment is my number one beauty product for on-board. The air in an aircraft is very, very dry which usually leaves passengers feeling the same. Combat chapped lips by lathering your smackers every few hours. Also, have you ever noticed that your nose gets really dry as well? Pop some papaw around the inside of your nostrils and problem solved.
5 Hand cream
Pictured: Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm 75ml, Aesop, $29
Keep your hands soft and moisturised with a beautiful smelling hand cream. This one is my absolute favourite. Forget being an in-flight necessity – I don’t go anywhere without this product.
6 Face wipes
Pictured: It Works In Transit No Traces 60 Pads, Mecca, $39.00
You should always try your best to look presentable when checking in for your flight but once you get on board, remove that make up so your skin can breathe. You wouldn’t go to sleep with your make up on would you? The same should go for long haul flights. The best way to keep your face clean and fresh is by using face wipes as they are fuss free and easily disposed of.
7 Face moisturiser
Lavender Hydrating Mist, Jurlique, $35
Gifted to me as a leaving present when I was embarking on the beginning of my Cabin Crew career, this beauty must have quickly became a staple in my on-board handbag. It’s perfect for calming the skin and adding a light layer or moisture back into the face throughout the flight, and can even be spritzed over make up to freshen your look.
8 BPA Free Water Bottle
Chugger Drink Bottle, Typo, $9.99
Ever walked off the plane and felt like you’re two sizes bigger than you really are? That’s from bloating caused by sitting down for so long, the lack of oxygen in the air and dehydration. The most effective way to combat this is by drinking a lot of water. Take your own water bottle on board (make sure it’s empty so customs don’t take it off you) and ask the crew to fill it up for you when they come past with the drinks trolley. This way you’ll stay hydrated from drinking lots of water, and walk around, as you’ll have to use the bathroom.
Pictured: Silicone Earplugs, Kathmandu, $9.98
These are the saving grace to a peaceful flight. Pop these in your ears to block out noisy neighbours, crying babies and drift off into a deep, restful sleep.
10 A tasty treat
Pictured: Arnott’s Original Chocolate Tim Tams, Coles, $4.84
From my personal experience, I can tell you first-hand that it absolutely makes a crew’s flight when they receive thoughtful gifts from their passengers. It doesn’t need to be much, however a simple bag of mini chocolate bars or biscuits will let them know that you thought of them and value their service. And might get you in their good books next time the drinks trolley comes around!