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Fly Fresh: Hacks for Long-haul Flights

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Compare the Market

How do they do it? How do the jet-set step off a long-haul flight looking fresh and fabulous? Move aside Kimye and Jolie-Pitt, we’ve got a list of tried and true long-haul travel hacks that will have the formerly frazzled stepping off the plane as a fresh faced and flashbulb ready.

Water. Water. And More Water.

Staying hydrated is the first, and most important, trick to staying fresh during a long haul flight. Avoid the free booze (it’s tempting, we know) as it will dehydrate you. So will tea and coffee, so steer clear of them as well. Think of your long haul flight as an opportunity to ‘cleanse’ your system. We repeat: Water. Water. Water.

Avoid the Food

Ok, we’re not advocating starvation but plane food is usually stodgy and heavy and greasy. None of these things are conducive to feeling light and fabulous when you bounce of the plane in 12+ hours. Eat light and try not to eat everything you are served or offered just because you’re bored. Some airlines offer you a selection, so opt for the healthier sounding option. TIP: Check with your airline and book a ‘special’ meal ahead – low calorie, low sodium, gluten free and vegetarian are common options.


Get some sleep. Use a pillow, your seat buddy’s shoulder, the headrest – we don’t care just get some sleep. Those eye masks they sometimes give away in the toiletry bags – USE THEM. Ear plugs and noise cancelling headphones are also really good at helping you sleep. Stay comfy – bring pyjamas and change into them when you’re heading ‘to bed’. Make sure you drink lots of water when you wake up to counteract all the dry, recycled air you’ve been breathing while asleep.


On a plane? We can’t be serious. Except we are – very serious. You know those funny exercises they recommend you do in your seat to improve your circulation and prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis)? DO THEM. They help your circulation, get your blood pumping and move oxygen around your body. This can only be a good thing for you. Also, get up and walk around the cabin. You don’t need to be the weirdo who power walks the aisles for 45 minutes but five or ten minutes on your feet every few hours will do the trick.

Stay Healthy

You’re about to breath dry, recycled air for 12+ hours, so try to be healthy when you board. There’s nothing worse than flying with a head cold, and no amount of water or sleep will have you coming out at the other end looking like anything other than the living dead. Try taking probiotics in the weeks leading up to your trip to boost your immune system. Take a small bottle of hand sanitiser on the flight with you (they sell them in convenient travel sizes) and disinfect your hands frequently while in the air.


Ok, we know you’re not travelling in all the mod-con luxury of Richard Branson’s private jet, however, you can still undertake basic bathing at 30,000 feet. Pack cleansing cloths (or their cheaper, not different in any way equivalent, baby wipes) and give yourself a refreshing ‘bath’. We’d recommend doing this once mid-flight (perhaps after you’ve woken up and you’d like to change out of your pajamas) and once before you land. Take this time to brush your teeth (using a toothbrush or those little one use ‘finger’ brushes you can buy from the chemist). Brush your hair. Moisturise your face and hands. Reapply your deodorant (non-aerosol of course). TIP: If you use your ‘liquid’ carry on limit for anything, use it for moisturiser. We’re serious; it’s your beauty trump card.

Pre-landing Mini Makeover

This goes hand in hand with the previous point. Keep track of where your flight is and if you don’t have one of those inflight screens that shows you how far you have until your destination, ask a flight attendant. About half an hour before commencing descent (which is when seat backs and tray tables need to return to their upright positions and the fasten seat-belt sign blazes back into life), head to the lavatory, give yourself an aforementioned ‘bath’, brush your teeth, moisturise your face and apply any other applicable beauty products. Now, we need to address the oily mop atop your head. Luckily, you packed non-aerosol dry shampoo, so give that a whirl and voila! If you didn’t go the dry shampoo route, wrangle it into a slick ponytail or push it back into a headband and you’re ready to rock (gentlemen readers, you can usually get away with the tousled just rolled out of bed look!).

Travel Insurance

And last but not least, don’t stress out about lost luggage or missed connections as you hurtle through the air in a thin metal tube; take out travel insurance and save yourself from worry wrinkles!

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