It is now less than 3 weeks till our younger daughter, Mlle Chic Fille, sets off on new adventures – in her words “to give living in London a go”. Our household has become a hive of activity – sorting through old stuff, decluttering and that very important question of what to pack? We are just coming to the end of winter in Perth Western Australia. Today the sun is shining brightly and after a crisp start to the day it is around 20 degrees. Clearly our Perth winter attire will not suffice in a European winter! I have tended to come over to Europe around March/April in recent years and I still think it’s freezing then (despite living there for the first 27 years of my life I have obviously acclimatised well to life in the Antipodes). I think Mademoiselle will be doing a lot of shopping for new cold weather gear once she arrives in London!
There is no getting around the fact that if you live in Australia you will have to spend a long time on a plane in order to get anywhere further afield. Therefore I have developed a strategy for making the journey as comfortable as possible. I always take a few items that make me feel good and create my own little personal space on board the plane. With the restrictions on the quantity of liquids, aerosols and gels on international flights, I have had to pare back what I take with me in my hand luggage. Everything I take meets the regulations and the toiletries fit neatly into the small clear plastic bag that one has to show to the customs officials. Check with your travel agent or online before you leave to find out the latest regulations as they do change from time to time.
I’ve found that by having a travel routine I can pack more quickly and reduce the amount of luggage I take (it’s true – I hardly ever go over 20 kg these days with my check in suitcase and I have one carry on bag for the plane). Whatever I take I make sure that my carry on bag always contains a few “essential” items.
These are my “must have” 5 items:
Soft wool pashmina – cosy, comfortable can be a blanket or a scarf . My particular favourite is a beautiful deep red fringed scarf – I find the colour is uplifting too and it is so lovely to wrap around my shoulders.
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist – a few spritzes of this are remarkably refreshing and the scent is beautiful.
Any Lancome Juicy Tubes lip gloss. I love the feel, the scent of these and they generally give me a boost when I apply them.
Mor Hand Cream especially Marshmallow scent.
Nutrimetics velvet finish mineral foundation powder. Just give your face a touch up before arrival to disguise any blemishes and complexion unevenness that results after many hours in an aircraft cabin.
I hope the people around me appreciate the lotions and potions I use as much as I do, as every couple of hours or so the scents will be wafting around the air near my seat!
Other common sense measures on a long haul flight are:
Drink loads of water.
Do the recommended foot circling exercises and stretches every so often.
Walk around every couple of hours or so unless you’re asleep! This is why I personally always request aisle seats; I feel “freer” that way and since I always drink copious amounts of water I don’t have to climb over people to get to the toilets.
I take a homoeopathic jet lag remedy that I get from a naturopath. There are also travel sickness sweets available (usually containing ginger) that you can buy from chemist/pharmacy shops if you think you’ll need them.
I also have a glass of wine if I’m going on an evening flight (this probably doesn’t count as a “common sense measure” but hey it works just 1 or 2 mind you!).
Watch tv shows or films on the in flight entertainment system that you don’t usually get a chance to back home.
Read a book that you’ve been meaning to for a while.
I didn’t mention a toothbrush and toothpaste as this is such an obvious essential. However certainly Emirates, with whom we normally fly, provide you with a little travel pack which contains them in case you have forgotten!
All this travel talk has set me off planning my next trip and with not only my extended family but Mlle Chic Fille soon to be European based, another trip in the next few months is definitely in order.
If anyone has their own ideas and tips on long haul travel essentials I’d love to hear from you about them! In the meantime “Bon Voyage” Mlle Chic Fille and fellow travellers everywhere!
Copyright © 2014 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved