Unless you’re Kim Kardashian or Mariah Carey, flying probably sucks. Packing stress plus security checks, dehydration and a poorly ventilated plane set you up for hours of anxiety, exhaustion and general fractiousness. Flying is known to dry out your skin, bring on head and ear aches and increase risk of breakouts and eye inflammation. The first time I flew with the ‘resealable bag’ carry on rules, I was so flustered and confused I ended up losing a full bottle of perfume to the dreaded customs bin. By now—a seasoned traveller and desperately afraid of repeating past mistakes—my carry-on luggage has become a thing of legend: a well-oiled machine with planned make up looks, decanted lotions and shared products for travel companions.
Whether you’re mini breaking and need to fit all your essentials in one small bag, or long hauling and looking to make the flight as painless as possible, read our hand luggage guide to have you feeling like you’re flying private in no time.
When it comes to carry-on luggage, size and style are key; compact enough to get on board, but roomy enough for neck pillows, iPads and magazines. Go for soft weekend bags by Longchamp or structured cabin trunks by Steamline to really fake the feeling of glamorous travel.
Primark and Poundland do great travel kits with tiny empty pots and bottles to make flying a breeze at a pinch. If you’re looking to invest in your packing, Emma Lomax’s transparent bags and Bobbi Brown’s empties are ideal. In regulation sizes and with sweet designs, these compacts are sure to put a satisfied smile on your face even when you’re forced to strip to your socks for x-ray.
Learn from my teenage mistake and get yourself a travel sized perfume for hand luggage. Flo atomisers are great for taking a spot of your favourite scent along with you. Alternatively, splash out on a new holiday fragrance in miniature with a roll on by Diptyque or a scaled down spray by Jo Malone, or Acqua di Parma.
Treat yourself to a readymade travel set if you can’t be bothered with all that careful pouring and spooning. L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Discovery Collection includes six travel sized products perfect for seeing dry, sensitive skin through a European mini break; while Aesop’s Jet Set Kit contains essentials enriched with geranium and citrus rind for an invigorating and in-flight-spa experience.
You know to wear cotton clothing and pack tiny deodorant, baby dry shampoo and toy-sized toothpaste, but have you considered the importance of keeping your face well hydrated on the journey? I don’t know much about the science of flying, but altitude, coupled with air con and being trapped in your seat for hours seems like a recipe for disaster. During your layover or pre-flight wait, try out one of Starskin’s Coconut Bio-Cellulose sheet masks. With brightening and hydrating options, these masks have graced the tired faces of jetsetters like Gigi Hadid and are enriched with vitamins and natural ingredients. Just relax for 20 mins then remove: no need to rinse!
Other crucial hand luggage products include face wipes, a refreshing mist spray and nose/lip butter. Yes to Coconut cleansing wipes gently remove dirt while hydrating and bathing you in a delicious scent, while Kiehl’s Cactus Flower Mist is an instantly refreshing boost with Tibetan ginseng and lavender to protect skin from environmental aggressors. At opposite ends of the mist scale, try Evian’s Facial Spray for cheap and gentle hydration or Crème de la Mer’s luxury blow-out The Mist. Spray on to two cotton pads for an on-the-go eye spa, or shower on face and neck whenever skin feels dry.
Lips prone to cold sores and chapping will definitely punish you after a long flight. Appease them in between free drinks and in-flight snacks with SPF enriched Australian tea tree balm or La Roche Posay Nutritic Lips.
Once you’ve made it, breathed a sigh of relief and felt that first rush of holiday heat or foreign hospitality, give your skin a good, exfoliating glycolic wash and sun protecting prime. Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Cleanser and Hourglass Veil Mineral SPF 15 Primer will work in tandem to have you glowing all the way through your much deserved break and home again.
Itchy feet? Check out our Guide to Copenhagen for mini break inspiration.