The first time I was on a business-related long haul fight was about three years ago, and I wasn’t flying business class back then – it was cattle-class all the way. It was a 14 hour flight from Or Tambo to JFK airport and it was around the beginning of the holiday season. As my loyal designer sneakers set foot inside of the plane I was already acting like I’d landed – thinking,“get business done, then go wild in Macy’s, Forever 21 and go ice skating in Rockefeller Plaza.”Oh! How clueless I was…
Long story short, it was a horrible first trip! I was jetlagged, had the worst headache and neck pains. It felt like I’d just come straight from a clubbing all-nighter and into the principal’s office! There was no running wild in Macy’s and blowing my Christmas budget, no such luck in Forever 21 either. I only saw Rockefeller Plaza from a distance as my cab drove me from the hotel to the airport three days after arriving.
I spent my first day in New York passed out in my hotel room trying to sleep off the jetlag – the bed was terrible! A far cry from my beloved Sealy Posturepedic back home.
The next day I went to my meeting, a presentation and a colleague took me to Starbucks, and sadly that was all the Big Apple I saw. I had learnt my lesson. Ever since then, I’ve taken the business of flying very seriously. Putting as much preparation into the time spent flying as I do planning my itinerary once at my destination.
My long haul flight kit now consists of these three must-haves that make sure I get to mix business with sightseeing pleasure:
1. The right luggage (check-in and carry-on)
Having secure luggage and knowing I have all my beauty products with me makes me stress free and I feel confident in meetings. Personally, I’m a fan of the Samsonite range and have my sights set on the new B-Lite Fresh range, but Cellini and Travelite do fabulous lightweight sets, too.
2. A supersoft blanket
I never board a flight without my ‘blanky’ I got from my grandmother, it makes me feel safe (especially on those bumpy flights where the turbulence gets a tad traumatic) and it wards off the chill factor when the aircon gets a bit ‘enthusiastic’.
3. A travel pillow& eye mask
Getting your beauty sleep is so important, especially on a long haul flight – nobody wants their destination’s first impression of them to be ‘zombie approaching’. A travel pillow and an eye masks are must-haves. You can pick up a travel pillow in most duty-free shops once you’ve checked in and you can buy an eye mask at most department stores.
In-flight tip: Drink plenty of water during the flight, steer clear of alcohol and caffeine, and remove all your make-up before catching some zzzzz’s for a fresh-faced complexion on landing. Trust me, there are few things that dehydrate your skin faster than hours in a climate-controlled plane.