Category Archives: Check it before checking in

Travel practical advice and other varied (helpful) tips

The flying princess…because we’re worth it

Ok I’m about to write what is possibly the girliest, most shallow article ever written in those columns…doesn’t matter I take responsibility for it. This summer has been quite packed in long and short flights and I have tried to come to some sort of systematisation of my skin and healthcare while travelling. I am very much the “last call” traveller so if there isn’t an easy routine, it means it will probably fall through the cracks. All the necessary items must also fit into the usual plastic bag and be easy to find / replace.

Step 0 – prep and pack

Opting for a neutral shade mani (unless you have a shellac) is probably a good idea to avoid some unsightly chipping. I have to confess that waiting rooms and airport lounges normally make my own prime time for a home made mani but I don’t think I can recommend doing that, the dry-time is usually at risk…

packing the following items (I leave them constantly unpacked, ready to grab):

disinfectant wipes or gel (I prefer the wipes because it normally “cheats” the liquid policy)
– make up removal wipes
– blusher / bronza with a little hand mirror preferably
– a pair of sunglasses
– a shawl or scarf, neutral colour
– a mini hair brush, or a foldable one with a mirror (plenty of options at boots)

in the security plastic bag:

– extra hydrating moisturiser (some even use overnight masks)
– your usual moisturiser, mini format, I use the Clinique dramatically different but loads of other brand also have good travel size formats (Clarins is my second favourite)
– mini water mist / home made rose water spray
– mini deodorant or individual wipes
eye puff cream (again I use the all about eyes one from Clinique)
lip balm (neutrogena. occitane, chapstick…whatever your usual best-friend is)
– BB or CC cream (Nivea and Clinique have great ones)
mini mascara and mini lipgloss
hand cream or a “do it all” cream like the Nivea essential
– hydrating eye drops

1. Get some water before you board

This is the one thing that you can not bring from home as it won’t go through security; and I find that even amazing airlines just do not give access to enough water, on long flights I can drink up to 2L. So it doesn’t matter that water seems to be as good as gold in airports, I always get one or two big bottles. No moisturiser will ever be as good as water. Get plenty of it.

2. Cleanse & Moisturise

Either before boarding if you have time to spare, or once in the plane, I remove all make up with a wipe (they don’t count as liquids in most airports), dry and moisturise. If I am travelling with my boss / prince charming / a client (tick the ones you care wearing make up for) just wear a moisturiser and / or a BB cream.

3. Refresh through out the flight

To refresh while traveling, use a mister of mineral water and add a dab of moisturiser. In my future life I also want to have a little spray bottle refilled with rose water. It’s still on my to-do list but it’d be a great thing to have.

– apply lip balm

apply hand-cream after washing your hands and keep them off your face and hair as much as you can during the flight

Avoid:

wearing mascara, it smudges with the eye mask, but take a mini one with you, to refresh when you land

long lasting lipstick, it dries up in a not-so-sexy manner

4. Before arrival, wake up call ritual

Take eye drops uni-doses so that it doesn’t take up too much space and in in desperate cases, ask the waitress for an ice-cube that you will wrap up in a washcloth.

If you are off to a meeting or any social event before you get access to any proper bathroom then you may also need to use deodorant wipes. I wash my face, apply a bit of anti-puff magic cream (mine is All About Eyes from Clinique), a light moisturiser and / or CC cream (should be both as the skin is really quite dehydrated after a longfflight)

A bit of blush or bronza, and that is as good as it gets.

 5. Cover up

I find that a big scarf serves as a pillow, warmer and also somehow makes the whole disheveled hair look more chic. Sometimes you just have to go with it!And of course, a pair of oversized sunglasses so that others will think you’re Miranda Kerr, not just a fatigued fellow traveler.

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Where should I go for a short winter-sun break?

You can hear the rain pounding on the window and if you’re anything like me, your next thought is: when do I get to see the sun again? I could tell you to jet-off to Hawaii for the weekend, it would spare me a post but eyyy… maybe next year.

So were to go for a winter-sun quick fix? Continue reading Where should I go for a short winter-sun break?

Stuff you should never take on a trip

Adult travelers and holiday-goers (i.e. not backpackers), and I’m sure just most female young or old travelers in the world just find it difficult to cut-down on packing.

Leif Pettersen at The Lonely Planet has just published this article and it did crack me up; at a time where I’m scratching my head and wondering how to pack for Myanmar (the very exciting countdown until November has started!!), I thought it was a good idea to bring up the topic. Continue reading Stuff you should never take on a trip

My all-purpose packing check-list

at school they used to call me little miss scatterbrain … for a reason! (as well as little miss chatterbox…) So after numerous last minute panics, and a few missed planes and trains I acquired many different plug adaptors and developed a little fool-proof check list that works pretty much for all types of trips.

  • Must have

– passport / ID / driving license – personally I memorized my passport number, ok it doesnt help crossing the border but it’s good to check-in online the day before for example
– credit card + minimum cash in euro or usd
– boarding pass or train ticket + ticket of the connexion train if needed (express train)
– phone number of taxi company city of departure and arrival
– paper written address of landing – or at least a made up one, for border control; also think about getting it in the calligraphy of your destination country if different from English (Japanese, Russian…)
– bank assistance + health insurance phone number
– phone charger(s) and whatever other chargers your need (camera, ebook reader etc)
– international adaptor or relevant ones (requires to have a few but normally they do work better)
– topped up and charged phone

  • Handbag: my travelling handbag is always ready to go, it’s the only one in my wardrobe that has a proper zip + button closing and can fold into another bag (yes, it’s a Longchamp pliage); it has to be small enough to avoid back pain but big enough to carry my SLR and “handbag kit”

– Refreshing gel
– Wipes /disinfectant gel
– Moleskine notebook
– Phone charger(s) + adapter
– Sunglasses – wherever I go
– Sleep mask / fly stocking / earplugs
– Pill and other medicines
– Mini mascara / mini gloss / toothbrush + mini toothpaste / moisturising cream / make up wipes
– A book (or call it an iPad, a kindle)
– a scarf that can do pillow and blancket
– Business cards
– my house keys – back to basics

my photo gear normally also makes it to the  hand luggage too as I don’t feel it would be handled securely enough.

Also carrying a small padlock can be a good idea (cloak rooms and other luggage drop places aren’t safe everywhere)

Inevitably when travelling, your luggage will be lost one day or another, your flight will be delayed overnight etc…I tend to have at least one change of underwear in my handbag and a toothpaste and the minimum make up kit in addition to money and documents.

  • Suitcase: I try to have a “minimum survival kit” in term of clothing, stuff that I can wear in any circumstances and match easily, such as a black cardigans and a pair of black repetto flats

– Different colour underwear
– Shoes polish / sewing set
– A pair of jeans
– A pair of black flats
– A black cardigan
– 2 pairs of black and transparent tights
– Night dress
– Mini towel
– neutral colour heels / flip flops
– A bikini – it doesn’t take much space and you never know

  • Beauty case : this kit is always ready as well, I never unpack it, it’s made of “large samples” (such as the Clarins or Clinique ones, boots also has a large shelf)

– Nail polish / remover wipes
– Make up wipes and Toothbrush (unless it’s already in your hand bag)
– Make up
– Moisturiser
– Shampoo / shower gel
– Sample perfume or refill spray with your own

The US government has a rather helpful page full of common sense travelling tips, and I can’t recommend highly enough glancing at the country-specific recommendation page.

 

World Party!

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We love travelling guides, of all of them, the penguin’s “rough guides” are high up in my esteem.

One of my flatmate has received the amazing “World party” rough guide for Christmas and I truly thank his mum. It’s no ordinary travel guide, it’s a window open on worldwide fun and excitement.
It’s also a constant reminder that I have only ticked a very limited amount of boxes, and all of it in Europe: The Notting Hill festival, Pascua en Andalusia, Ibiza opening and closing parties … All were amazing but there is so much more to do I feel like getting plane tickets every time I flick through it.

 

Rough Guide -World Party

Also check out their world music network website

Ps: tell us which ones you’ve ticked off. Was worth it?

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