Ask any frequent traveller and they’ll tell you that flying isn’t as easy, or anywhere as fun, as it used to be, but there are several essential hacks which everyone should know about, and which can make your journey in the sky easier. Top of our list is getting a great seat on the plane, especially if you have to travel in economy class. One way to achieve this before finalising your booking is to visit www.seatguru.com. From your flight number and date of travel, you can call up your specific flight number, check a map of the aircraft type you’ll be flying on, and get all the key information about seats, including which are good, and which to avoid, and why. If you are booked in economy for a long haul flight, and want to upgrade to premium economy or business class, your frequent flyer program may allow you to use your points to do this up to 48-hours before departure. If you intend to pay for an upgrade, however, it’s usually cheaper to pay at the airport on check-in, although you run the risk of getting rejected if the flight is full. If you’re flying long haul and there is a daytime flight available, it is worth taking to help avoid jet lag and missing a night’s sleep. And when booking airfares online, especially if you are using points, make sure you check the terms and conditions of the fare thoroughly. Most airlines impose penalties for any ticketing changes, so it pays to know what the costs you might be up for if you have to change your date of travel, or the destination, for whatever reason. And on very cheap fares changes are often not permitted at all, so of there is any chance your plans may change, consider paying a bit more for a flexible or refundable fare to be safe.
The air inside an aircraft is extremely dry, with humidity often dropping below the optimum comfort level of 50 per cent. To avoid dehydration, and possibly feeling unwell during the flight, start making preparations before you head to the airport. For your skin, use an intensive hydrating face cream the day before, and the day of, your departure, and make sure you moisturise your body skin thoroughly. During the flight, as much as it can be hard to do so for some of us, women should avoid wearing make-up, and men should avoid shaving, both of which can be additionally drying for the skin. During the flight make sure you drink lots of water, minimise alcohol and caffeine intake, and use a facial spritzer regularly. Post-flight, use bath oils if you are able to have a bath, moisturise your skin after showering, and if possible, treat your complexion to a hydrating mask before bed. And if you have the time, treat yourself to an aromatherapy oil massage, which will also help loosen tight muscles and reduce jet lag. And finally, try to push yourself into the time zone of the place that you are travelling to. For example, on a recent trip to Madrid I stayed awake for at least half of the first leg from Sydney to Abu Dhabi which departed at lunchtime, had a midnight supper in the airline lounge, then slept all the way from Abu Dhabi to Madrid overnight arriving early in the morning. And no jet lag on arrival!