For me, my holiday starts with the flight and I really do look forward to the journey itself. Obviously this is enhanced greatly the higher up the class system of cabin I am in, and the little goodie bags in business and above filled with treasures have me Christmas-excited!! But I also have a checklist of things that I always take which make the holiday really get off to a flying (no pun intended!) start!
A – Aesop Jet Set Kit – I love this handy kit which includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body butter and all come in 50ml sizes which are hand luggage friendly. They are also produced using natural ingredients like geranium and orange rind so they smell good enough to eat.
B – Bagllerina ballet pumps – These oh so soft leather ballet pumps fold neatly in half and fit into their own leather pouch so you can avoid dirty feet while stretching your legs around the cabin.
C – Cashmere socks – bit of a cliché on an in-flight checklist but so much better than cold toes and they really are sooo cosy. I like the White Company ones.
D – Dental kit – I always take this kit by Go Smile away with me – it contains a toothbrush plus two different aromatherapy enriched toothpastes, one to give you a boost in the morning and the other to relax you in the evening, and all within an airport friendly see through pouch.
E – Evian Facial Spray – water is as good for the outside of the skin as it is for inside and just a couple of spritz’s of this light mist hydrate your skin and freshen you up in an instant.
F – Food – if like me you hate economy in-flight food (obviously the 3 course a la carte in business is far nicer!), you may want to take some snacks of your own. Processed and then microwaved to death meals don’t really appeal so I tend to take nuts, cereal bars and dried fruit which means you don’t have to start eating the complimentary pretzels and undoing all of your pre-holiday bikini prep.
G – Ginger Flight Therapy – another must-have from our friends at Aesop – this roll on for the neck, temples, wrists and behind the ears gives a sensory lift to weary travellers.
H – Hand cream – I like the travel size Cow Slip Soothing Hand Cream by Cowshed – it is citrusy, non greasy and keeps my newly manicured hands in tip top condition.
I – who can live without an iPhone? For listening to holiday playlists, taking photos, playing Sudoku, the map – as well as all the actual phone functions of course!
J – When you arrive somewhere hot, really intense perfumes can be a bit too overwhelming so I prefer light and floral scents. For me, Jo Malone’s English Pear and Freesia perfume is perfect.
K – Having discovered the Kindle, I would never go back to carting books on holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I love the feel of a book but as a holiday essential, you can’t beat a Kindle. Lightweight, portable, and holds all your holiday reading in one place.
L – Lip balm – dry cracked lips do not look very attractive on arrival at your destination so make sure they are kissable even after a long flight. We like Bobbi Brown’s – with SPF 15 so you can wear it in the sun too.
M – REN’s Mayday Mayday Rescue Balm – this little tube works wonders on very dry skin – use it on your face, lips, elbows, knees, wherever you need extra hydration or to soothe irritation.
N – Notebook –I like the Smythson range of notebooks to record my holiday memories. I know that the online world is the future but you can’t beat a good old fashioned handwritten journal. Go for the ones engraved “Places to Remember” or “Travels & Experiences” to jot down your holiday secrets.
O – Ooh la lift from Benefit - this cream provides an instant under eye boost for any sleep-deprived eyes.
P – Pants – leggings, tracksuit bottoms, PJ bottoms – whichever style you go for, a pair of comfy pants is guaranteed to help you relax. If you are in First class and get the free ones, even better but for everyone else, it is more a case of BYO.
Q-Tips or as we call them in the UK, cotton buds – for last minute mascara touch ups.
R – Rescue Remedy – for slightly nervous flyers like me but who don’t want to resort to pill popping or hard liqueur, this stuff is fantastic. It contains different plant extracts which reduce stress, so that turbulence goes unnoticed.
S – Suitcase – all that faffing to see whether your bag fits within the luggage rack and the embarrassment when it invariably gets stuck! Samsonite do a range of stylish cabin-sized bags which are lightweight and best of all, fit into any overhead locker.
T – Travel wallet – I am very particular about keeping all my travel documents together. I hate people who lose their boarding pass or passport at the gate and have sworn never to be one of them. Also I keep print outs of all the bookings I’ve made in advance – hotels, restaurants etc. I love the Aspinal range as they have a variety of colours and textures.
U – Underwear – the missing luggage situation is always super annoying, but it is helped a tiny bit if you have a few essentials in your hand luggage to see you through the first day – I always carry an underwear set for this eventuality.
V – Vuitton, Louis – these city guides are my favourites as they cover culture, food, nightlife, accommodation and shopping with a blend of luxury and off the beaten track hidden gems, so you can find whatever you are in the mood for.
W – White Company cashmere shawl – huge, cosy, warm, triples up as a blanket or pillow on the flight or a scarf if your destination is unexpectedly chillier than where you set off from.
X/Y/Z – the best thing to get on your flight are some Zzz’s so you arrive fresh and ready to fend off any jet lag.