When the latest rock star lands at Heathrow there’s little talk of jet lag, no signs of a struggle with the bags and no hint of them having to remove almost all of their clothing just to be able to get through the airport scanners. They’re ‘papped’ looking uber-glamorous, sporting the latest Jimmy Choos (no we couldn’t walk on those shiny airport floors without falling over either) and leaving us all just a tiny bit envious that they’ve probably had more sleep than us despite being on a 10 hour flight. Of course first class cabins are equipped with flatbeds and enough staff to keep even the most demanding diva happy but, with the average holiday budget not stretching to tens of thousands of pounds, how can we make our best efforts to ensure a rock star arrival on our next trip?
Don’t drink alcohol
Yes it’s a holiday and it really does start the moment you wake up that day but drinking at 10,000 feet has a doubly dehydrating effect on the body. Not only will it make jet lag worse (if you’re flying long distance) it will also have a bad effect on your skin. On an average day you should aim to drink 1-2 litres of water so bear this in mind when travelling. Whilst water is free on board it’s handy to have a bottle in your bag to avoid having to keep asking for little cups of water from the cabin staff. To help with the dehydrating effect of flying, ladies should also remove make up and either spritz their face with a refreshing hydrator or with a light moisturiser. Adding a touch of powder and some lip gloss and whacking on those shades before making your entrance through arrivals will ensure you ooze glamour…now where’s that arrival glass of Champagne?
Wear sensible clothing
If you’re lucky you’re likely to be on board your flight for a while. It may be raining when you leave, chilly at times on board and hot on arrival so how can you possibly dress for all weathers?
- Layers – add a scarf and a cardigan which can be tucked away easily in hand luggage
- Ladies should opt for flat shoes which can easily be carried and swapped for sandals on arrival
- Grab a blanket. On long haul flights there should be a blanket and pillow for every passenger but it’s worth requesting one if not readily available upon boarding to ensure you don’t miss out
- Beware of creases – it’s best to avoid linen if you don’t want to arrive looking like a wrinkled old sheet. Go for loose cotton and timeless soft denim for minimal creasing and maximum comfort.
Pack a ‘good morning’ kit
An hour before landing take some time out to freshen up. A little toothbrush and toothpaste, a small deodorant and some facial wipes will make you feel like it’s the start of a whole new day (even if you’ve not slept a wink due to the man sat behind you with the pointy knees digging in your back all night). This is also a good time to make sure you’ve stretched your legs. On a long haul flight you should find a series of ankle and leg exercises to keep you moving whilst on board, complete the routine to wake up tired limbs.
Pay for priority baggage
If there’s an option to get your bags offloaded and on the baggage belt first then take it, less time spent at the airport means less stress. Depending on your onward arrangements, it also means you should be able to hop straight into a taxi, or at least join a shorter queue! For the smoothest transition team a priority bag tag with a private transfer where a driver will be waiting for you with an air conditioned car and prior knowledge of exactly where you’re going. Not only will it mitigate any nervousness about unknown costs or off road journeys, it will ensure you swish past the crowds and into your very own blacked out vehicle – very rock n roll.
Ensure everything is prepared for your arrival
The last thing you’ll want to do when you arrive is schlep to the shops to stock up on essentials particularly if you’re travelling independently. Many operators will provide additional support which can include everything from a welcome hamper, ensuring you can pop the cork on the Champagne as soon as you get the keys to your holiday home, to a personal chef to cook you dinner on your first evening. Orientation tours are also a good idea, particularly if a local host knows the owner of the best restaurant in town and can guarantee you a spot there on Saturday night. Not only will a tour familiarise you with the local area, it may also throw up a few hidden gems which the tourist book didn’t tell you about.
Claire Allen is Head of Marketing at Abercrombie & Kent Villas .