How to travel in style


I’m not just talking about celebrities here, either: it’s no secret how THEY manage to travel in style – they do it by travelling first class, changing clothes as soon as they board the aircraft, and maybe even having an assistant to style their hair and do their makeup when they land. ANYONE could travel in style under those conditions, couldn’t they?

No, I’m talking about the REGULAR people. The ones you see in the baggage line at the end of a 10-hour flight, still looking as fresh and polished as they did when you caught sight of them boarding the plane. Meanwhile, you’re standing there in clothes that look like you slept in them (because you DID sleep in them…), with bleary eyes and hair that hasn’t seen a comb in 2,000 miles. I’m speaking for myself here, obviously. Just in case you hadn’t guessed, I’m NOT one of the “fresh and polished” people. No, I’m in the other group: and while I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m never going to look like Victoria Beckham or Miranda Kerr, striding through the airport like it’s my own personal runway, over the years I have learned a few things about how to travel in style – well, relative style, anyway. Here they are…

how to travel in style



It’s impossible (for me, anyway) to look stylish when you’re crammed into an economy class seat, with someone repeatedly kicking you in the back for 10 hours, isn’t it? There’s no easy solution to this, but if you can pre-book your seats, you at least have a change of choosing a seat that’s a little more comfortable. Seats with extra-legroom tend to be snapped up first, and are sometimes chargeable, but if you look at the map of the plane you’ll be travelling on, you’ll often find other seats with a bit of extra space. As we don’t have children, ShoeperMan and I will normally look for sections containing just two seats, which are normally at the back of the plane – booking these at least means you don’t have to keep crawling over a complete stranger every time you want to stand up or visit the restroom, and there’ll be slightly more space to stretch out, too. No, it’s never going to beat first class, but travelling in comfort is the first step towards travelling in style. Which brings me to my next point…


When I was a younger, I used to try to emulate celebrities by dressing up for flights. I soon came to realise, however, that the simpler my travel outfit is, the easier it is to keep it looking fresh, and un-rumpled. The key here is to choose fabrics which stretch, and don’t crease too easily: not only will they be more comfortable, they’ll also have a better chance of still looking good once you’ve slept in them.


Just as I used to try to make an effort with my clothes for air travel, I also used to wake up early, in order to apply a full face of makeup before every flight. Contrary to popular opinion, I’ve never found that flying in makeup has damaged my skin, so the main reason I stopped doing this is simply because I realised my makeup just didn’t look great after a long-haul flight – especially if I’d tried to get some sleep during it. I’m a nervous flier (there are some tips on how I deal with my fear of flying here, if you’re interested…), and don’t like walking around the cabin more than I can help it, so I can rarely be bothered to get up and re-apply my makeup, which meant I’d end every flight with flaking mascara and patchy foundation. (This is also why I don’t follow the standard advice to remove your makeup once you’re on board, and slather your face with moisturiser instead – I can never motivate myself to actually do it!)  I’m not going to lie – I do still wear some makeup to travel (I’m far too vain to go completely bare-faced!), but these days I keep it to a minimum, and try to go for things like tinted moisturisers and lip balm rather than full-coverage foundation and matte lipstick.


Air travel is not a friend to hair: mine always ends up both greasy AND static-y by the end of a flight: NOT a good look. To avoid this, I always carry hair ties (or, in my case, spin pins), which I use to put my hair up in a high bun as soon as I get into my seat. That keeps it out of my way during the flight, and when I take it down right before we land, I’ll have big, loose waves, which look a whole lot better than the greasy frizzbomb that would otherwise be my destiny.


Finally, the advice everyone gives, and which I really should be making more effort to follow: you have to stay hydrated. Not only will you feel better when you land, you’ll look better to – so better to have to endure all of those trips to the bathroom, than let yourself get dehydrated!

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