Front Roe: Louise clocks up more air miles
Having flown on 29 planes since April this year, Louise is looking forward to her own bed but while she is still in transit, she reveals her top tips for make travelling an easier, chicer and cheaper affair.
I'm quite looking forward to being in one place for more than a week. Sleeping in the same bed for more than a couple of nights and actually unpacking my suitcase instead of living out of it!
Not that I don't appreciate all the travel I get to do with my job, it's an incredible experience and privilege to see so many awesome cities. But I worked out that since April, I've been on 29 planes. I'm writing this from one right now. So, on the one hand, my Virgin Atlantic air miles are probably enough to make George Clooney's character in Up In The Air jealous, but on the other hand, I'm going through flight socks faster than make-up these days. I have, however, managed to pick up a few tips and tricks along the way, to make travelling an easier, chicer and cheaper affair.
So here goes...
Before the flight: drink as much water as possible, and a couple of glasses of coconut water, which you can get at most supermarkets. Believe it or not, coconut water is more hydrating than regular water, and full of electrolytes, which give you energy and a vital boost your immune system (it's quite gross if you count how many people splutter and sneeze around you on the flight!).
Do some yoga stretches or go for a brisk walk before you leave the house: this makes such a difference to how much your feet and ankles swell up on board. And actually, I mentioned them before, but flight socks also help with avoiding cankles.
On board, I take a baby bottle of Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair face serum, and apply it every few hours. It's like giving your skin a drink, without the greasiness of thick gloopy moisturiser, plus the container is only 30ml so it gets through security no probs.
A cashmere beanie from Madeleine Thompson is the cosiest thing of all time to put on your head. No matter where I'm travelling from or what I wear, I always somehow sit shivering on the plane, so the hat keeps me warm and I yank it down over my eyes to help me sleep.
Tasmina Perry's latest novel, Private Lives, is another must-have for any trips this summer. It's sitting next to me as I write, and is a corker. I picked it up at the airport with pride, because Tasmina was one of my first bosses, when we both worked at In Style magazine a few year's back. I was a wide-eyed wet-behind-the-ears features assistant, and she took me under her wing, gave me career advice I shall be forever grateful for, and we're still good friends today. I sort of want to wave her book in my hand and scream 'I know her!' in the queue at WH Smith's every time her latest blockbuster is published.
Next up, and this is probably my greatest online find ever, before you book anything, register (for free) with tablethotels.com. Everyone I've recommended this site to, has become hooked, just like me. In a nutshell, the company guarantees the lowest online hotel rates available, you can search by hotel or city name, and best of all, the people there have impeccable taste. They cherry-pick the places so you'll only find chic boutique hotels, or bigger 5* properties - there's nowhere on there that your most diva-like friend wouldn't love. It's better to book last minute, but Tablet has over 2000 hotels in over 100 countries, so it's saved me on many trips.
Like the time I had to spend nine nights in New York recently and almost had a heart attack imagining how much that would cost. I ended up in a 5* Thompson property called Gild Hall, which I'd never heard of before, hidden away in the Financial District. The rates vary along your stay but for me during that week, it averaged around $100USD per night, and because Tablet has such good relationships with its hotels, I got upgraded to the penthouse suite! There I was prancing around my very own living room and dining room over looking Lower Manhattan, for the equivalent of 60 quid a night. That's insane! Incidentally, if anyone's off to the Big Apple any time soon do check out Gild Hall, it has the feel of a modern gentleman's club crossed with a ski chalet, an unexpectedly cool vibe for an area surrounded by bankers.
Last but not least - and back to the plane - I swear by Valerian Root, a natural supplement to help you sleep. I hate taking powerful sleeping pills as they always make me feel groggy as soon as you land, but this stuff seems to wear off after a few hours with no after-effects, but it sends you off to the land of nod pretty fast. And I've just swallowed one, so I'm off to Zzzzz.
What did you think of the Duchess of Cambridge's red outfit on day 1 of the royal tour?
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- Just lovely - like a modern-day Jackie O
- She looked nice enough - if not a little like an air stewardess!
- Yawn - all her outfits look the same
- Not great - here's hoping she steps up her style game