It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey – or at least that’s how the adage goes. And although it is true that a poolside slumber in the depths of Tulum or a walk through the paddy fields of Laos are divine, otherworldly experiences, the trip to get there can also play its part in the highlights reel. After all, a long-haul flight offers a respite and a cocoon away from the incessant pinging of your smartphone, your to-do list, and your worries (at least for half a day or so).
Indeed, the current first-class experience has never been more opulent – from private suites fit for a luxury hotel to gourmet meals served on Wedgwood china – yet it must be said that there is a certain toll one must take when running up the airmails and crossing myriad timezones. The initial part of the journey may be seemingly manageable, even pleasurable, especially when the in-flight entertainment kicks in, but soon you will have to cope with the deficient ventilation quality, the irksome blaze of the cabin lights, and the inevitable surliness that comes with jet lag.
So, to make sure that your next excursion is plane sailing and that you arrive on the runway in your finest form, we’ve compiled a tightly edited selection of travel essentials for you to invest in now.
Remember to soften up with your style
Let’s start with your flight armour. With hours of sedentary inactivity ahead of you, it’s best to avoid tight-fitting, body-hugging, rigid clothing, as this will only hamper your blood circulation – so that means circumventing denim and heavy-duty canvas and instead opting for softer materials with a degree of stretch, such as cotton and cashmere.
This pair of sweatpants from Uniform Standard, the purveyors of menswear essentials, is made from 100 per cent organic cotton, allowing for maximum comfort, and the straight fit and dark-navy tone gives it a sophisticated, elevated feel. As a never-fail base layer, grab a Sunspel T-shirt and pack an extra in your bag (we often go for the white and archive white options) when you want a refresh during arduous, never-ending flights – an icon of menswear style since the last century, the label’s hero piece draws in praise for its featherweight, breathable Californian Supima cotton that ties together any ensemble due to its pared-back aesthetic. And, given that you want to recline and relax when mid-air, you’re probably not going to be wearing lace-ups the whole time; so, to keep your footwear department looking respectable, we suggest these luxe cashmere socks from New & Lingwood.
Uniform Standard cotton fleece sweatpants
Sunspel classic T-Shirt
New & Lingwood cashmere socks
It'll pay to plug in and tune out
Those easy-breezy, suited-and-booted, jet-setting photos of Frank Sinatra et al evoke a golden-age of globetrotting – an era replete with champagne in the clouds and sojourns to unknown corners of the world. Yet, such images fail to record some of the more abhorrent aspects of travel, whether that be the howls and wails from the next aisle’s offspring, the unrelenting hum of the engine, or the spotlight-style blaze from your fellow passenger’s reading light.
To soundproof your inflight experience, drown out the hoi polloi with Bang & Olufsen’s noise-cancelling H95 headphones. Offering crisp soundscapes, it fits snugly over the ear, features five levels of noise-cancellation, and one charge can last up to 50 hours, which is plenty for a round-trip from London to Singapore. For total deprivation from your surrounds, slip this silk eye mask by Derek Rose into your carry-on (an upgrade on the prickly, lightweight options offered by airlines). And, to make sure your Qi-enabled devices have plenty of juice to power your Netflix-binging (which will hopefully alleviate your vexation and ennui), consider Mophie’s pocket-friendly, wireless powerstation.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H95
Derek Rose eye mask
Mophie Powerstation Plus Wireless 8K
Revive and refresh with some in-flight grooming
An aircraft’s environment is often a hellbroth, as the air within is incessantly recirculated, meaning that, on the whole, the atmosphere is bereft of moisture, leaving your skin dry and dull. Moreover, a long-stint within a poky, stale cabin can only mean that a slight refresh in the fragrance department is necessary. So, if you’re meeting an esteemed client or business partner at the other end of your journey, or if you simply want to hit the tarmac feeling a little more humane, we have a few suggestions to help you nix any grooming issues.
For a refresh, try Byredo’s kit of miniature fragrances, which features a trio of 12ml glass vials that you can choose yourself, from Rose of No Man’s Land, a rounded, sweet smell featuring Turkish rose petals and raspberry blossom, to Blanche, whose floral profile will bring to mind fresh sheets and spring in bloom. Better still, a minimal number of sprays will go a long way, meaning that the spritzes will last for a decent number of trips, despite their pocket-friendly size. With top notes of bergamot, mandarin and lime, Floris’s Cefiro deodorant stick will keep things in check. And Aesop’s misting hydrator, made with rose petal and chamomile bud, offers a hit of revival to the skin.
Byredo La Sélection
Floris Cefiro deodorant stick
Aesop immediate moisture facial hydrosol