BOS to HKG direct // travel outfits + beauty tips for a long flight

packing outfit beauty and travel tips for a long flight
Boohoo cardigan (tassels trimmed), J.Brand "vanity" jeans, Goyard St Louis PM tote

Nick and I recently visited Hong Kong for four nights, starting with my birthday which I was so happy to spend with relatives. My extended family is very small and lives far from us, so I value every moment I get with them. My aunt and uncle treat Nick & I like their own kids, and somehow manage to communicate fluidly with him via gestures and food (and “bai jiu” aka very potent Chinese liquor) despite the language barrier.
airplane travel outfit cathay pacific hong kong lounge
at The Cabin lounge in HKG

For this trip I had the chance to partner with Cathay Pacific, which I used to fly on as a kid with Mom. They have some of the best service and tasty airplane food, which some may think is an oxymoron. I was happy to see Cathay Pacific introduce a direct route between Boston and Hong Kong last year, which is now offered 5 times each week. There are very few direct routes to Asia out of Boston's Logan airport, so historically we've had to first transfer domestically and sometimes again when abroad. The total flight direct was 15 hours, shaving off over a third of our usual travel time there.
cathay pacific business class seats hong kong boston flight

I also wanted to mention this particular route is one of the first flights to arrive into HKG (a big hub for flights throughout the rest of Asia), so passengers can be sure to catch any connecting flights. The departures terminal is full of shopping ranging from designer boutiques to a large Zara to counters for nearly any makeup brand imaginable (all tax free), so it’s rather easy to kill time there.
cathay pacific hong kong wing lounge noodle bar food
noodle bar goodies from The Wing lounge

For those who may be traveling through Hong Kong on business or for pleasure, I wanted to share some quick notes on Cathay Pacific’s business class services and lounges at HKG in case it may be helpful. My favorite lounge was The Wing which houses their noodle bar, amongst several other bars and showers for freshening up. The noodle bowls and bao buns pictured above were very satisfying, and this condiment enthusiast had a field day at the toppings station. We also liked The Cabin lounge, which has a small health bar with fresh fruit beverages plus cubby sofa seats that overlook the tarmac. It's a fairly peaceful spot for catching up on work, and my favorite drink was the "pink dream" smoothie made of watermelon, lychee, and guava (eager to attempt making this at home!).
cathay pacific business classs fruit cheese plate burger
On the plane, there were Western as well as Asian options for each meal. I always opted for the latter, out of which favorites included pretty good dim sum for breakfast and duck noodle soup on the snack menu. Nick sampled the Western snacks like the cheeseburger and fruit & cheese plate - I think that gleeful expression on his face says it all.
cathay pacific business class food hong kong dim sum
breakfast dim sum, congee, rice noodles, milk tea, and roast duck noodle soup snack

I also wanted to share some tips for traveling comfortably on a long flight, and arriving at your destination feeling as refreshed as possible!

- Hydrate regularly and avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine. Since the air on planes can be extremely dry, this is crucial for feeling your best after a long flight. Start hydrating before flying with water or electrolyte-rich beverages, and continue doing so after flying. I average about a cup of water each hour, as it's recommended to drink more on flights than you usually do. Many international flights serve complimentary alcohol, which means a booze fest to some passengers like my husband... however, try to drink limited alcohol and caffeine before and during long flights (I usually have a few sips to help fall asleep) in order to prevent dehydration and the issues that come along with it. Ever since I started enforcing this with myself, I've felt worlds better after a flight, even shorter ones.

- Moisturize thoroughly. Prior to getting dressed before a trip, I make sure to apply moisturizer all over my body. And as some of you saw on Snapchat, after boarding the plane I remove makeup with wipes then break out my "portable spa" to thoroughly moisturize my face, hands and lips. This is the time for your thicker or more intense face creams instead of lightweight ones. I’ll share some of my favorite products another time, but one of the best things I've found for dry and sensitive skin is simply a travel bottle filled with your usual facial lotion mixed with several drops of natural jojoba oil. This oil by itself can also serve as a makeup remover or light lip balm.

- Wear stretchy knits. These are key for comfort, as I usually find my limbs expanding on long flights. I wore a soft wireless bra, loose cotton tee, and black leggings on the flight there and a stretchy knit maxi skirt on the return flight. I changed into black jeans before landing just in case we had to go somewhere where leggings may be too casual.

- Pack layers. Temperatures at the airport and on a plane can change quite a bit, so I always wear long bottoms and bring an oversized top layer. Most long-haul flights have blankets but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

- Bring easy slip-on shoes to fit bloated feet. I take off my regular shoes shortly into a long flight, and lay out either a pair of elasticized ballet flats or rubber flip flops. I guzzle liquids on flights which results in countless bathroom breaks, so easy on/off shoes make things a bit easier!

- (Optional) Pack quality headphones. A pair of good noise-canceling headphones are a treat on long flights. Cathay Pacific actually had a pair for each of our seats, which Nick said were pretty good after I stole his. This was my first time trying Nick’s Bose QuietComfort headphones on properly (I realized with chagrin that I had previously never turned on the noise-canceling switch, thus thought they were just “so-so”) and they were not only super comfy, but also amazing for clear sound quality or just peace & quiet when you wanted it.

- Stretch your legs. Instead of going straight from your seat to/from the bathroom, take your time to stretch standing up and walk up and down the aisle a few times. This is recommended by doctors (in addition to wearing compression socks, which I haven't yet looked into myself) to combat poor circulation and blood clots, which could be worsened by dehydration while flying. If there's a choice, I always pick an aisle seat for easy access.

- Sanitize. Avoid drinking water from the bathroom faucet on airplanes, and brush your teeth with bottled water if available. Carry a travel bottle of hand sanitizer or a small pack of antibacterial wipes if you are extra leery of germs.

- Fight jetlag early on. If possible, start shifting your sleep patterns gradually at home a few days prior to traveling. Set your gadgets to the destination time zone upon boarding the plane, and try to sleep like how you would in destination timing (since planes usually manage the lights and meals based on the origin time zone). I always use an eye mask for a total blackout when sleeping, and sometimes take melatonin, a natural sleep aid available at most drugstores.

- Freshen up before landing. Keep mascara and a good concealer (I'm a big fan of Nars radiant creamy concealer - I use "custard" when lighter or "ginger" when more tan) within easy reach for brightening up your eyes prior to landing. If your hair gets greasy easily, pack a small container of baby powder or starch to sprinkle and brush onto oily roots, or toss hair up into a forgiving style like my favorite 2-minute topknot. Also, we learned the hard way in the past but always carry on at least one outfit suited for your destination, in case checked-in luggage gets lost or delayed.

Thank you Cathay Pacific for partnering on this post! Here's some of my favorite travel tips from above summarized in Pinterest-friendly form:
outfit-and-beauty-travel-tips-for-surviving-a-long-flight

I'd love to hear - what are some of your favorite tips for surviving long flights or journeys? 

54 comments:

  1. I always, always wipe down the armrests, table, entertainment controls, etc with Clorox/Lysol wipes. They get so gross!

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  2. Food looks delicious! Thanks for your travelling tips!!
    Hugs,
    Love from www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

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  3. The flight attendants on Cathay Pacific are sweet and made my last trip very comfortable. My additional tip in three words: portable foldable footrest. You can find them on Amazon. I'm 5'4" with short legs and my feet don't comfortably rest on the floor when I fly. This gadget helps with circulation issues or leg cramps

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    1. After my last international flight I went looking to see if such a product exists. I'm always trying to curl my feet up on the seat because I can't relax with them dangling, but that doesn't work too well. I'm happy to hear a footrest does help!

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    2. That's an excellent tip! I usually use a carryon bag to rest my feet on but that's not ideal since you end up crushing things in your bag when you use it as a footrest! - Trina www.petitestylestudio.com

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  4. these tips are so lovely, thanks for sharing! Next time I'll be on a plane I will definitely drink and moisturize more!
    Fash 'n' fudge
    Fash 'n' fudge

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  5. Love that ASOS petite maxi skirt! I was wondering what size you got it in and whether or not the side slit reveals too much leg for day time :)
    Thanks!

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  6. Great post, I'm going on holiday in 4 weeks and so these tips are great, I completely agree with the point about keeping hydrated. Xxxxx

    https://aklfreebeauty.blogspot.com/

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  7. Talk to me about the fit of the Asos skirt. Is it true to size? Love all of your posts!

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  8. Jean, Did you find the Soludos (either pair) comfy enough for sightseeing? Or just for shorter journeys...like walking to dinner.

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  9. These are some great tips! I actually tend to wear a comfy T-shirt dress while on long flights because when I wear jeans or a skirt, my shirt always scrunches up awkwardly and I can't get the separate pieces to stay put haha. I also always pack a pair of flip flops on the flat outside zip of my suitcase to be used for similar purposes as your ballet flats - I get so grossed out seeing people walk around with bare feet or socks to the bathroom! *shudder*

    Oh, and a nice, light face spray is very refreshing as well!

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  10. Stunning as always!! Get tips. I'm about to go on a long flight next week and could just about use them.

    Meghan | BeyondBasicBlog.com

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  11. Love this post! These are great travel tips and that Cathay Pacific experience looks amazing!

    www.tailoredandtrue.com

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  12. Great tips! I have taken lots of direct flights from NYC to HK and agree with all these tips. Long-haul flights are hard but there are ways to make it easier. Please let us know about the compression socks. I am similar size to you and have never found a suitable pair. With slim calves, it's hard to find socks that actually compress the way they're supposed to. Most are not built for slim calves so they only feel like normal knee-highs to me.

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    1. If you go to a medical supply store, you may be able to find compression socks with a better fit. I had to get them for actual medical reasons, and they carefully measured my calves and ankles to get the right fit.

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    2. Hi there - I'm 5ft 1 inch and 100 lbs and I swear by this Vim&Vigr compression socks in small: http://www.amazon.com/VIM-VIGR-Stylish-Compression-Socks/dp/B00E582IDK?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

      They are very comfy, fit well and I think the girly argyle pattern is cute. :) I originally bought two pairs two years ago and they still work their magic keeping away the swelling and keeping my feet feeling fresh. I like the cotton type (I think they also have nylon). Let me know if you try them!

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    3. I need some compression socks for my long haul to S. Korea in August. I just saw these. Very cute. And a great price!
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Medical-Nurse-Womens-8mmHG-Compression-Knee-Hi-Socks-10-Fun-Designs/400878353962?_trksid=p2045573.c100034.m2102&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131003150253%26meid%3D4f3251e6913e4cb4861bcfce46ee7bd3%26pid%3D100034%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D281669416590

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  13. Thanks for these awesome tips. I'm looking forward to using them on my trip to CA in August.

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  14. Such a good article!
    Love,
    http://thestyleventure.com/2016/05/02/lace-and-a-dress/

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  15. Good tips! I definetly recommend compression socks - I always wear them when I fly since my feet and legs tend to swell. They decrease the swelling since the socks are tight.

    Hope you had an amazing trip!

    xoxo
    Sharan
    www.MyGoldenBeauty.com

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  16. I start using ear plus and eye masks when I am not watching videos or movies. They are not creative new ideas per se but they make a notable difference for resting.

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  17. I, too, am wanting to know more about that ASOS petite maxi skirt. What size did you find fit you best and did it need altering? Please share! xo

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  18. Great tips! Cathay is one of my favorite if I'm traveling to Hong Kong. I never got the chance to fly business class but after seeing the delicious meal options, I should definitely try to get on business class someday!

    -Mei
    Pieces of Mei

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  19. I like the Boohoo cardigan but how did you get the tassles off without them raveling?

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  20. These are awesome tips! I used to travel to Taiwan from California quite often and I literally agree with everything you've said. Stretchy knits and comfy pants are a must; I don't understand how people do it in denim!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

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    Replies
    1. Good point about the denim. This begs the question: what would the guy's travel attire be? Because my husband always wears jeans when traveling by plane.

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  21. Jean, I love the Asos skirt! Which size did you get? I am debating between a 00 and 0

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  22. Really useful tips. Thanks for sharing!
    xx

    http://www.mybeautrip.com

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  23. I loved my time on Cathay Pacific flights. You and Nick are very lucky! XO, Sarah | http://www.thebellainsider.com

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  24. This was informative and gave me travel envy. ;-) Looking forward to your favorite moisturizing products!

    affecionada

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  25. Thank you for the helpful tips, travel guru! The airplane food looks delicious. :P

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  26. I love this grey slouchy tee! Totally an overlooked but essential piece!
    Julia // Little Miss Haute Couture

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  27. How's the fit and quality of the Boohoo cardigan?

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  28. Such a fan of your blog and style. Loved this post as well!

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  29. Your hairstyle is so chic. Is there a link or how-to on it?

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  30. Hi Jean :)
    I've been shopping around for a hard case, carryon sized luggage with wheels and I love the one you have! It looks like it's the perfect combination of functional and chic. What are your thoughts on the Bric's luggage? Worth the splurge?

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    Replies
    1. I travel a lot (over 300k air miles on AA in past 9 months) and the only hard case luggage I use is Rimowa. Salsa Deluxe model. I used to be a soft-case Tumi fan, but once I discovered Rimowa, I'll never buy another brand again.

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  31. The main thing is for long travel that our outfits should be comfortable. if our outfits like clothes, shoes, socks etc are comfortable we can handle everything easily otherwise we feel hard while long journey. you have provide amazing tips here about everything while travel especially about outfits. love your post very much.

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  32. This is such a cool post. I'm going to be traveling with Cathay Pacific on Thursday, this post is getting me all excited for the trip.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

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  33. I'm petite with slim calves also and I travel long-haul flights almost every month from NYC. I never take a flight without my Sockwell compression socks. They come in stylish color combos and don't look like the weird grandma therapeutic kind. You can find them on Amazon.com. Trust me. Once you try them you won't fly without them. Instagram: @liseeinsoho

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip on the Sockwell compression socks. I also have slim calves and although I don't take long flights very often I'm going to pick these up to have on hand.

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  34. Hi Jean! I'm loving the travel posts you've been doing... SF, HK, Charlestown... Giving me so many ideas!

    But I noticed you don't yet have a post summarizing your favourites in your home town Boston! I'll be visiting this summer and would love to get your recommendations!

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  35. Can you do a post about packing? I always seem to have trouble on what to pack, how to pack?

    And a bit unrelated to this post, but can you also do a post on shoe care? Your shoes are always in pristine condition! Would like to learn some tips

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  36. hi Jean, what make up (especially foundation) do you wear when traveling to places with high humidity? last time i went to those places and could not wear my foundation and sunscreen, i was melting. Thanks in advance

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  37. Perfect travelling outfit. Looks so chic but is so simple x
    Jill
    Jill D Blog

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  38. I usually fly coach, so our snack selection usually isn't as good as that delicious looking soup you got! I make sure to pack a small assortment of snacks for a flight as a just in case. Granola bars, nuts, olives and crudites all pack reasonably well.

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  39. Very nice post :) !

    Pauline
    http://lesselfiesdepauline.blogspot.fr

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  40. Thanks for the tips! I'm just about to go to Hong Kong myself, so I immediately started mentally browsing my closet as I read your blog post. Time to find some comfy shoes and find an eye mask to wear!

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  41. I always enjoy reading other people's long flight tips. I've been regularly traveling to Greece and always interested in perfecting the trip. I've yet to try the compression socks but will check out the recommendations found here. Because I can never sleep on flights and prefer to read rather than watch movies I'm thinking of bringing my book light my next trip so as not to disturb other passengers sleep.

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  42. These travel tips are perfect! I also have the same Brics luggage, it's the cuuutest :)

    x Steph
    Blog: Honey & Silk

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  43. I fly the JFK-HKI route all the time with CX. I'm a big fan of their lounges. I love the excellent in flight and services. Travel tips include planning for light luggage and clothes that you can easily wash and functionality is versatile. Get into the zone and take your mind off the actual flight time, by the time you realize it you are arriving to your destination. Don't keep checking the flight path and time to destination.

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  44. Interesting post! great tips!


    http://chicglamstyle.com

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  45. Great tips and just wanted to add one more - for combating jet lag, try the anti-jet lag fast where you fast for 12-16 hours prior to breakfast time at your destination. I recently tried this on a return trip to the US from Asia and have never adjusted so quickly.

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