Top 10 Travel Essentials

Top 10 Travel Essentials

Experienced travel writer Christabel Milbanke gives the low-down on the top 10 travel essentials she can't live without.

  1. Avene Thermale Spring Water

I absolutely adore this multi-purpose refreshing spray which uses the power of pure water to instantly hydrate your skin and relax your face. 

A highly soothing anti-irritant - this spray is vital on flights where dryness and airborne bacteria can cause the skin to be irritated or break out in rashes or spots. And as we know, moisture is the key to not getting wrinkles...

It is also incredibly useful in places where perhaps clean water is an issue, perhaps you have been sandblasted in the 4 x 4 and need to clean your face. Spray on, wipe off. Amazing, and chemical free too. It is available in two sizes with a mini spray perfect for your hand bag or carry-on bag ready for beauty emergencies or to simply destress.

2. Klorane Oatmilk Dry Shampoo


Klorane dry shampoo has been a lifesaver for me on one too many occasions. Picture me rushing around the airport looking like a hot mess, before spraying this instantly uplifting wondercure and blasting away all the depressing damp limpness - only to leave behind a pleasant fresh scent.

It not only looks like you have washed your hair, but it takes on a unique volume and soft texture that is hard to recreate without it.

This, very special, dry shampoo is enriched with nourishing extract of oat milk that moisturises, softens and protects your hair and of course it is hypoallergenic and paraben-free, which I find very important. Everyone should educate themselves on the dangers of commercial shampoo and conditioner brands that contain cancer causing chemicals, and switch to hair products that are naturally safe. 

This is also available in two sizes, 150 ml and the mini 50ml for the plane and even has a non-aerosol version. The mini is perfect for busy bees and frequent fliers, although more expensive, it far out performs popular brands like Baptiste and is well worth it.

3. Tissue Masks

Chrissy Teigen travelling in style with her tissue sheet mask.

Chrissy Teigen travelling in style with her tissue sheet mask.

This is one of the top travel tips I can offer. During my travels I have been known to apply these wet tissue masks on planes, trains and automobiles.. suffering stares from strangers for the super- hydrated healthy glow you achieve. But, whatever... it's miraculous. After popping one on for a mere 30 mins, and often falling asleep wearing it, I end up looking more fresh faced stepping off the plane than when I stepped on. 

The latest Asian beauty treatment that has made its way over here, they have been all over Instagram for a while now and I'm a big fan of the Garnier Moisture Bomb masks which you can pick up for a few pounds and the 24 carat gold gel masks that you can pick up on Amazon. I can't wait to try some of the more expensive brands out there.

4. Optrex Actimist Eye Spray

This eye spray is superb, as a contact lens wearer my eyes can get quite dry, especially on long-haul flights. One pray on closed eyes, makes for instant relief. As well as stabilising the eye’s lipid layer the solution also moisturises the skin around your eye area with Vitamin B12.  The Optrex Actimist spray comes in a 10ml bottle. Easy peasy, and you don't even have to mess around with an eye dropper.


Recently I was flown by small plane from location to location every single action packed day, with a hugely limited baggage allowance. These were absolutely marvellous, as I am hugely reliant on vitamins and supplements to keep my energy levels up and my health in check. I just snapped off as many days as I needed, saving me so much weight than if I had brought all the vitamin bottles. 

VITL sell every day essential monthly vitamin packs, but as I am constantly flying I use the secret 'frequent flier' pack which is popular with air hostesses. Click here and use the promo code 'FLIGHT' to add this secret pack to your basket along with a £10 discount.

6. Twist & Spritz Atomiser

This is another major game-changer when it comes to strategic packing. Now no matter if I am isolated in an African bush camp or socialising in a spontaneous trip to South of France with nothing but my trusty portmanteau - I still can and will smell utterly fabulous. 

This aircraft friendly atomiser stores your favourite perfume in a small un-smashable, stylish container. My favourite bottles of Chanel No 5 and Opium no longer need weigh down my suitcase risking breakage, yes! And apparently choosing your own perfume can double your sexual attraction. – Who knew.

7. Phizz

It says its for those who live a busy lifestyle but with the tagline 'Play, Travel, Work' we all know what this new Swiss rehydration forumla is for. Yes, its the best hangover cure since you stole your sick niece's Dioralyte. A heady mix of glucose, vitamins and minerals it successfully replenishes your electrolytes while making you look like a professional getting ready for a hard days work, rather than a drunk trying to cover their tracks the next morning. 

That being said, they are actually really great when travelling or zipping around from meeting to meeting. And they don't taste as awful as Alka Seltzer. Apparently they were modelled on the World Health Organisation's rehydration formula, so Phizz is, actually, quite a professional bit of kit.

8. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

Don’t forget your lip balm! Lip dryness is such a common side effect of flying. Make sure you don't end up with sore cracked lips on your travels and reapply every hour.

9. Melatonin

Prescription only Melatonin is great for combatting jet-lag, helping you to ‘reset’ your sleep cycle and reduce the symptoms of jet-lag. Drop by the Travel Clinic at Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic and one of the GPs would be happy to advise you according to your current health, flight times and the time-zone of your destination.

10. Stress Relief tablets and Arnica

If you are a nervous flier, you may consider taking some natural stress relief tablets or the natural internal healing Arnica which can help your body and mind deal with shock. For serial nervous fliers I recommend taking Arnica daily for a couple of weeks before your flight in preparation. The staff at Chelsea Pharmacy on Sloane Avenue are always on hand to offer recommendations ahead of flights.

For more advice, vaccinations, immunisations and anti-malarials don't forget to drop by the Travel Clinic at Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic, open 7 days a week until late!

Follow Christabel on her travels : @thelondonjournalist

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