Lifestyle » Vol. 55

Travel: How to prepare for a weekend getaway

By Laura Hutcheson, Virgin Atlantic

Did you know that Americans are notorious for not taking all of their vacation days? According to a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off, more than half (55 percent) of Americans didn’t take all their vacation days in 2015, up from 42 percent in 2013. In fact, Americans are forfeiting $61.4 billion in benefits as a result of not taking their days off.

So, if your New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to take all your vacation days, here are some tips to help you prepare for a weekend getaway.


Minimalism sells sophistication. Pack light in a carry-on so you can quickly whisk yourself away upon landing in your destination. Choose simple clothes that can be mixed and matched together, or layered, and use accessories like hats and scarves to add that little touch of flair.

Leave your beauty products at home. If you’re flying in certain cabins, such as Virgin Atlantic›s Upper Class, you’ll receive an on-board amenity kit with luxurious beauty products such as Rituals Cosmetics face and hand creams and lip balms, as well as a toothbrush and toothpaste. Leave your traditional beauty products at home and take advantage of the on-board offerings instead, saving you room in your carry-on bag.

Power down. Before you even set foot onto a plane, make sure to turn off your mobile devices so that you slowly wind down and prepare to rest on the flight. Those precious hours on-board can be used for relaxation and prep for the trip ahead.


Sleep in style. Take advantage of the sleep suits that airlines such as Virgin Atlantic offer for overnight flights, allowing you to relax in comfortable attire without wrinkling your travel clothes. This comfy outfit will be bound to bring on the zzzz’s!

Still awake? Since you’ve powered down your mobile devices, enjoy the meals and drinks onboard and explore the new movies, music and shows your in-flight entertainment system may offer.

Keep your glass half full. It’s really tempting to have a few cocktails onboard, but resist the urge. Instead, drink water before, during and after your flight to help keep jet-lag at bay, particularly during a long flight. Try and drink at least 2 liters of water to arrive refreshed and ready to kick-start your day.

Crews know best and so do your seatmates. Before you land, ask your fellow passengers and onboard crew for tips on the best places to eat, drink and visit. Traveling is always an adventure, so why not ask your onboard crew, who are weekend traveling warriors, or chat with your seatmate to gain some helpful insights.

Stay open-minded: A long weekend is always a whirlwind trip. While you may not be able to see everything that’s on your check list, make a list of your top three “must go” sights, activities and restaurants/bars. Visit these hot spots, but keep your eyes and ears open to new adventures on the way because you never know what may be waiting for you once you start exploring!

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