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Just 4 simple tips to make an economy flight feel like you're in business class.

As sisters living on opposite sides of the world for the past five years (now in Sydney and Paris), we’ve become experts in the delicate art of long-haul travel. We love seeing each other regularly and have shared many exotic adventures in locations including Rome, Saint Lucia, New York City and Provence.

As much as we would have liked to do all this jet-setting in the comfort of a private plane or first-class cabin, the real world is a different story. But, as we’ve discovered, travelling cattle class doesn’t have to mean giving up travelling in style.

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There are lots of ways to make a long haul flight feel like an exercise in luxury, and here are some of our best tips:

Pack smart.

The #1 best thing you can do to make your flight more enjoyable is to bring your own amenities kit. Airlines simply don’t give away kits like they used to (even in business class), so make your own to make sure you have everything you need to make the trip more luxurious. Invest in a good quality eye mask. Throw in some good earplugs or headphones to give yourself the best chance of sleeping.

Most importantly, make sure you pack lots of products to help you stay hydrated inside and out before, during and after the flight. A giant bottle of water dosed with Hydralyte is a godsend when you’re flying high. Good hand cream and face moisturiser topped with a spritz of hydrating spray will keep you feeling human. Eye drops are essential for avoiding tired, blood-shot eyes. Apply it all regularly throughout the flight and you’ll feel the difference when you arrive at the other end.

budget airline hacks
A little bit of luxury. Source: Cloud Nine Global.
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Location, location, location.

All seats are most certainly not created equally, so you should think very carefully about your little piece of plane real estate when booking your ticket. Have a look at the seating plan, check out websites like SeatGuru and figure out a strategy. Do you want easy access to the toilets or a seat where you can curl up and not be disturbed? How important is extra legroom?

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If you’re lucky, you’ll swing a flight that’s not full and be able to enjoy the ultimate luxury of one - or even two - spare seats beside you. The best way to make this happen is to be extra nice to the people on the check-in desk at the airport, who usually have a good overview of the seating plan. If peace and quiet is important, steer clear of seats near the gallery (where people love to hang out and chat) or near the front of the cabins, which are a popular choice for families with small children.

Best foot forward.

Everyone knows the longer the flight, the worse the floor gets in the bathroom. By the end of a long-haul journey, the situation can be truly, eye-wateringly grim. So it’s a great idea to bring your own pair of disposable slippers (pinch some from a hotel or keep the ones you get when you go for a pedicure) to use during bathroom visits. It's much easier than squeezing back into your shoes mid-air and far preferable to walking around barefoot or in socks that you want to wear off the plane at the end of the trip.

Treat yourself.

Embrace the idea of turning your flight into a luxury adventure and give yourself a little treat to make the experience feel special. One of the best things you can do is to invest in a cashmere shawl or scarf, which can be used as a blanket or pillow, and will keep you warm when the cabin temperature drops. It's way more comfortable than the blankets provided – and, added bonus, can be used as a clothing accessory at the other end. A little bit of nice perfume or scented oil can be good too, but stick to something very subtle and roll on, such as a diluted lavender oil, to avoid bothering the people around you.

Kate and Ali Lalak have become so skilled at creating amenity kits over the years for themselves (and their friends when they travel) that they decided to turn it into a business, which is how Cloud Nine Global was born. They tested hundreds of beautiful products (tough job) to get just the right mix of items for the ultimate airline travel kit. So if you don’t have time to make your own, pick up a Cloud Nine Global pack for your next flight.

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