With a career that has seen her globetrotting for over two decades, Sophie Falkiner has picked up a few hacks for vacationing in style. The Carousel caught up with the model, host and presenter of Luxury Escape’s & Sydney Weekender, as well as Brand Advocate for Lotte Duty-Free, who shared her six best travel tips for any kind of trip – just in time for your end-of-year escapes!
Best travel tip to pack the perfect suitcase
If you’re a notorious over-packer, Sophie has a few travel tips to help minimise the stress associated with lugging around bulky luggage. And, it all starts with a little strategic pre-plane planning. Resist the temptation to pack a range of accessories, heels, and glam gowns for those “just in case” moments.
Instead, your better option is to build a travel wardrobe based on wearable, multi-functional clothes that suit your itinerary. “For me, that usually includes black pants, jeans, one nice dress, a cossie, gym gear, trainers, sunglasses, a hat, a pair of heels, and something warm. As well as clothes that I can layer depending on the weather and a comfortable yet stylish tracksuit,” says Sophie.
Then, to further maximise your check-in-kilo allowance and make the most of limited luggage space, Sophie suggests filling in all the empty – albeit unexpected spaces – in your suitcase. “I put socks inside all my shoes, and my clutches get filled with other items to make more room.”
Finally, if you hate wasting time searching for clothes in a big suitcase on long trips and trying to work out if they are clean or dirty, Sophie suggests compartmentalising your suitcase with colour-coded bags “I have one for underwear, another for workout gear, a third for swimwear and finally one for dirty clothes – which makes it very time effective to find your belongings quickly.”
Best travel tip for curating the ultimate carry on
Whether you’re packing an overnighter for a short staycation, or just want to be one of those women who effortlessly and elegantly breezes through the check-in process with a light carry-on bag, Sophie has a few travel tips on just what to pack.
“I always take a comfortable cashmere cardigan and scarf in case I get cold on board. I also take a change of clothes and underwear as you never know when your bag might go missing! It’s good to have a backup.” Also on Sophie’s list are a number of size-compliant, carry onboard toiletries, “packed in ziplock bags to avoid spillage!”
If your trip is long, and your tolerance for noisy environments is short, Sophie’s solution is to travel with a silk eye mask and noise-cancelling earphones, which can mask the sound of a screaming toddler and help you sleep.
“Alongside my laptop, a good book is also a must, says Sophie. “I also never forget my international adapter plus, a mini Bose speaker, as I love to listen to music in my room, with great sound quality when I arrive.”
Best travel tip to beat the boredom on a long-haul flight
If you’re looking to keep your kids occupied or need a little entertainment yourself, then it’s time to make onboard entertainment your BFF (or bring your own personal device).
“I like learning while I’m flying and using my time effectively. So on a long haul flight, I’ll watch movies that have been on my list, catch up on reading great books, or listen to Audible when my eyes are tired, and I’m too tired to turn pages”, says Sophie. She counts Ted Talks and the Brene Brown series among her favourites.
“I also rely on meditation apps to help me relax before sleeping,” she adds. “However, a sneaky glass of bubbles or two and a great conversation if I’m travelling with work colleagues, partner or family is also wonderful!”
Best travel tip for Summer holiday skincare
Did you even go on a trip if you didn’t stock up on all of the duty-free skincare, makeup and fragrances before you flew out?
“I love adding duty-free shopping to my itinerary,” says Sophie. “It’s so fun to take my time to get into the holiday spirit, enjoy the process and pick up some of my favourite products. Doing this has been so much easier since Lotte Duty Free opened in the CBD, because I can shop at my own leisure before I fly as opposed to rushing at the airport.”
Among the skincare essentials that Sophie has been known to stock up on are, “a great SPF, Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream and a fabulous facial oil to really hydrate your skin on long flights. I’m currently using Noni Face Glow Oil from Kora Organics.”
“I also always pack a fold-out mirror with lights with a magnifying section. You’d be surprised at how many hotels have dark lighting in bathrooms, and It’s a pet peeve when you can’t see properly and your makeup looks like you should be in the circus! And finally, my Omnilux LED face mask works wonders for tired, dehydrated skin.”
Best tip for beating jet lag and keeping well
Whether it’s a case of Bali Belly or the lousy feeling of jetlag, nothing is guaranteed to get your trip off to a slower start than arriving at your destination sick and tired.
“No matter how exhausted I am, I always try to stay up till 8pm in the new time zone, before going to bed, so I can sleep straight through,” says Sophie. “If I arrive during the day, I put on my sneakers and go for a super long walk. Getting physically tired after sitting for long periods on a plane, helps me get a good night’s sleep, while sunshine really helps me re-acclimatise quickly. However, a strong coffee also never goes astray!”
And while a change of environment means that travel illness is not always completely avoidable, Sophie has a few strategies in place to keep the doctor away.
“I take Hydralyte tablets in my water bottle, while on the plane. I also, always take liquid vitamin C and zinc, plus a vitamin D spray, which is great for immunity, while I travel”
Best tip for keeping fit without access to your regular gym
No gym? No drama. It’s still possible to keep fit and healthy when you travel. You just need to get a little creative with your workouts.
“Long walks are always my first port of call,” says Sophie, who also packs Therabands in her suitcase to make it easier than ever to squeeze in a quick resistance and stretch session in her hotel room.
“Otherwise, there are some great tutorials on YouTube. Check out the Pilates 21-day challenge, they range in time from 10-45 minutes, so there is no excuse for doing nothing!” she says.