Getting there is only half the problem. What do you wear? Eat? Drink? Seven world travelers talk.
By Frances Rogers Little
Photographed by Manuela Pavesi Photo Editor: Judith White
They don't always fly first‑class, but they do fly often, racking up travel tips the way most of us do bonus miles. Drink water. Use moisturizer. Order the diet plate. Skip the cocktails. Keep dollars in one coin purse and deutsche marks in another. When it comes to clothes, the idea is to be comfortable but not frumpy‑i.e., watch out for the sensible‑shoes syndrome. "I'm not a sneaker person," says Ann Jones, wife of British rock star Mick Jones. "Too vain." She wears Doc Marten boots instead, which look funky and feel great even when her feet swell. Photographer Mary Ellen Mark swears by black leather Beatle boots, which she wears with both pants and skirts. Opera singer Patricia Schuman likes the versatility of a chunky‑heeled oxford.
Some women have sleeping styles. Schuman, who needs to be rested for rehearsals, takes half a sleeping pill and uses night shades for long transatlantic flights. "I wake up when we arrive. It's wonderful," she says. Shorter flights mean shorter naps, but Jeanne Beker, host of the Toronto‑based Fashion Television (shown in the United States on VH‑l), always gets hers in. On early-bird shuttles to New York City, she reserves a cold plate in advance, dozes through the breakfast service, and then rings for her meal as she's coming to. Says Beker, "When they make that final-descent announcement is when the makeup bag comes out."
At 30,000 feet, the best makeup is moisture, whether in the form of lip gloss and nasal cream or skin lotion and an Evian spritzer. Jones likes a moisturizer called Dr. Grandel's Hydro‑Lipid. "It sprays on and has no oil in it," she says. Beker finds that disposable contact lenses dehydrate the eyes less than regular ones. "And you can wear them for a week without taking them out."
None of these women can afford a flying phobia, although a few are in the habit of carrying talismans. Designer and artist Maria Snyder brings a Byzantine cross, a gift from her parents. Mary Ellen Mark wears a Ganesha, the Indian god of wisdom and good fortune, on a silver chain around her neck. Jones, who survived a plane crash when she was 11, conquered her fear directly: She took flying lessons. Reports of poorly ventilated cabins and TB infections don't rattle her. "I just turn off that air thing above the head, and I'm as happy as a clam."
Mary Ellen Mark
"For photography, you want to wear clothes that don't overcome what you're doing," says Mark. Men's vest and sweater by Rei Kawakubo for Commes des Garçons Homme Plus. Pants by Rei Kawakubo for Commes des Garçons. Boots by Free Lance.
Photographer Mark thinks of travel and work as inseparable. How she dresses for an assignment in Calcutta is how she dresses for the flight home: in dark colors and loose‑fitting pants and knit tops, her long, wiry hair restrained in a single braid. Like many professional observers, she cultivates anonymity, but not at the expense of style. "I'm addicted to Japanese designers," she says, finding their clothes to be "classic and modern at the same time." Mark, who's used to shouldering around her Leica, likes bags that free up her hands: a canvas tote that converts to a backpack and, for valuables, a leather waist pouch. Into that goes her most prized beauty tool‑a Koh‑l‑Noor wooden comb for her flyaway mane.