Savvy travel tips – from a woman who knows


We’re huge, huge fans of Boringdon Hall’s Gaia Spa, in the historic hotel on the fringes of Dartmoor. We’re also huge, huge fans of Diane Nettleton, the hotel’s owner and the visionary behind the spa, who spends quite a lot of her time on the road, keeping up to speed with trends in wellness to bring back to Boringdon.

So when we read Diane’s travel tips in the magazine that the hotel just published – a stunning read, packed with interesting features (gin, beekeeping, beauty – what’s not to love about that?), we asked if we could share them with our Beauty Bible readers. Wise words indeed.

To find out more about the Gaia Spa, visit – and do read our review, here. Meanwhile, Diane's travel secrets.


Says Diane: ‘In the last four years I have been fortunate enough to travel in my pursuit of wellness both personally and for Gaia Spa. Whenever or wherever you travel, travel is always disruptive. You are away from home, away from routine and in other people’s hands.’

1. Enjoy the journey! You have paid for a service so make the most of it. If I am flying long haul I will enjoy a glass of champagne in the departure lounge. I like to dress smart but of course comfort is essential. I usually take a pashmina, clothes to wrap yourself in, socks you can walk around the plane in and headphones to listen to songs I would listen to at home in bed.

2. Sit back. You are not in control. Let others look after you. There is no use worrying about arrival time, connections, collecting your luggage. Just enjoy the journey. I eat mindfully only foods I recognise, natural and easy to digest; and of course, drink plenty of water. I avoid caffeine because as well as being dehydrating the caffeine is too stimulating.

3. Keep favourite products close by. I take my Gaia Sleep Balm to rub on my temples and wrists. The lavender calms and soothes and is relaxing whatever time of the day. Essential oils are so important for the senses and can help in all aspects of life benefiting the mind and body. I like to use a spritzer on flights to keep hydrated and the smell always uplifts my mood. The Gaia toner with rose and geranium balances, soothes and calms. As the cabin prepares for landing I will use my toner then apply a few drops of serum to moisturise before applying some tinted moisturiser and an application of lip balm to arrive looking refreshed.

4. Try to quickly adjust to your destination’s time zone. It can be hard when travelling long distances, but I set the scene for daytime and night time to try and adapt to the time. It can be difficult to sleep but I find by just relaxing and not worrying about deep sleep you can arrive refreshed.

5. Catch up. I use the time travelling to catch up on magazine articles, films I haven’t watched and listen to music.

6. Keep calm. I love to look at the sky. Nature is very important to me and being in the sky puts life in perspective. I love to gaze down and try to work out where we are in the world. You can see people getting on with their lives. On my return from a trip to Australia a few years ago after a fabulous holiday in the sunshine it was comforting to fly back over Yorkshire and see snow on the ground and know that you are back in your home country.

7. Seize your time. If I am ever delayed I try and use the time wisely, not get frustrated or stressed, in times like this I turn to breathing techniques to keep calm. I use my yoga breathing to change my mood and make me feel better.

8. Make yourself at home. I unpack, have magazines by my bed, relax, have a bath and acclimatise in my new surroundings. I always have peppermint tea at night and plan my next day. I’ve had some great views and sometimes I like to sleep with the curtains open if there is a city view.

 9. Do some yoga. Yoga has become increasingly important to me and I would always take advantage of a class in a hotel or if I am somewhere for a longer period will seek out a local class that I can attend. Alternatively, I am happy to practice in my room with some stretches or just legs up the wall a restorative position allowing the mind and body to relax.

10. Of course, the final point when travelling: have a spa treatment! I love to visit the spa whether for inspiration or for a treat; to help with lymphatic drainage, jet lag or just pure indulgence!