10 Flight Attendants Share Their Best Luggage and Packing Tips

10 Flight Attendants Share Their Best Luggage and Packing Tips

It can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare to pack before flying somewhere.

Exactly what do you need to pack? And what’s the best way to pack, so you don’t end up looking like a fool at the airport?

To find out just how to pack, we have talked with 10 flight attendants and asked them to share their best luggage and packing advice.

Read on and learn from their best tips and tricks (all 10 have years of experience, so they know what they are talking about!).


The 10 Flight Attendants


Carrie Bradley
I’m from the UK and I used to live in Dubai where I worked for a commercial airline for 10 years. It was something I had wanted to do since I was 6 – and I entered straight after university – but I didn’t expect to stay in Dubai for quite as long as I did! After commercial flying, I entered private flying with aircraft ranging from private B747 to Challengers and Global Express.


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

I always bring a pashmina – you never know whether the plane will be freezing cold or too hot, so I layer my clothes but having a pashmina is also handy in case the airline doesn’t provide a blanket.

I always pack a couple of pens. As crew, I was always asked for them as crew so I carry a spare for other passengers too.

I like a lavender sleep spray to spritz on the plane and a hotel pillow. Sitting on a plane there are all sorts of smells so this helps!

How do you bring things with you?

When I travel with my kids, I really like the Mia Tui Jennie bag with its strap to convert from a tote to a shoulder bag. Th see through pouch for liquids and all the little compartments help me keep organised too. My Osprey backpack is also handy – as it means my hands can be kept free whilst I juggle kids and other luggage. For my suitcase, I’m a big fan of Samonsite and Delsey. and of course packing cubes! I do a mixture of packing cubes and rolling cubes to keep things as wrinkle free as possible.

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

I have an ‘essentials’ kit ready to go that stays permanently in my suitcase – which means I never forget items like deodorants, tampons, sunscreen, insect repellent, spare sunglasses etc, and of course my swimming costume.

Visit Carrie Bradley’s website


Kelsey

My name is Kelsey and I’m from Toronto, Canada. I’m currently in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, flying for a Dubai-based carrier. I became a flight attendant in November 2015, and began documenting my journey on my personal blog and social media platforms from the second I settled into my new home.

Prior to becoming a flight attendant, I wasn’t very familiar with the occupation. It was never a dream of mine per say, but it did interest me after I came across a friend’s Facebook profile that detailed her experience working as crew in the Middle East.

I saw it as an opportunity to travel the world and to learn about other cultures. Now, I’ve visited 6 continents and over 50 countries!

You can follow my journey on instagram (@lipstickandluggage) or at lipstickandluggage.ca


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

What I pack in my suitcase depends heavily on the destination that I’m flying to. My airline flies to over 80 countries and 150+ destinations, so I always check the weather prior to my departure to ensure I’ve packed appropriate attire. I always bring gym clothes, running shoes and a bathing suit with me though- but I’d be lying if I said I use them often!

Aside from the basic lipsticks and hair accessories, some of my travel essentials include; a power bank to charge my phone and a power converter to be able to use my electronics, but my all time must-carry with me item is a bleach pen (i.e. Tide to Go).

This may sound funny and totally random to some, but flight attendants often don’t stay long enough in hotels to be able to use the laundry services. By bringing one of these pens with me, I’m able to tidy my uniform if need be without having to wash and dry the entire garment in the sink. It also saves me from bringing a separate uniform in my luggage.

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

To be honest, I’m not the tidiest person when it comes to packing. Oftentimes, I throw whatever clothing I need into my bag without even folding them properly because I’m usually in a hurry.

When I do have time to sit and pack my bag, I like to use luggage organizers to help separate my clothing items. I have a set of 6 bags that I use, labelled: shoes, undergarments, toiletries, sleepwear, pants and shirts.

I’m in no way a light packer, but I blame that on the fact that I like to be prepared! At any point in time, as a flight attendant, there is a chance that you could divert to a different destination while en route, or that your layover could be extended for operational reasons. I always pack extra clothing just in case this happens, although I’ve been fortunate that it hasn’t yet!

It’s been nearly 3 years since I made the move from Toronto, Canada to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I was working as a public relations practitioner, and would oftentimes look outside my office window in our high-rise building and see planes fly by. Again, I never saw myself becoming a flight attendant, but I’ve always wanted to travel. So, when the opportunity came my way, I took it.

My advice to those who are looking to get out the door is to simply DO IT. It’s one thing to sit back and dream, but it’s another to try and make those dreams happen.

Visit Kelsey’s website


Andres

I am from Ireland, but grew up in many places.

I returned to Dublin a few years ago, shortly after my time in spent in Qatar.

Being an aviation geek since I can remember, the idea of working on the plane always attracted me. Truth to be told, I took a job as cabin crew at a time in which my ex-girlfriend was offered the same position based in Dubai.
With the credit crunch of 2008, my contract was frozen and sent to a waiting pool, which only further fuelled my desire to become cabin crew. I was offered a contract in the rival airline and the rest is history!


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

Top 3 things would be:

  • A little snackbox with cereal bars, an apple and pack of mints. Constantly having plane food is never good for you on the long run.
  • Resistance bands. They are light and come in handy when exercising in the hotel room at two in the morning.
  • Slip on shoes (like TOMS). Comfortable, fit anywhere and are stylish enough.

Most useless things I have seen people bringing:

  • Rice cooker.
  • Super high-heeled shoes.
  • An entire set of pillows.

How do you bring things with you?

For layovers, we are to bring a small cabin carry on (with all things crew: an extra shirt, extra waistcoat, grooming kit, manuals, basic toiletries), as well as a big suitcase that would be checked-in and dispatched.

  • Small carry-on: Delsey Dauphine
  • Large suitcase: Delsey New Volume

You learn to organise and pack for every eventuality. A pair of nice shoes and a pair of slips ons and runners at the ready on shoe bags, a couple of non-iron shirts folded at the bottom and shorts, swimming trunks and a pair of trousers at the top to add a bit of weight. A bag with toiletries and gym gear separated from the rest.

I always felt I had enough space for my belongings, being that layovers are never more than three days long. Even for longer rosters (such as a Singapore / Jakarta, which would take you away for six days) , I always even had space to cram a few delicacies or souvenirs I wanted to bring from a destination.

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

One thing I have learned over time is that we always tend to ‘over pack’ , thinking we will use more clothes than what we actually do.

Before packing, I picture the combinations I can make with the same clothing items (e.g. these three shirts combine with these trousers, etc) and that saves a considerable amount of space. I tend to pack comfortable clothes or in the worst case scenario, when trips are very long, clothes that are easy to wash.

Becoming a flight attendant might seem like a simple dream, but it is never easy. Recruitment will close many doors for you (because let’s face it, each airline has their own standards) , but with resilience and hard work the right door will eventually open, and the rewarding experience of standing in three different continents in the same week, of having lunch at the Great Wall of China today and dinner in the Maldives the next, is sometimes too good to be truth.

Visit Andres’ website


Jonalee de Leon
Hey! I’m Jonalee from the Philippines. I’m a 25 year-old flight attendant and I’m on to my fifth year flying with my national carrier. I’m currently in Vancouver, Canada, having just arrived yesterday for a nine-day trip. I became an FA right out of college, simply because I wanted to see the world, as cliche as that sounds. I wanted to know what’s out there, and I still do, even after all the years of travelling. I was curious about what the deal was beyond the white-sand shores of the Philippines, so I earned my wings and the rest, as they say, is history.


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

Living in and out of a suitcase can be such a hassle, but I have some staple things I can never leave home without, like a good facial moisturizer! That’s top 1 on my list, because I know not everyone uses moisturizer, but it’s a must, especially when flying. The air in the cabin can be so drying and a good moisturizer can make a huge difference. The next thing would probably be a trusted jacket. I always bring this jacket wherever my layover is, even if it’s 80 degrees out, because you never know when you’ll need it. Weather can be so bizarre, sunny one moment and freezing the next, all in a span of two minutes, so a good jacket is always handy. Another item I would always bring with me is my power adaptor. Electric sockets and voltages vary from country to country, so I always have an adaptor in my suitcase, just in case I jet off to London or San Francisco next.

It’s funny and painful how some people go to extra lengths to bring entirely useless stuff when travelling, but forgets to bring a pen, which they absolutely need. I once had a passenger bring Jenga on board to keep him occupied during the flight, except there’s nowhere, absolutely nowhere, he can play that thing. I’m guessing the occasional turbulence would make that Jenga next level though.

How do you bring things with you?

I bring things based on where I’m going and what the season is. For example, going to Melbourne in July means I need to bring out my coat, but going to Los Angeles in Juy means I get to take out my bikini. I have one carry-on and one checked-in suitcase whenever I go on a layover. The suitcases we bring our company-issued, which could either be Samsonite or World Traveller. Rimowa is a trusted brand, too. The room in my suitcase depends on the season. If it’s summer, I get to bring light clothes, so my suitcase ends up with more room for shopping later. During winter though, it’s entirely the opposite. It’s always a challenge packing for a 9-day trip to New York in January. To help with the space, it’s good to get yourself those big airtight ziploc bags that you can stuff your bulky coat in and vacuum the air out of, so it gets nice and small in your suitcase, and now you can put twice as much clothes. I also have my own toiletry bag that have travel size things. It’s important to get them in travel size so you don’t get checked when going through airport security. I have everything in travel size, from my shampoo, down to my hair spray. I just keep the full sized bottles at home and refill them when necessary. Another trick is I use shower caps to put on and cover my shoes with, so they don’t soil everything else in my suitcase. Showercaps are free in hotels so it’s a win-win. They keep my shoes away from touching any of my clean clothes and I don’t have to worry much about where and how I place my shoes in my suitcase.

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

Packing light is a learned art. You won’t get it perfect the first few times, but as you go along, you learn what you need and what you don’t, what you personally use all the time in your travels, and what ends up useless. The most common mistake people do, even flight attendants, is over anticipate what they are going to wear during the trip. They imagine wearing this and that, bring an extra this and that just in case, and maybe add a bit of this and that should they end up doing this and that, and in the end, they have a suitcase packed with 30 different clothes for a 5-day vacation. I know, OOTD is a serious business, but paying for overweight baggage would seriously dent your business. What I personally do to avoid bringing too much clothes that end up unused in my suitcase is that I check the days I will be travelling, plan the outfits I’ll be wearing each day, together with the shoes that I think will be along, and then bring an extra pair or two, just in case. I also try to bring stuff that I can re-wear, like a good pair of denim jeans. And of course, keeping travel sized toiletries not only saves you from airport security, it also keeps your bags light.

I know some people thing becoming an FA is tough, so they end up preparing for it so much, that they lose the chance. If there’s an opportunity to apply, go take it! Worry later about that crooked tooth you always notice, or that tiny scar about your brow that you see staring back at you. You think it’ll be a dealbreaker, so you keep on postponing and postponing, but what you don’t know is people hardly see any of those. Just get those resumes going, and the rest will follow. Don’t just dream about becoming a flight attendant, go dream about where you’ll be flying to next! After that amazing brunch in Tokyo, how about some afternoon dip in Hawaii? The possibilities are endless, but the possibilities don’t start until you take that first crucial step of putting yourself out there. Take the chance, and maybe, the next thing you’ll be taking is the flight to your dream destination!

Visit Jonalee de Leon’s website


Mirela Vidakovic H.
Hi there! I am Mirela, a Serbian-Hungarian girl, originally from Belgrade, Serbia (South-East Europe). Currently I live in my hometown Belgrade. I actually used to be a flight attendant for couple of years, for Emirates Airlines (one of the best airlines in the World) and then started the blog to inspire young people to try this amazing job and travel around the World.

I became a flight attendant as my father used to be a pilot for a national airline of ex-Yugoslavia (called JAT airways), and naturally aviation was in my blood too. I decided I wanted to try it out before I am 30 and make my dreams from childhood come true.

I went to an Open day organized by Emirates airlines and after several rounds of assessment passed it and became a flight attendant quite shortly. It was a demanding job but beautiful experience must say.


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

  • I usually brought mp3 player with me, as I love music and it makes me feel relaxed. I used to listen to it from the time I was leaving my accommodation toward the flight briefing, and back – till the times I was for example relaxing by the pool or resting in a hotel room.
  • A pair of flip-flops. Why them? Since they have multiple purpose. Not to get my feet dirty in a hotel room (usually the given hotel slippers are very thin) or to use them to go for the beach if the layover was on a nice seaside destination. They are also good for walking around the city and sight-seeing. I remember, being in Singapore, and it was too hot and humid, so the best footwear to walk around the city were my favorite flip-flops that I brought with me.
  • Small Anti-septic spray or wipes – as you tend to travel to places and touch things that many people do, like in airplanes, hotels, etc. So if you are into hygiene, it is good to always have with you some.

What I saw as useless was taking food from home with you, as people are not trustful into local food’s quality and hygiene, But no matter where you are, it is nicer to try something local or new.

Useless is also to take the whole laptop with you… better take something light to carry, as probably you will not even have time to press power on, let alone watch something – you will be exploring the city!

How do you bring things with you?

I always like to have a small cabin bag that fits airline’s standards of course and a medium-to-big suitcase, as I usually pack a lot of things. From cosmetics till clothes for all occasions and seasons.

I used Samsonite for suitcase (vintage horizontal style), a well known brand which didn’t let me down.

I always pack shoes in separate plastic or textile bags, underwear also, then cosmetics in one or two toiletry bags, then a small bag with basic medicines and then clothes on top. The clothes that wrinkles the most is always on top-tops.

I never have enough space to carry what I need, but it is because I like to be prepared for everything. But I have to be careful not to overpass the standard weight.

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

My tip is to pack what is really necessary, as anything extra you need and not too expensive better buy at the destination if not too expensive.

Also carry miniatures for cosmetics, no need to burden the weight with original packaging for example for hair-spray, body creams etc.

Always pack a sweater with you, in case you get cold. and a pair of long socks (for women) which can save you also in case you are cold at destination. And a pair of swimsuit for swimming pool, sauna or beach :-).

Here’s my packing list recommended for everyone.

Visit Mirela Vidakovic H.’s website


Dan Air
I live and work in the UK and at the moment i’m sat at home in my lovely garden enjoying our very unusual hot weather with a very large coffee to start my day.

I became a flight attendant over 13 years ago and I have loved (mostly) every minute. I have always loved flying. Growing up my father and I would go and watch the planes at our local airport. I was at a bit of a cross-roads in my life and I saw the job advertised for crew and thought why not. So I applied, got the job and the rest is history.


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

So the top three things I bring with me when travelling are:

  • A good book. I love to read. A good book takes you away from reality and allows you to get lost in the words. It’s great to pass the time when away from home and there’s nothing good on the TV.
  • My iPad, so that I can keep running Confessions of a Trolley Dolly while I am away from home. I set up Confessions of a Trolley Dolly about 6 years ago now, as a place where cabin crew from around the world can come and have a laugh, share pictures and funny stories and to tell people the real reason we’re onboard – safety!
  • My teddy bear Sidney. I’ve had him since I was a baby and he literally goes everywhere with me. He has travelled the world and is always a comfort if i’m feeling a little homesick.

While those are my top 3, other things I’d say that flight attendants would bring with them would be:

  • Phone charger – no one can live without their phone these days.
  • Playing cards – for delays and boring night stops.
  • Their own pillow – some people just cannot sleep without their own pillow.

Oh and actually a 4th item that I literally cannot leave home without is my camera – to capture the memories of every place I travel to!

How do you bring things with you?

My bag is a company issue suitcase which is pretty good and does the job for me.

However my favourite luggage brand has to be ‘Travelpro’. Their crew luggage is just fantatsic. Sturdy, durable, light and easy to use they are a great! I love how Travelpro suitcases have plenty of storage space – lots of pockets, something which my own crew bag sadly does not. I do love a case with plenty of storage and pockets to put all my little bits and pieces inside.

In terms of organising things in my bag, well everything has its place, even in the main compartment so I know that when my case is in the overhead locker during a shift, I can blindly stick my hand in there and find anything I need to get out, without having to get it down and distrub my passengers.

My current crew case works perfectly for me, although as I say, I wish it had a few more pockets for storage!

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

My biggest tip is always to plan ahead. Think about how many nights you’re away. How outfits you will need for the trip. Plan your outfits befoe you go.

Coco Chanel once said “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

So Dan Air’s advice would be “Before you close that suitcase, take a look inside and take one thing out.”

You won’t need everything you’ve packed and will end up coming home with unworn clothes so take something out.

That age old tip of ‘roll your clothes instead of folding them’ really does work. Try it you’ll be plesantly surprised.

Tips for getitng out of the door, well plain and simple – follow your dreams, make it happen, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today!

Visit Dan Air’s website


Jessica North
I’m Jessica and I’m 24 from Leeds in the UK, but living in Dubai to work as a flight attendant for Emirates Airline. I’m currently in my apartment in Dubai on a couple of days off.

How I became a flight attendant was after I graduated univeristy, I wanted to travel and save some money and a girl from school seemed to be posting pictures online of her constant worldwide travels. One day would be Singapore, the next would be Dubai, then London and I was really interested in what she did full time. So after a bit of research, I looked into becoming Emirates Cabin Crew and sent off my application and was successful. It was the best decision I made.

Why a flight attendant? To travel the world and be paid to do it. I don’t think there’s any reason other than that!


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

I’m unsure how uncommon these things may be? I don’t feel I bring anything that out of the ordinary when I’m travelling as a crew member. One thing I always have in my cabin bag is a hot water bottle. I get so cold on flights, especially night flights when I’m feeling tired so I can sit with this to warm me up, it’s also an absolute essential for when we get crew rest and can go to sleep.

A travel mug so that I can always have a decent sized cup of tea and it helps when out on layovers too as it reduces waste and plastic use when buying take out coffee which I do a lot. I’m all about trying to save the planet in little ways.

My iPad so that I can watch tv whilst in hotel rooms.

How do you bring things with you?

We’re given luggage by the company. I have no idea on what these brands are but I have small black cabin bag, and one larger black case that is placed in the hold for layovers.

I don’t really have any particular organisation for anything. I have a small drawstring bag for my cabin shoes in my cabin bag, and I have a big wash bag for all my toiletries in my hold bag. In my handbag I always keep my LAGs (Liquids, Aerosols and Gels) in a clear bag so I can speed through airport security.

I have plenty of room in my bags, even when we’re on 6 day trips there is plenty of space for all my things.

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

My top tips for other flight attendants would be plan your sleep. There’s nothing worse than feeling tired on a long nightflight. If you have a night departure plan ahead so you can sleep prior and not be laid in bed tossing and turning and going to work already craving your bed.

Wear compression stockings, it’s better for circulation and will prevent varicose veins.

Always carry hand cream, your hands will become so dry on the aircraft. No one wants scaly hands.

If you’re considering applying do it. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve gone from only having visited 13 countries, to now visiting 65! If you’re interested in applying to become Emirates Cabin Crew I’ve posted on my blog recruitment tips and the process. Here’s the link for those wanting to read: https://jessicasjourneywithemirates.com/2018/07/13/how-to-become-emirates-cabin-crew/

Visit Jessica North’s website


Paula Maree

Hi, I’m Paula Maree and I am a Flight Attendant and Travel Blogger! I grew up in a small town in outback Queensland, Australia and always dreamed of travelling the world. Yet somehow, I ended up moving to the city and got stuck in a career-rut. Like many other late-twenty-something single, independent women, I was career-driven; slaving away at my desk for up to 10 hours a day, addicted to coffee and married to my job!

Approaching my thirties, I finally jet off on a well-deserved break, after nine years working in the fashion industry. However, when I returned to my desk, I began to find myself daydreaming of exotic, remote destinations and suddenly, I realised that I had been bitten by the travel bug! Within six months, I quit my job and moved to Melbourne, after landing a role as a flight attendant. I now based here and am lucky enough to travel for a living and write a blog about my adventures!


Photo credit: James Barker

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

When travelling for work MY TOP 3 TRAVEL ESSENTIALS are:

  • A Bikini! I always have a bikini in my bag, as you never know where you might end up! Even if it’s cold outside, you may still want to use the hotel spa or sauna and a bikini is not something you can always rush out and buy, especially if you get in late at night.

    I was once flying to Cairns in sunny Queensland when our aircraft was struck by a large bird. We waited on the ground for 12 hours whilst the engineers inspected the aircraft and the pilots then took rest before the return flight home that evening. I spent the day relaxing by the hotel pool, soaking up the 30-degree heat in the middle of Winter!

  • A Spare Watch. It’s just a cheapie that I keep in my bag, but it’s helpful so that I don’t constantly have to change the time on my expensive designer watch when I return home after flying between different time zones.
  • A Camera! Yes, I have an iPhone and I use the inbuilt camera all of the time. But as I write a travel blog, I like to be able to capture higher quality images too!

    As a Flight Attendant, I am lucky enough to travel for work. Yet, it can be easy to forget that I really do have one of the best jobs in the world. So I started writing a blog and taking my camera with me to capture the memories that I make with my fellow crew whilst living in the moment on our layovers!

How do you bring things with you?

Personally, I prefer hard cases as they are more robust and therefore better able to withstand the baggage handlers throwing them around if you check them in. (I’d like to tell you this doesn’t happen, but we’ve all seen damaged suitcases circling around the baggage carousel!)

Currently, I use an American Tourister Bon Air 55cm hard case for work. It has four wheels, which makes it much easier to manoeuvre through the terminal at the airport. It has lots of useful storage compartments and an inbuilt TSA combination lock. When going on an overnight trip, I stack a smaller Lanza carry case on top and use that to store the belongings that I need for the flight.

I’ve also previously used a 56cm Porto hard case by IT Luggage. It was deeper and narrower in design and therefore it was easier to fit into the overhead locker on the plane. Both brands come with a 10-year warranty and have been able to withstand the pressures of daily flying.

When I travel on vacation, though, I take a North Face Base Camp Large Duffle Backpack. Backpacks can be heavy, but they are easier to manage when travelling through third world countries. Unless of course, I’m using staff travel for a short weekend getaway here in Australia and then I’ll just take carry-on luggage.

I have a soft Country Road tote bag, which I’ve had for years. As long as I’m careful what I pack, it’s the perfect size since it’s easy to fit under the seat. (The Flight Attendants will be thankful for this on busy domestic flights and it also makes it easier to access your things). A tote is always the best option if you’d like to be pack more and not exceed the cabin baggage weight limit since the fabric is light and won’t take up much of your allowance. You’ll also avoid the long wait at the baggage carousel. But a word of advice; even 7kgs can get heavy to lug around the airport if you have long distances to walk.

I am super-organised, so I when packing for an overnight stay, I use Go Travel packing cubes to separate my clothes into sets of tops, bottoms and underwear. My best friends mum ordered them when preparing for an overseas trip and she swore by them. So I purchased two sets of 3 cubes in black and they have actually changed my life as they keep my clothes clean, neat and organised (which is perfect if you are as OCD as me!) They come in various sizes and the best bit; they make it much easier to quickly find things in your bag!

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

My top tip: downsize everything and learn to use the hotel amenities! I have always been terrible at packing and normally take far too much stuff with me on holidays! However, flying internationally has taught me that I can actually survive with just the bare essentials: make-up, deodorant and a toothbrush. I opted to buy a second set of toiletries, which I just leave in my crew bag! Any other products I take are specific to the destination and I always transfer liquid products into the small travel-sized bottles.

To avoid taking items you won’t wear, coordinate your outfits and footwear in advance. There are apps that you can download to your phone to help you to plan ahead to make sure you can mix and match everything! I tend to wear a lot of black, which makes it easier to pack light. You actually can survive with just carry-on luggage for a short trip and it beats waiting at the baggage carousel after a long flight!

Oh and don’t forget to pack a phone charger. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many of the crew don’t have one in their bag. Just buy a spare one and leave it in there so you don’t forget it as you rush out the door!

Visit Paula Maree’s website


Flight Attendant Joe
I am originally from Hartford, CT but grew up in Florida. I’ve been in California for the past six years and never want to leave. At this moment, I am on my sofa answering these questions. I had always loved traveling and thought being a flight attendant would be extremely cool. Sadly, I was afraid to fly. Terrified. Once I managed my fears, I applied and now I’ve been a flight attendant for over 10 years.


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

  • My beard trimmer and Just For Men to hide the gray in my beard. There is nothing worse than waking up in Omaha, Nebraska, looking in the mirror and asking yourself, “When did I age 10 years? I know that Palm Beach flight was rough, but it wasn’t THAT rough.”
  • My Kindle. I can’t go anywhere without a book. And when service is done and all the passengers are resting in their seats, I like to read. It makes time go much quicker and helps when you are stuck in the galley with a flight attendant that has nothing exciting to talk about.
  • A jar of peanut butter. You will never starve as long as you have a jar of peanut butter. Most airlines serve pretzels and it’s the quickest snack to tide you over until you get the hotel restaurant.

The most useful thing I’ve ever seen someone bring, and I recently purchased one myself, is the LectroFan mini wireless speaker. Not only is it a Bluetooth speaker, but it also has white noise for those who have a hard time falling asleep in hotels.

How do you bring things with you?

I only carry a suitcase and a tote bag. I’ve seen flight attendants carry four of five bags with them on a two-day trip and I just don’t get it. I’ve also seen a flight attendant carry around a rice cooker — I definitely don’t get that. The airline makes us purchase TravelPro bags because they want everything consistent. When I pack, I roll my shirts, shorts, and anything else I can roll up. Shoes to the side with socks stuffed inside them. And then I lay my extra uniform shirt on top. Quick. Easy. I usually don’t leave myself much room in the bag, I’m not a big shopper on layovers, and I like to travel light.

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

  • Stop carrying around items you don’t need. You think you need it, but you don’t. Like I said earlier, rice cooker. Nobody needs a rice cooker. Nobody needs an industrial bottle of hairspray for an overnight in Buffalo, either.
  • Lay out all the stuff you think you need for your trip on your bed and then put half of it away. I promise you’ll survive.
  • Don’t take up an entire overhead bin. That’s ridiculous. I see flight attendants take up an entire bin and then close it before the passengers board the airplane. I try and take up the least amount of space as possible.

Visit Flight Attendant Joe’s website


Taylor Katselas
I’m from Perth, in Western Australia.

At the moment, I am sitting at the airport in Larnaca, Cyprus. I have just finished a summer vacation with my friends during my days off! We spent the whole time eating fresh pastries, soaking up the beautiful European sun and dipping our toes in the Mediterranean Sea. It was BLISS!

The Cabin Crew role appealed to me because I wanted to see the world (and get paid for it!). I secured the role the way everyone does (through an online application) and attended an Assessment Day. This then progressed to a one-on-one interview. I was put on hold while I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and then I moved to Dubai some 2 months later.

I studied beforehand, made sure I was as physically fit as possible, got my First Aid Certificate and my Responsible Service of Alcohol all before I even attended the interview. Preparation is key!


What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all flight attendants bring?

  • Vitamin C Mask/Cream: The cabin is highly pressurized for safety, but it can be very drying and tough on your skin. I like to apply the mask in my down time or when I travel as a passenger.
  • A hot water bottle: It might sound stupid, but if you bring a hot water bottle (or even fashion your own out of a water bottle wrapped in an in-flight sock) and fill it half with boiling water and half with tepid water, not only will you be warm and toasty, but you’ll sleep soundly, too! Ask the crew to fill it AFTER the main service (and not a moment sooner) to ensure you don’t bombard them whilst they are in their busiest time.
  • A scarf: even if you a travelling to the most tropical destination in the world, a light, silky scarf is a no-brainer. You can use it to cover up in countries where modesty is required, or to cover your face/eyes/mouth while you sleep on board. I can’t stand watching (and hearing) people dribble and snore, and if your face is covered- not only do you not see, no one sees you! This also stops you from breathing in everyone germs so much while you’re asleep.

How do you bring things with you?

It depends where I am travelling- I usually carry a small Kathmandu backpack or my impractical, tiny, beautiful Chanel handbag…

My suitcase is usually filled with packing cells from Muji or Kathmandu, to keep everything separate and easily visible and accessible. As I go through my outfits, I start to use one for dirty clothes. I also pack items by rolling them, as this saves space and protects precious cargo (such as wine) on long haul flights.

I always travel with zip-lock bags (and spare ones too) to store loose items, leaking toiletries, anything. A good tip is to rinse out the nozzles of your toiletries, and then remove, sealing the top of the bottle with glad-wrap and securing with a rubber band, Put the nozzle back on top and you’re good to go! *Almost* Leak-proof toiletries!

Ask anyone- I NEVER have enough room in my suitcase. NEVER!!! I pack too many books ans usually make my boyfriend or my travel companions carry my items if my bag is too heavy…..

What are your top tips for other flight attendants?

I am not going to offer tips on packing light- everything you want to pack, take half and then you should be fine! I am not a good advocate for packing light…just smart 😉

ROLL YOUR CLOTHES! It is so much better for you and for your future purchases as they have room in your bag! Lots of Cabin Crew buy meals at outstations and forget that you can’t take liquids through security. YOGURT IS A LIQUID, people!

Stop dreaming, wishing, hoping, and just go for it. If you don’t get in the first time, apply again! Attend lots of interviews, and get a feel for what is expected of you at group interviews. Network, join forums, follow blogs, social media accounts… whatever gives you the inspiration, motivation and information that you crave to put yourself out there and land (pardon the pun) the job of your dreams! I kept a vision board which was very helpful, too!

I was inspired by blogs. You can find mine www.volarelearningtofly.com for lots of stories, tips, thoughts and ideas on how to stay happy, healthy and motivated! All the best, and safe travels!

Visit Taylor Katselas’ website



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