How To Pack Like A Flight Attendant
My name is Melanie and I’m here from my blog, Flying on Faith & Feelings! I blog not only about my life as a Flight Attendant but also to help those who may also be suffering with Mental Illness and tragedy. I am SO excited to be on Raven’s blog today; she brings so much to us in her travels! Bouncing around Australia? Sign me up! Thank you again, Raven, for having me!
So, what am I doing here?
As a Flight Attendant I am constantly asked by family, friends and passengers, “What should I pack?” I’m here to answer that question once and for all! All of the items listed below should be packed in your ‘carry on bag’, AKA the bag that comes with you on the airplane.
Your “checked bag” would leave you prior to security and stays in the cargo hold of the airplane. About 90% of the things on this list can be found in your house already, or at your local pharmacy. So, without further ado, here’s how a flight attendant packs!
I know, I know, you probably aren’t traveling internationally, but trust me, no matter where you are flying to, pack your passport! Not only do things not go as planned, (your flight from Los Angeles to Seattle may need to divert to Canada), but it’s also your most reliable form of identification. You could be vacation and lose your ID one night. You are not allowed through TSA without a Government Issued ID, so if something goes wrong and you lose your license, your passport is there to get you back home!
Yes, you can bring food though TSA! For some reason, no one tells you this! I’d rather pack my own comfort food than spend $10 on a bag of peanuts in the airport terminal. I can not stress this enough. BRING SNACKS! Life is always better with food.
3. Ginger Chews/ Ginger Candy
Turbulence, a hot airplane, and the sushi you just had in the airport terminal aren’t always a good combination. Fun fact, Ginger Ale is not going to help you. Ginger Ale contains NO ginger! Instead it’s High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is only going to make you feel worse. Ginger Chews are pure ginger, with a side of tapioca to hold it together. They can be found at your local Marshalls or TJ Maxx, Pharmacy, or on Amazon. Grab a bag for $5 and you’ll be glad you did. They have saved me more times than I can count!
4. Blister Bandaids
Have you ever noticed that you get bloated on a plane? Due to the pressurized airplane cabin, your whole body swells up in the air, and this includes your feet. The last thing you want to do is have swollen feet, tight shoes, and have to run from the A concourse to the E concourse in order to catch your next flight. Blister Bandaid to the rescue!
5. A Pen
Why would you bring a pen? Some flights will require you to fill out a document BEFORE exiting the airplane. For example, entering Mexico, or even Hawaii. As much as people don’t believe us, your Flight Attendants are not provided with pens to hand out to passengers. Not only be sure to bring a pen, but also share a pen!
6. Feminine Products
It may not be your time of the month, but traveling can be a stressful situation for some people. One of the things that can trigger an early period, is stress! If you ever don’t have your own and end up needing them, be sure to let your Flight Attendant know. We’ll have some for you!
7. Your Camera
Your camera, in it’s CAMERA BAG! You know that policy where you can only bring two items on board an airplane? You’ve probably heard a million times, “One bag in the overhead bin and one bag underneath the seat in front of you.” That’s actually not the full policy.
The true policy is not, “2 items”, instead it is, “2 plus 1”. That one item is called an exempt item. Examples of an exempt item are a camera bag, or a medical bag carrying your diabetes monitors. I know our phones have great cameras but they don’t do these amazing places we see justice. Bring your camera, you’ll never regret it!
8. Pain Medicine
This one is simple. No one wants to pay $15 in an airport for a single dose of Tylenol.
9. Anti-Diarrhea Medicine
Yup. I said it. We’ve all been there and it’s AWFUL. Imagine having to suffer from that on an airplane.
Sadly, most the time planes are cold. Sitting on a flight for five hours freezing your butt off is never fun, when flying should be comfortable. It’s always better to have too many layers than not enough.
11. A Normal Pair of Headphones
What’s a normal pair of headphones? I’m talking about those 1997 headphones with the jack we all stopped using. A lot of airlines now offer screens on their seatbacks. Awesome! What’s not awesome? Missing out on 6 hours of Matt Damon movies because you only brought your iPhone or bluetooth headphones. Feel free to bring those, but pick up a pair of “normal” headphones to pack along with you! Then sit back, relax, and enjoy 6 hours of Matt Damon.
12. Books, and Back-Up Books
You may not be the biggest reader in the world, but this is traveling. You are stuck in this metal tube for hours on end. Theres only so many movies you can watch until you’re bored, only so much time you can spend playing on your phone, or worse …. *the WiFi isn’t working onboard that day* ….
Bring a book, and then a backup. I personally always have my Kindle and a physical book in my bag at all times. I’ve seen too many people stuck in an airport for a day or two with nothing to do. Reading will make the time go by so much faster, and no WiFi is needed!
13. All of Your Chargers
Do not pack your chargers in your checked bag!! You will need them. You will want them.
I HATE this one. I literally HATE carrying cash on me. Who knows why, but I do. But you know what? Thankfully I’ve stuck with carrying cash or there would of been times I didn’t eat lunch. When you put a travel notice in with your bank / credit cards, it doesn’t always work.
For example, you are going from California to Boston. You let your bank know that you’ll be going to Boston. Here’s the catch, your flight connects in Texas and you’re hungry. I’ve used my credit card in Mexico for lunch with no problem, then four hours later I tried to buy dinner back in the states. Needless to say, my card didn’t work at home!
To follow up with the money category, I would like to add in the tip to use Apple / Samsung Pay. When I am somewhere that excepts Apple Pay, it’s the only thing I use. Less times pulling out my wallet, means less time possibly losing it!
The Basics Never Change
There you have it, a simple, yet practical list of items to have on you at all times while traveling. This list has been modified throughout my years as a Flight Attendant, but this is the final product of how a flight attendant packs.
It hasn’t changed in the past two years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Knowing all the help this list has given me, I pray this list has shed some light on how you should pack for your next adventure! Always remember that flying should be a relaxing, comfortable, and enjoyable time. Pack what you need to in order to set yourself up for success!
If you enjoyed this, feel free to follow Faith on her social media platforms:
If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please consider donating. I love making free content like this that is accessible to everyone and truly appreciate your support in helping me do so!