*Guest Blog from Life on a Jumpseat:

Packing tips from a travel pro

Maybe you’re a pro traveler, but then again maybe you aren’t. As a new flight attendant you could say I do my fair share of traveling. Here are a few of the things I do before leaving for a trip.

Let me tell you, from my perspective it’s like people don’t know airplanes are going to be cold 99% of the time. I’ve been on maybe one flight where I was not asked for a blanket. The reason I wasn’t asked for a blanket on that one flight was because something was wrong with the air and it was as hot as hell (until we got into the air).

With that being said I highly recommend either wearing layers or bringing your own blanket.

Yes, we do have blankets on the plane BUT we are only given enough for the first class passengers, so please don’t give us the evil eye when we tell you we don’t have any left over or that they’re only for first class, because we are in fact telling the truth!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t fall asleep on planes to save my life. That is unless I have an entire row to myself and can lie down.

This brings me to my second tip that I just recently took upon myself, so I am still in the process of testing it out BUT so far it’s been a great help:

Neck pillows are a gift we should not take for granted.

Oh yeah, they look kinda funny and you (or maybe it’s just me) may think it looks funny when you see someone walking around the airport sporting one…but don’t knock it till you try it! It saves you from doing that head-nodding thing that wakes you up because you feel like you’re falling.

ALSO (again maybe it’s just me) but if you get one that snaps in the front it can’t escape no matter how many times you toss and turn in your seat. I love mine and to be honest, I feel like I look like a pro traveler when I wear it. If I look silly just let me live in ignorance…

Now, lets talk packing. I’ll be honest I am still trying to figure out what works best for me because I have one suitcase they “gave” (read: I’ll be paying off for a while) us in training. This suitcase allows me to pack for a four-day trip people. If I can pack for four days in carry-on luggage that fits into the overhead bin, so can you.

The best advice I got is this: bring things you can wear more than once.

Wear those jeans two or three times. Dress them up or down. No one will realize you wore that tank top with that skirt yesterday if you wear a cardigan over it paired with jeans.

Something else that they tell us: always bring a swimsuit.

If you’re traveling to the beach this is a no brainer, BUT even if you’re traveling for business…bring it. Maybe the hotel has a great pool, maybe you’ll get stuck an extra day, maybe your plans fall through, maybe the weather is better than you excepted. Bring it. Just do it, and thank me later.

For a flight attendant, we might only be during an island turn (flying there and back) and so we don’t bring anything because we won’t be getting off the plane…except sometimes things happen and we have to stay the night. What are you going to do now? Pack that swimsuit dude.

Pack something that would work for the weather/activities you’re not planning on.

Who knows what the weather is going to be like? No one. Not even the weatherman. My motto: better save than sorry! Something that I make sure is always tucked in the bottom of my suitcase is something to workout in. Now, I don’t always use it, but sometimes my body screams for exercise after a long day of traveling.

If you have any room left in your suitcase then save it for that spontaneous shopping trip, or that little something you get for your friends or family.

What to put in your carry-on bag/purse: a book.

If you can’t sleep a good book is your bestie. Even better: boarding pass = free bookmark. If it’s free, it’s for me.

For those flying on an American flight without the fancy movie screens I highly recommend you downloading the free Wi-Fi entertainment app.

It’s called “Gogo Entertainment”. The app is light blue. Download where you have Wi-Fi and once you are up in the air, above 10,000 ft. you’re all set. Connect to the Gogo Wi-Fi, click on the app and let it take you to your movie/TV show choices. Don’t forget headphones! 

If your ears pop during take off/landing get some gum!

Yawning doesn’t fix the problem? Gum should hopefully do the trick and even make your breath smell minty-fresh!

Posted by:Maelyn Schramm

Adopted from China, I hail from Dallas and spent a few years studying in Waco at Baylor University. As a young-adult, I'm learning how to get by with little money and lots of friends. My new blog, Call Me Mae Be, focuses on the intersection of faith, daily living, travel and wellness. Join me on this life journey!

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