Top Travelling Tips from Cabin Crew

When it comes to travelling, nobody has it together as much as cabin crew.

They’re taking to the skies almost every day – and they’re always full of energy, not a hair out of place. We caught up with Laura, who spent 4 years working for a leading airline as a member of cabin crew, to find out what her top travelling tips are….

What are your hand luggage essentials?

One of the first things that springs to mind is a pen. It may not seem that essential but if you need to fill in a customs or visa on arrival form and there are 100 passengers asking the cabin crew for pens you’ll be grateful you didn’t have to wait an hour to get one.

Some of the other items I always pack are; charger, water, mirror (you don’t want to queue for the toilets before landing just to touch up your lippy), book (for that awful time your entertainment system stops working), neck pillow, and my all-time favourite…noise cancellation headphones. Oh, and obviously your passport!

Packing light while travelling can sometimes seem impossible – what are your space saving tips?

I always start packing based on my “getting ready” routine, so I quite literally imagine I’m getting ready and what I need in order to do that e.g. shower (pack shower gel, razor etc). I also do this for my outfits so that I pretty much know what I will wear each day, which I find saves a ton of space as I’m not just chucking in “options!” When you think back on your week did you wear 10 different pairs of shoes? Probably not, so why would you need them when you travel?!

We’re always told to make sure we stay hydrated when travelling – what are your top tips?

Bring your own water. Yes, there’s plenty of water on board but you usually only get a cup at a time so to save yourself asking over and over again, it’s better you just stock up at the airport. Keeping your skin hydrated is also important so I always pack hand and face moisturiser. Something passengers don’t always know is that on some aircrafts there are water fountains outside each toilet so even if your bottle runs out you can fill it up there. You need more water in the air than on ground so maybe give yourself the goal of drinking at least a cup every hour.

What are your tried and tested ways to fight jet lag when travelling?

Try and get into the current time zone as quickly as possible! Easier said than done but if you land in the afternoon and all you want to do is sleep try and plan something, so you hold off for as long as possible. If my hotel had a pool, I’d go for a swim or do a bit of light exercise to wake myself up. Take a walk and explore. Plan in advance so you feel more inclined to get out there.

Avoid junk food (it will only make you sleepier in the long run). Just whatever you do, do not sit on the bed, it’s a slippery slope from there. I found it hard when I was awake in the middle of the night but simple things like reading instead of watching TV, making sure the room was cool and using an eye mask really helped.

Finally, the most important question which I’m sure you’re asked all the time…. how do we get an upgrade?!

Impossible 😉 well nearly impossible unless the flight is overbooked and they actually have to upgrade people in order to get everyone on the aircraft. And when they do upgrade it’s normally the frequent flyers that get first dibs. I guess it always helps to dress a little smart and of course, be super polite (trust me, the nicer you are the more the ground staff and crew want to help you). I still think it’s worth trying your luck and asking the ground staff when you check in, the worst thing they can do is say no.