Cabin crew secrets: Flight attendant reveals tips for packing luggage light for flights

Cabin crew spend much of their working life packing bags for their next flight. It’s hardly surprising they soon become pros at what to do and what not to do when it comes to assembling a suitcase. One ex flight attendant has revealed her top tips for holiday packing.


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Heather Poole shared her insight in her book Cruising Attitude.

She explained that travellers have to always be able to lift their own bags.

“You pack it, you lift it” is the “mantra” of cabin crew the world over.

So what is the best way to ensure you pack light and can easily lift your luggage up into the overhead locker?

“What you pack and whether you check your bag or carry on can drastically affect the outcome of your trip.

“Don’t make travel more stressful that it has to be. Play it safe and do what flight attendants do.

“When it comes to preparing for a trip we’re experts. We travel with just a roll-aboard and a tote bag, even when we’re packing for days at a time.”

Poole explained exactly what she does with her clothes and belongings when packing.

“The secret is rolling,” she wrote. “Rolling instead of folding leaves clothes wrinkle-free.

“Our other tricks? I always coordinate my outfits around footwear.

“A comfy kick-around pair for exploring the destination by day and something rest for dinner and a show at night.

“Undies, socks, bikinis, whatever can be wadded up, are inside shoes. No space goes unused.


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“To make things simple, pack black and be done with it.

“So what if you wear the same outfit over and over? That’s what easy-to-pack accessories are for!

“Scarves and jewellery can completely change boring black into something fab.

“And whatever gets left behind becomes the perfect excuse to go shopping for something new!”

Choosing the right bag can also help when your airline has strict rules on hand luggage allowance.

David Scotland, from Outdoor World Direct, advocates travelling with backpacks.

“Large camping rucksacks also offer convenient pockets which can be used for stowing passports, snacks and water so that you don’t have to open your hand luggage on the plane or dig around for your passport,” he told

“Just be sure to check the dimensions of the rucksack complies with your airline’s regulations beforehand.”

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