Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne
Seatguru - Most Comfy Seats On Any Airline
pprune.org - Pilot's rumour network
Kangaroo with a Sweet Tooth
Kronicles of Kris
The Adventures of Alle Malice
Joel's trek across Asia/Europe in a Hilux
Phil's Wine Site
I Can Has Cheezburger
The Flying Pinto
Girl on Raw
Things Bogans Like
Bobby at Up, Up and a Gay
Straight Guy in the Queer Skies
Skin by Falter
Friday, April 22, 2011So every now and again I have one of those days where I'm more absent-minded than normal. I guess it doesn't help things that in the 2 hrs I set aside to get ready for a layover, only about 20 minutes is spent packing. I can't start packing the previous night as I tend to forget things from my mental checklist. The list has a tendency to chop and change, and the items don't go in the case in any particular order, but in a strange way if I leave things to the last minute I usually get everything in there. I sometimes get this uneasy feeling I've forgotten something when its too late - usually when I'm on the bus headed for the aircraft and it isn't until I open the case again at the outstation that I realise what it is.
I've had before forgotten to pack shoes (easy - just use work ones) my toiletry bag, also easy - but very unpleasant as you're forced to use body lotion as a facial moisturiser and struggling to find an alternative for roll on deodorant, which might not be needed in flight but is definitely needed when you land back into Dubai in 40 odd degree heat. For me the make up bag is the worst to leave behind, as this is a grooming requirement and super costly to replace (and extremely difficult if you have my skin tone.) As far as the uniform goes, its just you have to live with the feeling of unpleasantness of using re-used stockings. I've had a Purser remark once, soon after the whole Eyjafjallajökull Volcano incident, that if we were delayed again for a week that rather than spend the allowance on clothes to just wear your knickers inside out. Yuk.
So one jetlagged morning I decided to emergency-fy my suitcase. A bit like Batman's utility belt, if you will. All you need is a roll of Duct Tape and your best collection of envelopes and travel sachets. They're kind of hard to come by in Dubai but have seen them in abundance in the US, Australia, UK, Singapore and even Bangkok, so its worth heading to your pharmacy and supermarket and seeing what is available there. I guess this method is also good if you're travelling for 2 weeks or more and suitcase space is rare.
(Sorry for the numbers being a little small)
1. Washing Powder Sachet. In this job you just never know when things are going to take a turn for the worst. You could have the aircraft go tech, the airport could be snowed in, you just never know. I haven't had to use these yet, thank goodness.
2. Nail Polish Remover wipes. Since we're required to wear nail polish, this works out so much better than carrying on board a bottle of remover. I've had countless cases of the bottle leaking and going everywhere, which not only stinks but causes every item in contact with it to have their labelling run, which then ends up on the suitcase itself and isn't nice to remove.
3. Medication. No vitamins here, just stuff like pain killers, hayfever meds, and most importantly Imodium, because I know that I'm really tempting fate with all the street food I consume on layovers.
4. Shampoo. I guess if you are staying in hotels quite regularly then this isn't needed, but housekeeping tend to be quite sparse on these products when it comes to crew rooms.
5. Hair net, clips, pins.
6. Mini First Aid Kit. Inside I have some disinfectant, band aids (very good quality, fabric ones like Hansaplast. Band Aids don't really do the job right, and the ones on board are flimsy at the best of times)
7. Stockings, both knee high and pantyhose, another must-have grooming item.
8. Photocopy of my Passport, just in case it gets stolen, I have something I can show the police and embassy/consulate.
9. Colgate Wisps. Whilst not as good as toothbrush as toothpaste, these do not need water, and are tiny, and will last me until I reach the aircraft again where there are real toothbrushes and toothpaste for me to sort myself out with.
10. Cleanser. Some people can get away with just using bar soap on their face. These people must not be using the insane amount of make up we Flight Attendants do. Quite often when I'm buying beauty products at a department store the sales assistant will try to ply these sample sachets onto me, most of which I don't really need or use, but here they definitely come in handy.
12. Spork - I've mentioned this before in my Formspring Q&A as the one thing I can't bear to not pack. I get them in camping stores and some design stores in Europe stock them. Some hotels refuse to bring cutlery to your room without ordering some room service, but I quite like getting my basics from the convenience store. Sometimes the timing of the wake up-pick up calls are such that you cannot order breakfast from the room service (most have a 6am start time), so picking up some yogurt and a muffin from the supermarket is your only bet. This spork is a fork, knife and spoon in one, and the serrated edge I've used quite well for cutting stuff like plastic and paper labels. Just make sure you rinse with soap before tossing it back into the suitcase.
Speaking of Duct Tape, this is great to pack if you're planning on doing a country-hopping kind of trip for 2 weeks or more. It's great for repairing torn backpacks, shoes, sorting out hems on clothes, removes lint and hair from clothes, and to tape hotel curtains together to block out the sun. I currently use it on my space bag, as there were massive tears and it wasn't keeping the air out and taking up more space than was designed.
The best advice I ever read was in a Travellers Tips book by Lonely Planet that someone gave to me as a going away gift before my move to the Sandpit. As to what the most essential item is that women should pack...
The Sarong. I've used it as a bag, a curtain and a sunshade. I've worn it as a skirt (long or short), a scarf, a shawl and I've swum in it. Sometimes it's a towel, sometimes it's a blanket. I could even tear it into strips and use it as a bandage if I ever needed to. This is the one thing I take wherever I'm going.
Do you have any emergency travel items? What would you include? 18 comments