What to pack – travel tips from a flight attendant

As one of your WestJet cabin crew, I’m here to share my thoughts on things I think you should pack, as well as some handy tips for your next trip. Since my office is usually at 38,000-feet, I’m always chatting with guests like you, and I know that travel can be stressful – whether it’s for business or pleasure. But it doesn’t have to be.

First, don’t forget to pack the following items:

  • Many of our aircraft are equipped with ports to charge your laptop, mobile, or tablet. Pack charging cables for all your devices, as well as headphones or ear buds. But even if you forget them, we can help you out, as ear buds are available for purchase on all flights that offer WestJet Connect.
  • If you use battery powered medical equipment, please ensure your batteries are fully charged prior to the flight, as our charging ports are not designed for these types of devices.
  • Pack an appetite, because I can’t stress enough the importance of pre-purchasing food a minimum of 48 hours before you fly. The choices available are pretty great. You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make, especially on flights over three hours.
  • Be sure to pack your patience. Airports get busy, so give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and some time to spare before your flight.
  • If you’re still not sure about the types of items to pack, check the CATSA website to see if the items you’re planning on bringing are allowed. The beauty of this page on CATSA’s site is that it’s searchable, so you can simply type your item into the search box, to see if it’s allowed and/or if there are any restrictions. If you don’t see your item listed, you can also reach out to CATSA via their Facebook page or Twitter.

And hey, if you’re looking for more tips, check out our pack smarter blog post, one of my favourites.

What should you bring with you on the plane? That’s a question-and-a-half. So, here’s my answer-and-a-half:

It’s about the little things, and being able to find them:

There are so many little things we all need during a flight, but the best advice I can give is that organization is everything. Keep your device chargers, gum, earbuds and pens in one easy-to-reach place while flying. For my flights, I zip everything I’ll need into a clear pouch inside my carry-on, and place it in the seatback pocket when I take my seat.

Download the WestJet app and stay connected:

If you’re flying on one of our aircraft enabled with WestJet Connect, I highly recommend that you download the WestJet app to your laptop, mobile or tablet before you board. This way, you’ll be able to access more than 800 hours of free streaming TV series and movies, or watch live satellite TV channels on almost any Android or Apple device. If you need a holder for your device, we have a handful of them available for purchase onboard, with all profits going to our WestJet Cares for Kids partners.

And yes, you can even stay connected while on board any WestJet Connect flight with an Internet pass. Finally, always fully charge your device(s) before leaving home.

Bring some snacks, and yes, milk too:

No matter the duration of your flight, grabbing some snacks before you hop on the plane is a great idea. And, I’ll tell you about some snacks that directly relate to your next trip. Nutrition bars or trail mix are two things that won’t get you unexpectedly held up at customs. Also, a lot of guests experience issues with their ears not popping on descent, so I recommend gum or a chewy type of candy to help with that. And, don’t forget your water bottle. Fill it up once you’ve cleared security. Trust me, hydration is key when you’re flying.

If you’re travelling with small children, you are indeed allowed to pack breast milk, provided you present it to the screening officer prior to screening. For more information, please visit the CATSA website. If you’re looking for regular milk, you may purchase it at any store, but only after you have passed through security. The only milk you’ll find on board our aircraft are small quantities for your McCafé Premium Roast coffee.

You never know you need it until you absolutely need it:

Whether you’re travelling alone or with family, here’s a mini-list of things to have in your carry-on, just in case:

  • Ear plugs: my number one recommended item – no matter your age
  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Aspirin or pain killer
  • Decongestant (if your ears are sensitive to pressure changes)
  • Eye drops
  • Gravol or ginger candies (for motion sickness, and bonus: the ginger candies can be used during take-off and landing to ease air pressure)
  • Hand sanitizer/cream
  • Baby wipes
  • Tissue/Kleenex
  • Lip balm

Essentials from home, and other items you’ll want in the air:

Whether you’re on a short hop or a long haul, like our popular flights to/from London Gatwick, you’ll want to feel cozy when you’re soaring through the clouds. The following are some creature comforts that I know will help to make your trip fly by:

  • Sleep mask
  • Ear plugs (yep, they’re so important I’m mentioning them twice)
  • Neck pillow, and if you don’t have a pillow, bring a big scarf to act as a pillow or even a blanket
  • Comfy shoes
  • Pen for filling in your customs card
  • Books or magazines (and feel free to take WestJet Magazine with you when you leave)
  • Deck of cards
  • Crossword/Sudoku/activity book(s)
  • Colouring book(s)/pencil crayons
  • If you’re returning home from a hot, sunny destination during winter, don’t forget that extra layer of clothing to put on once you land
  • Keep personal items in arms-reach, including your passport, a photocopy of your passport (kept separate from your passport, that is), and your health card or medical insurance.

And last, but not least, bring an awesome attitude on board. Because it’s fun to fly, and I, along with my fellow cabin crew members, look forward to welcoming you on board. Happy, comfy travels!

This WestJetter post was a collaborative effort. We asked a group of cabin crew members what their best travel tips are and this list is the result.