Come fly with me: What I pack!

Thought I’d do something a little bit different today and show you guys what I would typically take with me on a layover!

Whilst I was packing for a recent layover to Dhaka (where I incidentally didn’t end up doing a whole lot other than relaxing and eating!) I took a few pictures.

We’re given a relatively large suitcase to take with us on layovers, and I can usually manage to fit everything in with a bit of space to spare (unless I’ve gone a bit crazy shopping in New York πŸ˜‰ !)

The side pockets don’t have much in – a couple of reusable carrier bags for when I go grocery shopping and a few bits and bobs such as spare tights for work.


There are a few things that pretty much always stay in my suitcase. These are things such as my wash bag, a little laundry bag I picked up in Bangkok, hairbrush, hairspray etc.


Depending on the layover, I’ll usually try and force myself to go to the gym if I can, so trainers are first in. I love these pink Nike ones I picked up quite a while ago in the States! I also packed some light sandals as I always check the weather forecast of where I’m going beforehand, and it was forecast to be around 30 degrees in Dhaka.


In goes a gym outfit (no telling how long it will stay in there depending on whether or not I actually make it to the gym…but shh!) and there’s a couple of things that are also a staple in my suitcase – my “word traveller” iPhone charger set and an emergency snack box.

The charger set is a life saver; it has chargers for the US, Australia, Europe, UK and comes in so handy!


I also have these great little packing bags that I got in TK Maxx – they’re a set of three but I usually only use the two smaller ones. I keep my underwear, tights, pyjamas and bikini in the small one, and use the larger one for my other clothes.

As you can see I’ve got a couple of chargers which I keep in a handy little bag; for my iPhone, iPad and my camera. I don’t always take my big camera with me, especially if I know I won’t be doing too much on the layover, but if I’m going somewhere new it’s one of the first things in my bag!


Next up is an outfit or 2 – I usually pack a couple of options to wear, depending on the weather and the timings of the flight. Bearing in mind this was only a 24 hour layover where we arrived around 9am and left early the next day, I only really needed one outfit.

I also pack spare uniform which goes in the same packing bag as the rest of my clothes.


Finally I always take a handbag with me (although I have forgotten to bring one once – not as bad as forgetting shoes, which hasn’t happened yet – touch wood!) and a book. I haven’t started this one yet; I always have good intentions to read on my layovers and then it never happens!

We also have a small cabin bag which we have to take with us, but that doesn’t have too much. A few things which stay in there – my oven gloves (only used if I’m assigned the galley position), my crew pyjamas (used on long-haul flights), my waistcoat (which we change into onboard) and my cabin shoes.

I also keep my make-up bag in my cabin bag, as I had too many disasters with broken blushers and bronzers when I used to keep it in my suitcase!

This is a pretty typical suitcase for me, but if I’m going on a longer layover (such as a 48 hr layover in the US or a 5-day trip) I’ll take a few more options with me such as another pair of shoes and a few more outfits.

Does it seem like a lot of stuff?! You’ll never believe me if I say I pack light when travelling as a passenger – in fact I can’t remember the last time I checked in a suitcase, I only ever travel with hand luggage! πŸ˜€

P.s. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter for more day-to-day updates of where I am in the world!



  1. Aesha
    July 22, 2018 / 11:14 pm

    Hey Rachel, are the suitcases given out mandatory to use when on duty to long layovers or do you have the option to pick out the suit case yourself.

    • thedubaidiaries
      July 26, 2018 / 3:35 pm

      Yes, we have to use the company issued suitcases πŸ™‚

  2. September 18, 2015 / 9:48 pm

    So interesting! Love your blog πŸ˜€ xx

  3. September 3, 2015 / 12:09 am

    Rachel, perfect article. Thank you for that. I wanted to ask you for a article of what are the jobs on board. I have asked for it already but you havenΒ΄t done it yet. Is it possible to write one, or it is forbidden to talk about it? Thank you in advance for your answer. πŸ™‚ Natalia

    • September 24, 2015 / 7:51 am

      Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ Yes of course I’ll add it to my list. I’m guessing you mean other than doing the service? That’s the main part of our job onboard πŸ™‚

  4. Joe
    September 1, 2015 / 12:31 am

    Hey Rachel,

    I love your blog, I only discovered it last week and have read every post, I’m addicted to it. I applied with BA and have been offered a job with them. It seems like you get worked very hard by Emirates! Would you consider moving back to the U.K. and do the same job with a different airline?

    Also I’ve read you’ve said several times about one day being a pilot (and with your dad being one too, right?) is it something you would one day look into pursuing?

    The actual reason I was going to comment was I was going to ask you what camera you take out with you? I’ve got a dSLR however feel like that would probably be overkill, however I would like to take decent photos and maybe even videos of where I’ve been. There’s a video I’ve seen that made me want to do it ( have you considered doing something like this? Also I love your magnet collection, it’s something I’d already thought of trying to do if and when I start with BA.

    Lastly I think you’ve only said once on your blog about famous people you’ve met on board (apologies it slips my mind who it was), have you met other famous people? A family friend is ex crew for BA and her hallway used to be covered with photos of her with lots and lots of celebrities.

    Keep up your fantastic work, I’m looking forward to reading your next post already πŸ™‚

  5. Michelle
    August 30, 2015 / 3:32 am

    As a word of advice, you should place your shoes individually in small bags when packing them in your suitcase. Plastic shopping bags from the grocery store work well and it’s a good way to reuse them and reduce waste. Although I mainly bag them for sanitary reasons.
    –A former Delta flight attendant as well as (more recently) a former Emirates flight
    attendant πŸ™‚

  6. Anonymous
    August 28, 2015 / 6:53 am

    Out of Emirates’ 100+ destinations, is it possible that you will get to go to all destinations if you stay with the company for say 10 years or so? How often do you get to visit a new destination? πŸ™‚

    • September 24, 2015 / 7:45 am

      I really hope so! Although there are a few destinations which are on the Airbus A330 and A340 which I’m not qualified to fly on, so we’ll see as we gradually phase those aircraft out πŸ™‚

  7. Anonymous
    August 27, 2015 / 10:50 pm

    Hi, I have heard there is a way how to buy a cake (or maybe also other gift?) to an Emirates passenger if I know his/her flight number and name, is it true? If so, how can I do that? Thanks!

    • September 24, 2015 / 7:44 am

      Why don’t you try calling the reservations hotline? They might be able to help you out more than me πŸ™‚

  8. Hira
    August 26, 2015 / 10:15 pm

    I salute the cabin crew of Emirates for their positive attitude and willingness to help the people during the flight. Its a challanging job what we see in the flight is the best of the cabin crew capability after lot of hard work right from home, traveling and making the flight ready before departure and after arrival. You deserve a medal and reward for your excellent hospitality.

    • September 24, 2015 / 7:43 am

      Thank you so much, what a lovely comment! πŸ™‚

  9. Ravi
    August 25, 2015 / 12:22 pm

    Is the time sufficient in Business/First class to do a full service when flying to shorter hauls like Doha ,Kuwait etc?

    • August 25, 2015 / 1:56 pm

      No, not by any means, haha! We do a shortened version of the service and on some flights (like Doha) there’s no hot meal. Definitely not time to do the full service as that takes around 2 – 2,5 hrs, and those flights are only around 1 hour long!

  10. Riya
    August 25, 2015 / 12:30 am

    I’ve been reading your blogs for a while now and have found them so interesting. I’ve always wanted to be cabin crew especially for emirates, I finally decided to apply this year and have been successful and will be starting in November ! I’m 24 and for asonb as I can remember I’ve wanted to do this, I just want to ask you what is this , what is life like when you are not working ? Have you found it easy to make friends and do u feel it is a lonely job ? I just want some real advice about how being cabin crew is really like

    • August 25, 2015 / 1:55 pm

      Hi there! Glad you enjoy reading my blog. Congrats on getting the job, how exciting! What I found was the best time to make friends is during training college, as you’re with the same bunch of people for 8 weeks. My best friends here are girls I met on the first day! It can be a very lonely job if you’re in Dubai and all your friends and flatmates are away, but it is what you make it. If you stay in touch with people you meet on flights then you have lots of options of things to do in Dubai! On my days off I don’t usually do too much, same things you’d do at the weekend in a normal job I guess – go out to eat, go shopping, to the pool, etc. Hope this helps a bit! πŸ™‚

  11. John
    August 24, 2015 / 12:06 am

    Hi Rachel, I love your blog and keep reading it for quite a long time!
    I am thinking about joining Emirates, I only have 1 question to ask. IΒ΄ve heard that homosexuality is illegal in UAE and I am gay. Do you think that could cause trouble? Do you have any gay collegues? thanks John

    • Anonymous
      August 24, 2015 / 2:59 pm

      hello Rachel I have noticed a trend in emirates air hostesses including yourself I tried seeking helping including on your blog just for mins of help for my application with emirates and no one wants to assist with my resume’ would like to know is it strict restrictions from the airline not to assist someone with application for the airline[I mean only my resume;]???

      • Quin
        August 24, 2015 / 11:13 pm

        Hi there Anonymous, The Dubai Diaries is more of a Travel & Lifestyle blog on Rachel’s journey than an advice blog. Do your research properly and you’ll find so much info on the internet trust me. Lastly as far as I’ve encountered EK flight attendants are quite a helpful bunch they give advice and answers where they can. πŸ˜‰

    • August 25, 2015 / 1:48 pm

      Hi there! Thanks for reading, glad you enjoy my blog πŸ™‚ I’m pretty sure at least half of my male colleagues are gay, so it should be the least of your worries!

  12. Tery
    August 23, 2015 / 11:36 pm

    Great article! πŸ™‚ Very interesting! πŸ™‚

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