Is there a secret to efficiently packing shoes in a carry-on bag?  If there is, I haven’t discovered it. 

My husband says I have a shoe problem and that the reason why my rolling suitcase is always bursting at the seams is because I pack too many shoes.  Whether I’m leaving the house for a simple two day trip or heading out for a whole week of back-to-back flights, I always pack five pairs of shoes.

Each pair of shoes has a specific purpose and I haven’t found a way to eliminate packing any of them!

Packing Shoes
My five pairs of shoes! :-)
Best Inflight Flight Attendant ShoesBuying a new pair of the perfect work shoes at a Payless in New York City!
In order of appearance from left to right, my shoes are as follows:

Shower Flip Flops:
  These I bring on the doctor’s orders!  My podiatrist advises that anyone using a hotel shower should wear flip flops to avoid exposure to viruses and fungi that could cause warts or athlete’s foot. 

Black Flats: These are my main layover shoes.  They’re comfortable enough to wear for a long walk to the nearest IHOP for breakfast and cute enough to be used for a night on the town with my crew.

Tennis Shoes:  I'll be honest.  Sometimes these collect dust sitting in my suitcase, but I always bring them along with the good intention of hitting the hotel’s treadmill on my layover!  If I don't bring them, there's NO chance of me working out, right?

Inflight / Work Shoes:  Every airline has its own requirements on footwear.  My company requires a heel.  Many of my co-workers will wear 2-3 inch heels in the airport and then switch to “in-flight shoes” once we’re on the plane.  The in-flight shoes are usually comfortable flats or ballerina-type shoes.  I prefer to skip the “stewardess shoe dance” and just wear the same shoes the entire time.

These are the perfect combo in-flight / work shoes!   I call them my baby heels.  They are perfectly “in regulation” for my company, but comfortable enough to wear all day long.  I put a new pair of Dr. Scholl’s inserts in them every few months.  The shoes will last for about a year if I polish them occasionally. When they’re starting to look a little ragged, I buy a new pair from Payless.  They’re not too expensive.

Beach Flip Flops: 
You never know when you’ll get diverted to Miami!  This is the one shoe I could probably eliminate (especially in the winter), but I love having something cute to wear on the beach!  Plus, having them encourages me to get a pretty pedicure!

Now you’ve had a glimpse into the fabulous footwear of a flight attendant.  Don't you feel informed?  ;-)

Unfortunately, four pairs of shoes (assuming the fifth one is on my feet!) takes up a ton of space in my suitcase!  If anyone has suggestions or ideas on how I could fix my shoe problem, please write me a comment below and I will sing your praises all day long!

Thanks and happy flying!
Jenn Grahams

Flight attendants don’t need clothes. 


(My mother’s voice tentatively whispers in my head, “Dear, is that what you really meant to type?”)

I know it's not an entirely accurate statement, but it’s a thought that popped into my head today.  Now that it’s written out in bold typeface font, I realize that I’ve made a very confusing and somewhat suggestive-sounding declaration!  I’m not saying that flight attendants don’t need uniforms.  Goodness, no!   No, no, no, no, noooooo.....

No, I’m quite happy wearing a dozen layers to keep my figure conservatively covered while the eyes of over 150 passengers gawk at me during the safety demonstration, thank you very much.  ( that I think about it, I’m not sure if even Superman’s x-ray vision could pierce all the layers I wear!  Outer sweater, vest, shirt, undershirt...)

Okay.  Let’s start over.  I’ll try this again.

Flight attendants hardly need clothes besides their uniforms.

Much better!  And, it’s true

I’m going to get personal with you about my dirty laundry!  (YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)  So, here’s the deal.  In the last month I’ve lived on two pairs of jeans, three sets of gym clothes, two nice shirts, and one cute “going out” getup.  That’s it!  (Well, besides the undergarments, but yeah...not going there. )

It’s really kind of sad, isn’t it?  I used to LOVE dressing up and looking nice.  In my former life, when I had a REAL job, I would start my day thinking, “What sort of look should I put together?”  Then, flicking through the hangers in my walk-in closet I would murmur, “Maybe something cute, something comfortable, something preppy...” 

Those days are long gone!  When you live out of your suitcase and your free time is limited to a handful of hours during which you hibernate in your hotel room like a squirrel during winter, there’s hardly any motivation to mix and match!  (The hibernation may be part of my problem...)  In fact, for the past month I’ve been stuck in a vicious cycle that goes something like this:

So you might think, “But won’t society judge you for wearing the same clothes all the time?!  Wouldn’t peer pressure motivate you to swap out your stuff?!”

NO!  Why not?  There is no peer pressure!  My airline is so large that my co-workers are different on every flight!  If they spot me on a layover, they have no clue I'm wearing the same v-neck shirt I wore on the last four layovers!  To top it off, I’m in a different city every trip so not even the hotel staff knows my dirty secret!  Thus, my cycle of laziness continues!  I figure, the only way to end it is a public shaming.



And now, with my public shaming complete, I will finally go clean out my suitcase and find a new set of clothes for the month of February.  :)

Happy flying, readers.
-Jenn Grahams


    Jenn Grahams

    is a flight attendant and an aspiring writer.  She lives in the Midwest with her husband, many pet fish, and two chinchillas named Kuzco and Pancho.

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