British Airways Pilot Reveals 3 Cheap Things She NEVER Travels Without

If anyone knows best, it's a pilot, right?
Close-up of a person's hands neatly packing folded clothes into a spacious orange suitcase, indicative of travel preparations.
FreshSplash via Getty Images
Close-up of a person's hands neatly packing folded clothes into a spacious orange suitcase, indicative of travel preparations.

If you’re a nervous traveller like me, you likely pack around three times more than you need for your hand luggage. Three books, anyone? More toiletries than you usually use in one week, nevermind one flight?!

Not only is this not practical for travel but it also makes it harder to bring any trinkets back home due to limited space and paradoxically makes you feel even MORE anxious because you now have more things to worry about!

However, British Airways pilot Kat Woodruffe may have answered our packing woes as she discussed with Afar magazine her travel must-haves.

The three cheap things a pilot always travels with

Woodruffe, who has piloted a British Airways 777 for 12,000 hours, spoke to the magazine saying: “I fly about 400,000 miles per year, which is about 16 times around the world. I grew up on British Airways airplanes, going away with Dad on some of my favourite trips.”

So, if anyone knows about travel essentials, it’s definitely her.

Woodruffe said: “I always take a kettle with me, a fancy travel one that you can change the voltage on. When I’m away, I just like having a proper cup of tea. I take Clipper tea and a dedicated travel mug around the world.”

Everyday tea bags from Clipper currently retail at just £3.55 for a box of 80 bags at Tesco which is pretty cheap for a taste of home and there’s nothing worse than arriving at your hotel just to find out that no, they don’t have teabags. Or even a kettle.

Her other wellbeing must-haves are eye drops and O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream. She said: “I know that flying planes is hardly manual labour but on long flights my hands (and eyes!) get very dry.”


With eye drops starting at £3.48 from Superdrug and her fave hand cream retailing around £5, these may be essentials but they’re not going to break the bank.

These are essentials for us, too, as according to one study, low humidity, such as on airplane flights, increases aqueous tear evaporation and may cause some form of dryness and discomfort.

As for what not to take if you’re a frequent traveller?

Designer bags, apparently.

Woodruffe said: “As much as I’d like to say my handbag is Burberry, well, it’s from H&M. This poor bag has to survive sand in St. Lucia, ice skating in Manhattan, the monsoon in New Delhi, and trekking in Hong Kong. For me, there’s no point having a designer handbag.”

That makes perfect sense.