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8 Surprising Truths About Flight Attendant LifeAccording to a Flight Attendant

8 Surprising Truths About Flight Attendant LifeAccording to a Flight Attendant

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A mighty thank you to those who serve.

They’re the friendly faces of the skies. With coordinated style, a typically kind demeanor, and knowledge of nearly every inch of the cabin, flight attendants make sky life look easy. However, a single day in their shoes might include delivering a baby at 36,000 feet, traveling cross-country multiple times, and somehow managing not to spill a single ounce of Coke Zero for the lady in 12B. Here are eight truths you might not know about flight attendant life.

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Pajamas in China? Camouflage in the Caribbean? Think again.

With luggage restrictions tighter than ever and lost luggage at an all-time high, many travelers are choosing to ditch checked baggage and rely entirely on their carry-on. When packing with limited case space, it is important to know what NOT to pack. There are countries where wearing certain pieces of clothing or jewelry is illegal, banned, or socially unacceptable. Check out the destination you are visiting next to see what you should leave at home.

Well, it seems the pandemic is sort of (maybe, possibly) over–or, at the very least, we’ve incorporated its permanence into our everyday. Restrictions and COVID protocols are easing, and countries that have maintained lockdowns are reopening. Travelers have been rapidly flocking to international destinations. Yes, we might pack masks and Purell, but the paranoia has downgraded.

So, for the first time since November 2019, we’re publishing an international Go List, covering the far reaches of this weird and wonderful world. But is it the same world as before? Are we the same travelers? 

Travel seems to have new meaning to many of us. The loss of this privilege has led to much rumination on its importance. There’s a collective feeling of forfeited time and an urgency to make plans. But with that lost time has come plenty of opportunities for reflection–and the realization that maybe we weren’t doing it right before. Travel isn’t a bucket list challenge or a competition to one-up your friends and followers. It’s an impactful experience–to us as individuals, but also to the places we visit.

Because for a destination, it’s a little more complicated. Tourism can bring financial relief for many, and creates opportunities for exchanging ideas and ideals, but travel can also be a corrosive commodity. And for that reason–for the first time since November 2019–we’ve decided to bring back the No List, which encourages travelers to reexamine the impacts of tourism and reevaluate where to spend valuable dollars and time. 

The Go and No Lists are perfect examples of the duality of traveling this new world–we’re eager, but we’re anxious. We want guidance and reassurance. It feels like a whole new world out there.

But one thing remains as true as ever: we still believe in the endless possibilities of travel.

Edited by Apeksha Bhateja, Stacey Lastoe, Rachael Levitt, Eva Morreale, Jeremy Tarr, and Nikki Vargas. Photo editing by Viviane Teles, Eddie Aldrete, and Kadeem McPherson.

Light the oven and pour the drinks—the holidays are here, and it’s time to get baking!

They say the smell of freshly baked cookies or bread helps to sell a house, and for good reason—nothing screams complete comfort and heartwarming happiness more than delicious baked goods hitting your belly! As winter sets in and temperatures drop, firing up the oven is one of the coziest ways to pass the darker days without resorting to hibernation, and the holidays bring plenty of opportunity for hosting revelers who are surely expecting some cake and cookies. To help you with all of your holiday parties, from hosting to gifting, and to keep you thriving until spring blooms again, we’ve rounded up the best baking cookbooks from both time-tested bakers and exciting newcomers determined to keep your kitchen cranking out the goods all winter long.

Follow the rules when you visit.

“What would you like to drink?” can be such a loaded question. There are some rules that can make life easy: gin and tonic or mimosa for Sunday brunch; wines with meat and desserts; grappa or scotch after dinner; beer with friends or while watching sports events; and cognac on a cold winter night at home. Or, you could go rogue and mix it all up! Drinking is (mostly) a socially acceptable part of the culture in many countries around the world, so in many places, you will find people raising their glasses in a toast. However, there are some destinations where the answer to “What would you like to drink?” should be answered with something alcohol-free. In these countries, drinking is regulated or restricted; there may be a total ban on drinking, a partial ban on public consumption, or a local ban for citizens. In Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, there’s a total ban, while non-Muslims in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan can get it. You may not be able to take a bottle with you when you travel, or it may be socially disrespectful to indulge in spirits with company. So, it is suggested that you familiarize yourself with drinking laws and adopt culturally appropriate behavior. INSIDER TIPThis is not an exhaustive list. Do your research before you travel!  

Are your eating habits climate-friendly?

According to studies, food production is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Some foods are water-intensive to grow, some emit more greenhouse gases, and some use more land to be produced. Raising animals and eating meat has far more impact on emissions than growing and consuming vegetables.  Are you more conscious of the brands you use, the car you drive, and the way you travel? Take this one step further and try to understand how certain things in your pantry and fridge may be increasing your footprint. You don’t have to go cold turkey on meat and dairy overnight, but reduce your consumption of high emitters and opt for local, seasonal produce as much as possible. Eat Low Carbon has scored dishes on how carbon-intensive they are and there’s also a quiz to help you compare the footprint of dishes. Related: All Is Not Lost! Here’s Something You Can Do

Go beyond the airport gift shop to find truly unique items and gifts.

Keyrings, postcards, and magnets make sweet souvenirs to buy and are often the go-to at the end of a trip, but memorabilia of greater sentiment and rarity can make for a better gift and a way to remember your travels by. Bringing back a token from our holidays is like bringing back a piece of a place. Throughout my travels, I have collected items from various destinations to add to my home or to wear. Whether it’s art or pottery, clothing or jewelry, having something unique from your travels not only makes for a special souvenir but can also prove a thoughtful gift. To tell a story to guests when asked about an item in your home or to share the origin of a keepsake when gifting a special souvenir allow us to retain and share wanderlust. Inspired by my own travels, here are some of the more unique and special items I’ve found that make for memorable keepsakes and gifts (and are infinitely more exciting than an airport keychain).

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