I’ve been traveling a lot lately. Short term gigs like corporate events and television shows. I was in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Belgium.

So traveling with a small carry-on suitcase was enough.

It was a cold April very early morning when my Uber driver dropped me off at Gatwick Airport, with coffee in hand I marched to the security check desperate to score some breakfast before my flight left.

I cue up, and frequent flyer as I am, already took my laptop and liquids out of my bag and my boots of my feet. I could already smell the bacon and eggs. As my suitcase went trough the scanner the converterbelt stopped and more and more security people gathered around the little TV screen, some of them laughing, some of them looking very very serious.

– Miss is this your suitcase?

– Yes sir it is!

– Can you come with us please?

There goes my spare time to have breakfast, and into the little investigation room we went.

  • Miss can you tell us what is in the bag? Because we see something curled up in your suitcase that looks like a snake but it has a metal wire inside.

So I opened my suitcase and took out my bright red bullwhip.

  • Miss can you tell me what you do with this whip?

I couldn’t help but wonder if this question was necessary or if he was just very curious and was hoping for a more kinky answer.

I explained him off course that I work as a magician and that the bullwhip is used in one of my acts. After a couple of serious men-jokes about me and my whip (Your husband must be very lucky, and, can I book you for my bachelor party) I was free to continue my journey.


For all the people that want to travel with a whip in your carry-on, this is what regulations say about it;

Martial arts and self defense weapons are prohibited from carry-on baggage.

The bullwhip is not on this list, you’ll probably have to explain yourself so plan a bit more extra time to go through security and then you must be fine.

Only a couple of days later I find myself flying back to London to do a straitjacket escape for the BBC. So I throw my straitjacket into my carry-on and off I went to the airport. Again, liquids and laptop out of my bag, I had only 15 minutes to go till the gate closed.

Sabine van Diemen_Straitjacket_Escape

Again my suitcase was pulled to the side.

  • Mam, what’s in your bag?

So I explain that I work as a magician and that I’m going to do a television show for the BBC in London. So I say: “It’s a straightjacket”

They looked at me really weird and turned over the screen,

  • No, mam thats not what we meant, what is this oval object with the metal wires sticking out?

To spare some room in my suitcase I always chuck my shoes full with stuff, and this was a metal necklace hanging out of my sneaker, looking like a bomb……

So again for all the people that want to fly with a straightjacket or a bullwhip in your carry-on, you are fine! Just don’t chuck stuff in your shoes and make them look like a bomb!

XOXO & Let the magic be with you!