Travel packing tips from a seasoned traveler

Posted January 2018

On my last trip home, to Montreal, my mom was asking me for advice on clothes and packing for people who travel as much as I do.

Here are a few travel packing tips I came up with and thought I would share with you.

  • I love TravelPro suitcases. In my experience they have been extremely sturdy and reliable. I have a version of the CREW™ VERSAPACK™ GLOBAL CARRY-ON EXPANDABLE ROLLABOARD®.
  • Bring neutral-colored clothes and make sure you can mix & match them. I always have the following items in my suitcase:
    • Black leggings (and sometimes patterned ones)
    • Stretchy black Banana Republic pants
    • Nice top, in case I get invited out or want to treat myself to a nice meal
    • Comfortable tshirt to lounge in around hotels & coffee shops
    • Tank top for warmer weather
    • Comfortable sweater/hoodie or cardigan to lounge in around hotels & coffee shops
    • A dress (for warmer destinations) that can be dressed up or down
    • Flip flops and/or thick socks for hotel rooms – I always get grossed out by the carpets and floors in hotels. You can use the flip flops around the pool & in summer.
    • A swim suit- you never know where you’ll end up (a hotel pool, a spa, a lake, etc)
    • Workout shoes
    • Stylish exploration shoes -I’m a fan of the Nike flyknit because they are comfortable, somewhat stylish (in a sporty way), collapsible and light.
    • Workout clothes that you can wear around the hotel and workout in- This will save you space in your luggage! Be sure to plan what you wear though! Here are a few personal recommendations:
    • Earrings and accessories (necklace, bracelet and scarf) that will match the rest of my clothes
  • Packing cubes are extremely helpful to organize your suitcase as well as to help compact your clothes to take up less space. I like the Dot & Dot bags because you can see through part of the cube and because the zipper is very sturdy.
  • Elastic bands and other light workout equipment for strength training (when the hotel gym is limited)
  • Hanging toiletry bag such as this one with clear pouches. Makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and reduces the chances of losing and forget your items on the bathroom counter.
  • Pack travel-sized products:
    • Get your perfume in a travel-size format
    • Transfer large tubes of creme, cleansers, etc into travel size containers.
      • here’s a clever trick: squirt any makeup product that you need in small quantities into  contact lens cases (concealer, under eye creams, etc).
      • Switch your liquid make-up remover and face cleanser for face wipes if possible (less risk of spilling)
    • Transfer pills you need to a portable, rotating, transparent travel medicine organizer such as this one.
  • Eye mask & ear plugs
  • Plastic utensils- I’ve found that a lot of hotels and areas I stay in don’t offer healthy meal options, so I usually go grocery shopping and make myself salads and meals in the room.
  • A small collapsible kettle for tea, oatmeal, etc. I get grossed out by the coffee machines in hotels, especially for plain hot water. I’m looking into buying this one.
  • Snacks- protein bars, oatmeal, nuts, etc. sometimes I’ll bring chocolate but I try not too otherwise I know I’ll eat it all.
  • Mini bottle opener- I will always remember the time I tried to open a beer with my keys on a beach in Hawaii and ripped half of my finger off. Let’s say I learned from this experience!

Extra tips:

  • If your hotel has a gym, very often it will be equipped with a water filter machine (fill up your water bottles) and fruit on display! Enjoy!
  • Use the rooms’ pants hangars (with clips on them) to hold the curtains closed and not let light in.
  • If you can have access to the concierge lounge, they usually have water, sodas, light snacks, fruit, coffee, tea during the day and sometimes serve bites at night and breakfast in the morning.
  • If you like strong coffee and have a coffee machine in your room, double up the coffee pods in one tray and you’ll get a pretty decent coffee!
  • Some hotels offer refrigerators for the rooms- you can save a lot of money by buying breakfast items and salads at a local grocery store and bringing it back to your room.
  • My pilot told me about this one. I haven’t tried it yet but apparently, you can use the iron and some paper to reheat chicken, steak, paninis, etc! Make sure you don’t get sauces on the iron though, that wouldn’t be very nice for the next guest!
  • I always put the do not disturb sign on my door because when I check into a room, I make it my home for the stay and I don’t like strangers coming into my new home. If you need new towels, to take out the trash or anything else, you can just call guest services and they will drop off whatever you need. See more hotel tips here.