Whether you're traveling for work or play, these pro tips will upgrade your suitcase game.
It's no secret that I travel a lot - it's one of my favorite parts of my job! Between trips to my restaurant in Vegas, to NYC for the Today Show, and of course to Italy for research and to visit family, sometimes it feels like I'm constantly on the move. One of the not-so-well-known benefits? I'm now a ninja packer! Here are a few of my next-level tips, whether you're taking the family for a week in the country or hopping from city to city on a business trip. Often, when I travel, I need lots of different outfits - for work, for meals out at nice restaurants, for sightseeing in my free time, etc. - and I don't have a lot of time to think about getting dressed in the morning. I keep each outfit in its own Ziploc bag, from underwear to jewelry, so I know exactly what I'm putting on ahead of time. If it's a long trip and I need to conserve space (I hate paying for too many checked bags!) I roll my clothes into burritos instead of folding them. Think like with like - T-shirts in one roll, skirts in another - to keep the packages tidy and easy to tuck in your suitcase. The rolls prevent wrinkles, and they take up a lot less room.
It only takes a couple of things to make a hotel room feel a little more like home. I travel with a small scented candle to fill the room with a welcoming scent (and cover up any less-than-welcoming ones!) and some lavender oil, which helps me get to sleep in a new bed. I also bring Jade's doggy pillow to sleep with, when she's not with me - it makes me smile every time I see it. I always put one outfit in my carry-on bag, as well as my toiletries, makeup, and anything truly irreplaceable - call it lost luggage insurance. Most of the time, when a bag is lost, the airline is able to send it on to you a few days after you arrive, but to avoid panic in the meantime, it's best to have your truly essential stuff with you at all times. You don't want to be shopping for clean socks on your first day in a strange new place! No matter where I'm staying, I bring a pair of flip-flops to wear around my room. Cleanliness is not always something you can see, and the thought of going barefoot on strange carpet just doesn't sit well with me.