Skift Take

Take a page from the books of some experienced travel advisors from around the U.S. before you head out on your next adventure or business trip. We love the suggestion to swap out the hotel room's bar of soap with your favorite from home to start your day at ease.

While top travel advisors are adept at preparing their clients for stress-free trips, including advice on what to pack, how do they ensure their own needs are met while on the road?

Skift reached out to veteran travel advisors to get some insight into what essential items they themselves never leave home without.

Many of the advisors told us they focus heavily on packing tech devices, while others sway more toward old-school items like supplies for thank you notes. Our favorite tip of them all? A bar of favorite soap.

Mesh Packing Cubes

Melissa Fail, lead travel consultant, RLX Travel Group:

“My go-to items are not necessarily pricey, but they are so valuable to me personally.

“I purchase mesh packing cubes in multiple sizes. I place charging devices and cords in one and stow in my carry on. I also use them to pack my scarves and accessories. The mesh allows me to easily see through and grab what I need. I always take plastic store bags and stuff them in the corners of my luggage. I place shoes or damp clothing in them. Not glamorous, but completely functional. I have a lightweight travel blanket that I neatly fold up and place in my purse for the airplane. This goes on every trip with me and serves multiple purposes.

“When I cruise (and I cruise a lot) I take expandable clothes rods. They are lightweight and small, however they double the size of my hanging space in my closet. While cruising, I also take a clear plastic shoe organizer with square hanging brackets. I place it on the bathroom door and it organizes all the toiletries and miscellaneous items for the room. It keeps all the countertops and desk surfaces clear of junk!

“I also take a charging cube that has 8 electrical plug-ins and 8 USB ports. Super, super handy!”

USB Port Wall Charger

Helen Prochilo, Promal Vacations, American Society of Travel Advisors board director:

“The one item I am never without is my multi USB port wall charger whenever I travel. Mine has five ports on it. I can charge my cell phone, Fire tablet, Apple watch and laptop using one wall outlet. Some hotels and especially cruise ships have very few wall outlets and this has been a life saver for me on many occasions. I recently sailed on the Celebrity Edge and only one outlet worked in our cabin. I was very thankful I had this with me.”

Ziploc Bags

Ellison Poe, president, Poe Travel:

“I always have (don’t laugh!) Ziploc bags, BC powder, extra bag tags and my note card and envelopes for thank yous etc.”

Electric Adaptor

Dayton Owens, CEO/owner, World Traveler 365:

“The one thing I always bring is the electric adapter, even in the USA, because it has two extra slots to use USB ports as well. So when you have limited plugs to recharge things this is perfect for all trips and all countries.”

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Betsy Donley, Camelback Odyssey Travel:

“I always take my Bose noise-canceling headphones, a blindfold, my neck pillow and a bar of my favorite soap. Having your own soap in the shower makes you feel so at ease. And I always pack in a carry-on; this eliminates lots of worry with missed connections and canceled flights.”

iPad and Kindle

“Deborah Fogarty, Be Well Travel:I never travel without my iPad, Kindle, Apple earphones, eye mask for the plane and protein bars so I always have a healthy snack.”

Power Strip

Paul Niskanen, recently retired travel advisor:

“I always take with me a power strip that can handle both 110v and 220v. All too often hotels or apartments only have a single outlet. With a power strip and a suitable wall adapter, I can plug in more stuff. Also I always take a mini-charging station with 4 USB outlets to charge phone, iPad etc.”


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Tags: checked bags, tips, travel advisor innovation report, travel agents, vacations

Photo credit: In this July 12, 2016 photo, passengers prepare to check bags at a Delta Air Lines counter at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Linthicum, Maryland. Packing right for a vacation is a skill. Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

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