Frequent trips between Kyoto and San Francisco have led me to discover many delightful treasures, but I’ve also learned a few things about the art of traveling too. From broken luggage to arriving at a destination with what I call “plane face,” I’ve experienced many of its less-than-glamorous aspects. Fortunately, getting elegantly from Point A to Point B can be easier with a little planning. Here are a few of my favorite tips:  

1. Carry travel cubes

Travel cubes or zippered pouches are one of my must-haves because they not only keep everything organized, they can be arranged many ways and nest neatly into each other for easy storing. Everything stays tidy and it’s easier to access what I need without digging deep into my suitcase.

 

“Getting elegantly from Point A to Point B can be easier with a little planning.”

2. Folding Garment Bags

Garment bags are essential to keeping clothes unwrinkled and in good condition, especially if you have an important meeting or clothing that requires special care. I’m especially fond of garment bags that fold up like an envelope because they take so little space. Many also hook onto a suitcase, which is even more convenient.

3. Keep a second set of your daily beauty essentials

Although it may seem excessive at first, having a ready-to-go set of my beauty favorites and skincare ritual in my suitcase has made packing so much simpler. I’ve left my tried-and-true makeup brushes or favorite toiletries at home too many times to remember! Having a separate set for travel is a time-saver and one less thing to worry about on a trip.  

4. Melatonin for sleep

I usually carry a bottle of melatonin supplements with me to help my body readjust to any time zone differences, especially in Japan. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body that regulates sleep cycles. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any supplements to make sure they’re right for you.

5. Invest in lifetime luggage

Given the expense of traveling, it didn’t occur to me that luggage should be something to invest in. After various misfortunes with my baggage—from broken items to suitcases that hurt my back, I’ve realized the importance of reliable luggage. A good suitcase will be easy to carry, durable, and come with a lifetime warranty.

6. A small token of home

Whenever I leave for a trip, my daughter Alea hides one of her toys in my suitcase so I have a friend with me wherever I go. I cherish these little surprises of hers, and take photos of them to show her I’m always thinking of her. Homesickness happens, but a meaningful reminder helps me feel connected to my family.

I hope these tips help make your travels a little more peaceful. And I would love to hear your favorite tips and tricks too — please share yours in the comments below!

Always,

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published June 2015

Living, Travel
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