We all have our own travel routines and strategies. I often get asked how I manage when my travel schedule gets really heavy and it feels like I’m living hotel to hotel.
It’s very important to invest in great luggage. Five years ago, I got a fantastic, matching set of purple Samsonites, and they have (and still do) serve me really well. For short trips however, they’re not practical, and frankly, my carryon has gotten all but destroyed. I’m still on the hunt for a large checked bag, but I have found several pieces to replace my carryon.
Sadly, this particular design is no longer available. It is a Kate Spade limited edition, and I couldn’t resist when it went on closeout sale. Tres Chic. I think everyone knows my Kate Spade obsession, and the bow lining just does me in.
Steamline is magnificent not only for their beautiful designs, but their superb attention to detail. I was concerned that they’d scuff too easily, but so far (two Amtrak trips in), I’ve found that any marks that it picks up come right out. I love that they added the Kate Spade “Live Colorfully.” It makes my heart happy! Loving your luggage will help make any trip fantastic.
Whenever I arrive at a hotel, I always like to break out the valet stand, so that my suitcase can get put up. I will often take out my shoes to arrange, followed by hanging up any dresses. (natch). Depending on how long I will be there (or how spacious my luggage is), I will sometimes take my folded items and place them into the drawers as well. Having a coat rack in the room is rare, but so appreciated when I do! I am terrible at hanging up my coat on hangers, so if I can just throw it onto a hook, it is everything!
One of my favorite (slightly OCD) routines that I do (depending on the hotel – if I don’t know the property very well, I tend to keep my jewelry in the safe, but if I feel comfortable…) is unpack my jewelry so that I can lay it out and have it readily available to choose from for each outfit. I know, this makes me such a weirdo, but it makes my life so much easier, and frankly, helps me feel settled in right away.
I am also a huge fan of the in hotel bathrobes and slippers. It helps me keep a sense of routine, even when my surroundings keep changing. Whenever I am in for the night, I change myself into whatever robe is being offered (The Roosevelt in New Orleans has the best robes, just saying… they’re fluffy and luxurious. Not that the waffle weaves are bad, but this one’s my fav).
I also always joke that I’m basically a hero, in that I could go city to city, hotel to hotel, and somehow always, ALWAYS, remember my room number. I made the painful mistake of finally saying this out loud recently, and my super power seems to have evaporated. Rookie mistake, NEVER acknowledge super powers, no hitters, or perfect records out loud. You doom it. Ever since I said it, I’ve forgotten twice what my room was. So embarrassing. If you don’t have this magical power, try to carry your keycard folio with you, because it has the room number written. Just be very careful not to lose it, because that is a huge security issue and possible breach.
Lastly, I always try to stay on brand. Not only does this help me to earn some pretty sweet hotel points that can later pay for personal trips that Nate and I make, but it also gets me to status which increases my point earnings and often gets me upgraded. It also comes with perks like free wifi and free waters. Depending on the hotel, it also usually guarantees executive lounge access. The other benefit to staying on brand, is the hotel mattresses. The larger hotel brands have started producing their own retail mattresses. I own one. When I travel from Hilton to Hilton (I try to stay at flagships, Curios, Conrads, and Waldorfs, though occasionally at HGIs and even recently a Hampton Inn), it is a great comfort, *literally, to have a similar mattress at each hotel.
I will make a quick plug for Hilton (not sponsored, I just am a loyalist), is that you can earn nights towards your status, even when you are using points towards your stay. It is a feature that I find helps getting your status up. Usually, I clear my status on points. This year, because of the way work books my travel, I don’t earn half as many points for my rooms as I used to. Because of this, I’ve had to be more strategic in my earning, and am working towards my status via Nights. You can also earn status via the number of stays that you make. I find that Hilton is more generous with their Hilton Honors than several other loyalty programs. I used to be both Marriott Gold and Hilton Gold status, but discovered that there are a lot of blocks with the Marriott point program. This year, because I have less earning potential, I’ve been throwing all of my stays into Hilton, and not even worried about retaining Marriott.
What loyalty programs do you use?
Before I sign off, I also want to make a plug for being a brand loyalist for a very worthy cause. If you are not currently loyal to a singular brand, because you don’t travel frequently, or prefer to stay at the cheapest place, I will make a case for an important reason you should be concerned with earning points.
https://www.pointworthy.com/ is an incredible site that most large brand hotels can allow you to donate directly to. There are many causes that can use hotel point donations. For example, health and medically causes, that families need to be able to stay with or near their loved ones – I made a 100k point donation last year to an adoptive mother who wanted to stay as close as possible to her newborn son in the NICU – and I know many friends who have donated to cancer patients. You can also donate to natural disaster victims who need a place to stay because their homes have been destroyed.
I’m personally headed out to Vegas this week, for a conference I’ve never attended before. It’s a last minute trip, because my colleague really needed to be at home with his family. You can follow along on my insta stories! Looking forward to sharing those exciting moments with you all eventually on the blog!