The Savvy Traveler :: Rachel

[trip style = sun + weekend getaway + luxury]

Rachel is passionate about packing right and bringing the most stylish and apropos ensembles for every trip style. As a freelance fashion writer who has graced the pages of publications like and, she comes by this obsession naturally. We knew she was The Savvy Traveler's go-to gal for jetsetting in style when we read this: "all the packing advice I came across online was generic and formulaic – not at all the whimsical glimpse into stylish global attire I was hoping for." So she fixed the problem when she started her blog, Suitcase Secrets, where she documents her packing techniques and lists each time she jetsets near and far.

1/ What are your top 3 trip styles and why? 
[trip style = sun + weekend getaway + luxury] I love my home in NYC and think it’s one of the greatest cities in the world, but I get antsy if I don’t head out of town every couple of weeks. Even if it’s just for a couple of days, I love exploring new places and stepping away from my daily routine. Whether it’s trip style = wine touring in Napa to quench my food and wine cravings, trip style = weekending at the W Hotel in Miami for some fun in the sun, or a romantic trip style = luxury getaway to Paris, where my boyfriend and I can stroll through the streets all day and night, traveling is a true treat for me. And when I get to plan an extended trip, it’s even better! I’m off to Italy in a few weeks, and we’re pulling out all the stops to make it a dream trip—first class flights, five star hotels, food and wine tours galore. It’s going to be unreal.

2/ What items are always on your packing list?
I obviously put a lot of thought into each and every suitcase I pack, but some items are so versatile, I never leave home without them. These include:

  • Oversized Jee Vice sunglasses
  • A pair of skinny jeans from James
  • A Tolani scarf
  • Intelligent Nutrients bug repelling perfume
  • Evian spray
  • My laptop and camera
  • Goody hair ties and clips
  • A pair of Havaiana flip flops

3/ Essential travel gadget or app? 
It’s a toss-up between my computer and camera. As a blogger, I love to document my journeys, and I enjoy looking back on photos from past trips to keep the memories fresh. I also try to stay very connected—the last time I was without my laptop was in South Africa. It was liberating, but also took a lot of adjusting!

4/ Hotel or destination that’s on your radar and why?
I’m normally dying to get to Europe, and have been desperate to go to the south of France for ages, except the timing never seems to work out. Right now I’m really fascinated with staying at the Sofitel Cartagena in Columbia. Between the festive culture, restored colonial mansions and exotic cuisine, I’m pretty excited to check it out. On the other hand, my boyfriend really wants to go to Papua New Guinea. We’ll see which one happens first...

5/ Best trip you've ever taken?
The best trip I’ve ever taken was to St. Lucia and Anguilla back in February. We stayed at Cap Juluca in Anguilla for four nights, and felt so lucky to be able to step out of our suite and straight onto the beautiful white beach. And St. Lucia was seriously magical—we had a breathtaking “sanctuary” with our own private plunge pool at Jade Mountain. There’s no fourth wall in your room, and the views are like nothing you’ve ever seen in your life. Plus, the service was truly extraordinary. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming!

6/ What are your best practices for packing quickly?
While sometimes packing quickly can be necessary, I actually prefer to spend a bit more time prepping, so I don’t have to stress about what to wear once the trip is underway. Sometimes I try on outfit possibilities and photograph things I like, so I can slip them on exactly as-is once I get to my destination. I also suggest packing wardrobe pieces you wear often and love. It’s great to add in new items or extra special garments as well, and if you bring a bunch of go-to basics, you’ll end up with a ton of options during your trip.

{If you know anyone who should be featured in our once-monthly Savvy Traveler series, drop us a line!}

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Tiffany, The Luxury Travel Inspector
Lora, The BC & OR Family Travel Expert
Bryce, The Pilot

[photo via rachel]