Martha Stewart’s 10 travel tips

Yahoo Travel recently came out with an article listing Martha Stewart’s Ten Rules for Flawless Travel. Now I have to admit, 7-23-14-1I love Martha Stewart. I own several of her books (she has her very own Amazon page here), often watch her cooking shows, and generally just enjoy everything she does. So I was very interested in what her definition of “flawless travel” is.

A lot of her tips are great advice: avoid checking your bag if possible, keep an “essentials” list, bring a Kindle (which I post about all the time), and make sure your charger cords don’t get tangled. There were a few that, while a little goofy, I can totally get behind. For example, she recommends that people stay hydrated (great!), spritz their “favorite skin tonic” (okay, not too bad), and avoid alcohol (you may have a harder time with that one). She also recommends that if you don’t hire a guide for your trip, pop into the local café in the morning and get recommendations from locals (I love her optimism).

Several of her tips revolve around packing. She explains how to properly pack shoes and how to fold to avoid wrinkling your clothing, both of which include solid advice. However, she also recommends that you assemble your outfit, put it on a hanger, put a plastic dry-cleaning bag around it, and then pack it in your suitcase. Seems like that would waste a ton of space! Plus, each piece of my wardrobe does double-duty, so packing it as part of one outfit would mean another outfit left incomplete. If you’re that worried about forgetting what to wear together, put on each outfit before you leave and take a picture of yourself.

She suggests carrying on your bags for shorter trips, but recommends for people to bring a suitcase, a purse, and a messenger or duffle bag. I sure hope she can combine those bags together, because airlines only let you have two items. She then goes on to say that if you have to check your bag, make sure to shrink-wrap it or cover it with a waterproof canvas covering. I had to giggle when I read this. On the one hand, yes, airlines treat luggage pretty badly, and in an ideal world everyone would protect their luggage. However, I can’t imagine any business traveler (or regular traveler, for that matter) ever taking the time and effort to have their suitcase shrink-wrapped.

The one thing I felt was missing from her list was etiquette (which I also post about all the time), which surprised me. Being kind to others and not letting small things bother you helps tremendously with making travel “flawless”! However, Martha is still wonderful and I think overall her list is very helpful for novice travelers.

Readers, what do you think of Martha’s Ten Rules for Flawless Travel? Do you agree or disagree with my analysis?

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  1. Don’t you use the shrink wrap service at the airport? They are worth the money and the little extra bit of time.

  2. I don’t know where to start with this article; acid-free tissue paper in your pumps? Linen drawstring bag for each pair of shoes? Then she talks about preferring to carry on? Come ON.

    If I packed like that, there would only be enough for two days at the MOST. Knickers (panties to you) go in pumps. Shoes at the bottom rear of the bag, two pairs plus the ones you are wearing at the most, if you are carrying on. Three if you are not (and one of those should be strappy sandals, which take next-to-no space).

    And wrapping each outfit in a plastic bag? Again, way too much space required. Like you, each piece in a carry on must do double duty. Especially so because carry-on limits in Australia dictate a bag that’s 18″ long, not 22″ as is common in the US or international.

    I don’t travel for business (thank god) but I have gone away for 5 days with a carry on. And I wear a US 16-18, so all my clothes take up a LOT more space than Martha’s. Which means I must pack less of them. Small sized cosmetics (those sample sizes that come in bonus packs are always kept for this), just enough body lotion in tiny tubs for the time away, minimal makeup (I don’t wear a lot anyway), tops that go just as well with jeans for daytime as trousers for evening, frocks that can go from day to night simply with more makeup and stronger accessories. A mini hair straightener for the fringe, if more is needed to be fixed, I’ll get a professional blow-dry. Morrocan oil does everything I need for my hair (smooths, protects from heat, ands shine etc), and a tiny bottle of that lasts weeks. I jam my socks into shoes and the corners of the bag. Anything small goes in the spaces that are created by the compression straps when I use them. Take only one charger if you can (sadly I need two) but make sure you DO NOT forget it/them.

  3. Also, drinking all that water AND going without booze? Talk about a triple punishment!! No way!

  4. Martha has great suggestions in general but I’m a little reticent to really take her travel tips seriously.

    First of all, let’s be honest, she doesn’t even fly commercial! (So it doesn’t surprise me that her list doesn’t include etiquette) I have a very close family friend (practically family) who is a pilot (large private charters) and he has flown both Martha and her daughter on numerous occasions. He doesn’t often say much because discretion is key, BUT let’s just say she is a high maintenance traveler/flier–which is pretty well in line with the tone of her list!

  5. Martha’s tips are absolutely horrible! The only one I can agree with is #9 – hire a good guide if going to a strange city for the first time. The rest:
    #1 – You can go carry-on for any length of trip. Though used heavily for business, neither messenger bags or wheelies are optimal for long term carry on travel. No mention of travel packs carry on bags (bags with backpack straps that convert to over-shoulder bags).
    #2 – Never think “outfits” but instead think “capsule wardrobe”. Outfits may not mix and match with each other. A wardrobe coordinates so you can re-wear pieces in multiple ways getting lots of outfits.
    #3 – I think she means “use a packing list” – which may be electronic. An app such as “Packing” (free!) has checklists that can be used and reused.
    #4 – Shoes should be stuffed with little items to optimize space. Belts, small jewelry bags, cord bags, eyeglasses – all fit in the shoes ad will be protected by them. I’ve found that the best shoe bags are the plastic newspaper wrapper bags. Waterproof and small.
    #5 – How many chargers??? You should have 2 maximum – one 2A charger and synch cord for your USB electronics and maybe a power brick for your laptop. That said, many small laptops take USB so you may not need even that.
    #6 – OK, I agree with this. But I use the Kindle app on my iPhone so I don’t have to take an extra device.
    #7 – Just buy a TSA friendly lock.
    #8 – Folding increases the chance of wrinkles. I bundle wrap, others roll.
    # 10 – She says stay hydrated but doesn’t tell you how! Take a collapsible water bottle (such as a Platypus) and fill it up on the other side of security.

  6. I use zip lock bags and pack extra. They compress t-shirts and underwear. Also good for liquids and makeup should a bottle break, yes even plastic.

  7. I travel x country. Like the idea of “shrink wrapping” what I pack in my car because space is limited and I pack curtains & table cloths. Once you use an item and its out of the bag, while re packing in the “space bag” what can I use to vacuum it shut again? Car attachment, cordless/ rechargeable solution..? Thanks in advance,
    Revacing on the Road

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