My Must Haves for Stress-Free, Organized Travel

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of TownePlace Suites by Marriott® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Today’s post has nothing to do with food, but something to do with my other passion, travel! As most of you know, I’ve spent the last three years of my life traveling the globe as a writer and journalist. It’s been incredibly exciting, exhilarating and eye-opening, but it’s also been hectic, stressful and exhausting. The most amazing part of my journey is always the destination. As much as I love to travel, the actual act of traveling isn’t always my favorite.


Now, that isn’t just because I have flight anxiety, although that plays a part. The real reason is that I’m not a very organized person, and if there’s one thing you have to be when you travel as much as I do, it’s organized. I will say I’ve gotten better throughout the three years I’ve done this, but that’s only because I’ve gotten a little smarter with how I pack.


I was recently contacted by the folks at TownePlace Suites by Marriott® and The Container Store® to share a few of my tried and true travel organization must haves with you guys, and with Christmas and New Years coming up oh so very soon, I thought now would be the perfect time to share the three things I can’t travel without anymore.

Multi-purpose carry on bag


Even though most of my trips are international, they’re also multi-city and country, which means I’m constantly hopping from airport to airport, hotel to hotel and coach to coach. Not only is there a lot of running from place to place, I’m always on a very structured itinerary, leaving me almost no time between transfers to get where I need to go. That means I have absolutely no extra time to spend lugging a giant suitcase around or digging in my purse looking for my phone, iPad or passport. This is why an all purpose, easy to use carry on has become my all-time favorite travel accessory. This striped tote from The Container Store® isn’t just cute, it’s perfect for hauling my computer, tablet, phone and passport. Plus, it has wheels, which means less stain on my already tense back.

All in one adapter

all in one adapter

This is probably the most coveted item in my travel bag and it’s one that so many people always forget when they go internationally (me included). Before I had this all-in-one adapter, I was constantly having to borrow adapters and converters from my colleagues or the concierge, and when you’re computer is at 3% and you have a story due that morning, having to go through 4 people for a charger isn’t exactly ideal. That’s why I absolutely love this adapter. No matter what country I’m in, I know I can charge up any of my devices as soon as I get to my plane seat or hotel room. To me, $50 for peace of mind is probably the best money I’ve ever spent.

 Neck and back pillow


I simply can not travel anymore without a neck and back pillow. I am totally aware of how old that makes me sound, but when you’ve gone on as many 16+ plane rides as I have, you’ll immediately see why this is so necessary. Rarely do I fly anything but coach, and as many of you know, those seats don’t offer much comfort. That and those little pillows they give you offer almost no support for when you’re trying to sleep. That’s why I always travel with a two-in-one neck and back pillow. I love the neck pillow for when I’m reading or watching a movie and the back pillow is a plush and cushy dream when I’m trying to lay back and get some zz’s. I love the versatility you get with this one without adding extra bulk. It’s two pillows in one, which makes it easy to carry and so much better to use when you’re flying halfway around the world.


These items paired with an amazing hotel with built in organization makes my life as a travel writer so much easier. Growing up, my immediate family always had to drive 4 hours to be with our larger family during the holidays, so I grew up spending December 22nd – 26th in hotel suites.

And I have to say, if the ones we stayed in looked like these with the amazing elfa® closet systems, I probably wouldn’t have had so many fights with my brothers over who got to hang their stuff in the rooms coveted 2 closets. 

If you’re interested in staying with TownePlace Suites®, here’s a few things they offer for their buisness travelers and families:

  • Huge studios and one bedroom suites (which are big enough for a family)
  • Free Wi-Fi! (A major bonus point for me)
  • Kitchens complete with major appliances, coffee maker and microwave
  • An easy to use map that connects you to the neighborhood you’re in
  • On-site laundry

…and much more to make your stay as pain-free as possible. Paired with your new travel goodies, the act of traveling might be something you learn to like a little more now too!


To celebrate this new partnership (and their amazing new closets),TownePlace Suites® is giving one lucky reader a $100 gift card towards a stay at any of their hotels! What makes TownePlace Suites® different is that they accommodate long stays. TownePlace Suites® is specifically designed and operated to meet the unique needs of business travelers (or families like mine who need a room for more than just a few days). With Christmas just a few weeks away, this will totally come in handy for those (like me) who have to travel to see their loved ones! To enter to win, fill out the prompts below & check out the official rules. Learn more about the closet on the TownePlace Suites® Facebook.


To enter, simply answer this question in the comment section below! “What do you do to stay organized on extended-stay travel?”

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  1. Posted by Dana S on
    Thursday, December 18th, 2014
    I just bring less stuff and do laundry
  2. Posted by Johnezo on
    Friday, December 19th, 2014
    A laundry bag is essential if you don’t want dirty clothes mixed up with clean ones! I use a hanging organizer also keep things together and accessible. I also keep essential items packed together, clothes I will need the first night get packed on top, etc. Shoes get wrapped in plastic grocery bags, but the shoe rack in the closet would sure come in handy!
  3. Posted by Jennie on
    Friday, December 19th, 2014
    Roll everything, pack all toiletries in my carry on handbag.
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Friday, January 9th, 2015
      Thanks Jennie! What's your email so we can send you the prize!
  4. Posted by Michelle on
    Friday, December 19th, 2014
    Lists. Lists, lists and more lists. And then I save my lists to use as a starting point for my next trip.
  5. Posted by JenniferAnne on
    Monday, December 22nd, 2014
    To stay organized, I pack clothing items I will need first on top. Another thing I find indispensable is a hanging organizer where I keep my makeup, hair products, etc. I can't do without extra hangers and Ziploc bags, either.
  6. Posted by Linda F. on
    Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
    I like to make lists of what I need to pack and then pack that list with me so I know that I don't leave anything behind when it is time to leave.
  7. Posted by ELIZABETH P on
    Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
    I use ebags so that my clothes are separated by days and I have everything I need right at my finger tips – I also use ziploc bags to make sure nothing leaks! I love the elfa closet – looks great! truckredford(at)gmail(Dot)com
  8. Posted by nadya kotik on
    Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
    I don't travel often but i always keep personal hygiene items in a separate bag and clothes organized by events/days. I bring extra things depending on weather.
  9. Posted by Elle on
    Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
    I definitely make packing lists of everything I am putting into my luggage as I pack this way I can stay organized when packing back up to go home. I just refer to the list I initially made and make sure everything I brought with me is making the trip home.
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  11. Posted by Marcia Goss on
    Sunday, December 28th, 2014
    I stay organized by not over-packing. I take clothes in neutral colors that I can mix and match to make several outfits. I also like to unpack as soon as I arrive to avoid wrinkled clothes.
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