Tips for Packing Light on Extended Stays

Extended Stay Room

When traveling for business or pleasure, it’s best to pack light, even if it is for an extended stay. When you pack everything into a carry-on, not only do you not have to pay additional/overweight baggage feeds, but you won’t have to worry about lost luggage and the hassle of filling out baggage claim forms. You’ll also save time checking in, and upon arrival, you can sail out of the airport, while everyone else from your flight waits at the carousel.

-          Choose lightweight luggage. Many airlines have maximum weight limits to carry on bags. The less your luggage weighs, the more you can pack in it.

-          Pack clothing that is easy to care for and avoid wrinkling. Look for quick drying fabrics in case you do some sink laundry. Many companies make stylish, synthetic clothing options made especially for travelers.  Avoid bringing silks and any items that are labeled ‘dry clean only.’

-          Don’t fold your clothing, roll it. Rolling clothes saves space in your luggage, allowing you to bring more, and this method of packing helps to prevent wrinkles.

-          Stick to neutral colors. Pack clothes that are white/cream, grey, black and or navy in color. Keeping a neutral palate will allow you to easily mix and match your tops and bottoms creating additional outfit options. Each piece should go with at least two other clothing items.

-          Layer up on lightweight fabrics. Pack light pieces of clothing that can be layered or shed depending to keep you cool or warm. If you’re away for an extended stay, the weather can change pretty dramatically. An undershirt, shirt and lightweight cardigan worn together can take the place of (and provide the same amount of warmth) as one bulky sweater in your luggage. 

-          Bring minimal footwear. Shoes quickly add weight and bulk to suitcases. Travel light by picking basic shoes that will go with everything. One pair of casual shoes and one pair of dress shoes or heels will get you through most situations.

-          Change up your looks with accessories. Jewelry can quickly jazz up the look of an outfit, taking you from day to night, and it takes up minimal space in your suitcase. For men, it’s as easy as bringing a few different ties, and pocket squares for your blazers.

-          Skip the toiletries. If you’re away for an extended stay, chances are you’ll need more toothpaste and shampoo than what’s allowed in your carry on. Plan to stop by a pharmacy to buy what you need upon your arrival.

-          Don’t pack ‘just in case’ items. If you find yourself trying to justify bringing something because you might use it just in case, keep it at home. Chances are you won’t need it, and in worst case scenarios, you can always buy what you need when the situation arises.

-          Choose accommodations that have on site laundry. If you stay at a location that has laundry facilities, it can really extended the length of time you can live out of the clothes in your suitcase. To save money, avoid guest laundry services that charge per piece and instead look for self-service laundry options.

If you’re used to traveling with a lot of luggage, it may take a few trips to get used to packing light, but before too long you’ll be a convert!

Eating Healthy on the Road

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Dining out at restaurants is one of the perks of being on the road, for the first couple of days anyway. By day three or four, dining out gets boring, expensive and it can leave you feeling tired. The next time you’re traveling on the road, consider taking along some healthy snacks that will keep you full, lift your energy levels and save you some money.  

Here are some ideas of what to bring next time you visit InTown Suites. These items can be brought from home or picked up at a grocery store near your destination. Many of these items can even be found at pharmacies or corner stores.

Refrigerated Goodies – At InTown Suites, all rooms come with a full sized refrigerator, giving you even more food options.

Eggs – Many people call eggs nature’s perfect food. When eggs are boiled, they are good for up to a week if you put them in the refrigerator. They make a great breakfast when you’re running late to your morning meeting.

Deli Meats – Slices of turkey, ham or roast beef are great to have on hand. Roll them up and munch on them as is, or make a sandwich with them. When buying the meat, look for a low sodium version.

Fruits and Vegetables- Look for bags of pre-cut and washed fruits and vegetables for easy snacking. If you find vegetables too boring on their own, buy a tub of hummus or tzatziki to dip them in.

Bagged Salads – prepared salads are a godsend to road warriors, providing a quick and healthy meal option. For minimal prep, look for bags that contain ingredients besides lettuce and that come with a package of salad. These salads can be eaten right out of the bag with a fork!

Shelf Stable Eats – these are foods that are fine without refrigeration and can be stored in your car or guest room for the week.

Peanut Butter – Peanut butter is a travel staple. It’s a cheap source of protein and healthy fat.  It doesn’t need to be refrigerated and it tastes delicious. Add it to a few slices of bread for a PB sandwich, dip apple slices in it, or eat it right out of the jar with a spoon!

Cereal and Granola - Not just for breakfast, cereal makes for a great meal at any time of day. To keep it healthy, look for a whole grain cereal with lots of fiber and little sugar (avoid anything marketed towards children or contain the word ‘frosted’. Top it with some sliced banana or berries and you’ve got a complete meal.

Ramen – The food loved by college kids everywhere. Ramen is cheap and if you don’t have a stove top, it can be made with boiling water from a tea kettle or coffee maker. Make the meal more substantial and healthier by adding in some torn up spinach, sliced mushrooms, sliced boiled eggs or whatever else you have on hand.

Dried Fruits – these sweet and condescended versions of fruit are perfect for the road as they last indefinitely. It’s a great way to curb your sweet tooth without resorting to refined sugar.

Nuts – nuts pack a lot of energy into a small package, making it the perfect option for a road trip. Create your own version of trail mix by mixing it with some of the dried fruit mentioned above.

Protein Bars – Look for a protein bar that has a good ratio of fats, carbs and protein. These can act as meal replacements when you’re in a rush and can easily be stashed in the glove compartment for easy access.

Extras - Lots of dollar stores and drug stores sell travel sized toiletry bags that come with refillable bottles.  On your next visit to the store, pick up a pack. These bottles are great for holding seasonings and condiments like salt, pepper, ketchup and mustard. A little goes a long way with these ingredients but they have a big impact on flavor.

As a final tip, if you’ll be spending all day on the road, and have foods that need to be refrigerated, remember to bring along a cooler to keep your food from spoiling.

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