I get asked a lot of questions about my favourites! From reading to packing to cooking, these are the things I consider to be my life essentials!
This page includes my lists called:
The absolute key to being productive is to be organized. I cannot stress this enough. This Page is dedicated to how I do that.
Actually, this first is a list of books. Why? Because literacy is everything and we should never take it for granted. When I travel, I have a lot of waiting, so I fill my time by reading. When possible, I choose books in Kindle format because they fit on my phone, but I nearly always have a book in my purse, too.
I like having reference manuals in my world and of particular interest is any book on etiquette and charisma. I am fascinated by it. If you click the title of this block, it will take you to my absolute favourite books on the planet. Thirty minutes each day is my minimum commitment to reading so I take my books seriously. That’s why it’s before organization on this page.
I keep adding to it so keep checking back. CHARLOTTE’S READING LIST
This is where the actual organization in my life begins. My entire day can change depending on what I’m eating next. An even bigger confession: if I don’t have a good meal planned, I will spend an entire meeting thinking about food. To keep myself in the moment and present at meetings, I need to make sure food is planned and prepped. Before you ask: YES. I actually travel to hotels with an Instant Pot, a Sous Vide, a bag of sous vide balls, and a salad bowl. Actually, the list on Amazon isn’t complete. My real travel food equipment is massive. But I tuned it down so I didn’t frighten anyone and cause an intervention. HOWEVER, if you have ever been to a conference, convention, or meeting with me, you know I’m entirely serious. I travel with a portable kitchen. TRAVEL COOKING & EATING
This is quite possibly the only list that doesn’t change much, if at all, because, frankly, once my luggage was organized, I didn’t feel a need to re-organize it. Here is what I will say on it, though.
YES. The first time I rolled into a conference with a suitcase AND a giant cosmetic case, I took some serious heat. Actually, some people still ride me about it, but HEAR ME OUT. What never changes when you travel? Your hair care, your skin care, your dental care, your hygiene, and your beauty products.
I am über organized about all of these and they never leave this travel case. I already know that I am going to need shampoo, deodorant, a hair straightener, and body wash (just to name a few products). So why would I bother to unpack them each time and then hope I remember to add them all back in later? (Keep judging, Kim. I bet I got packed faster than you did for the last conference.) Using a travel cosmetic case this size may seem a bit excessive, but when it’s time to go, I just need outfits and clean undies.
Speaking of outfits, you’ll notice I highly recommend both garment bags and packing cubes. This is because what I am packing depends on lot on the type of conference I am attending. I prefer garment bags because they allow me to plan an entire outfit, including undies and jewellery, that I can zip into a single bag and hang in the hotel room closet.
People tend to start coming to my room early and while I don’t have a problem answering the door in my PJs at 6am, I do have a real problem with sorting through my underwear collection in front of someone who just came to ask a “quick question.” Using a garment bag, I can just grab an entire pre-planned outfit, bring it into the bathroom, and keep the conversation going. Yes, it requires pre-planning, but it’s worth it when time is short and demands are long.
Packing cubes are different because they allow for different types of outings. For example, I don’t really need an entire garment bag dedicated to my collection of gym t-shirts or my swim gear. But I do want it to be organized and easy to pack and unpack. With a packing cube, you literally unzip the top, tuck the top under the bag, and place it in the top drawer of your hotel dresser. Done. Repacking is just as easy because each emptied packing cube is its own laundry bag.
All of my packing organization requires a fair amount of pre-work at home, but once your cosmetic case is organized, you don’t need to ever do it again. Just remember to note when you’re running low on body wash and conditioner. After that, you just dump the contents of your garment bags and packing cubes into the laundry. And if you’re looking for a serious pro tip: keep all your packing supplies in your suitcase which is kept in your laundry room. HOW I STAY ORGANIZED WHEN I TRAVEL
So you’ve made it to my fourth and final list. This one is like my dirty secret. I love technology. I mean LOVE it. I would rather go shopping for good Audio Visual Tech than clothes. OH MY GOD I SAID IT. (Monica is going to disown me as a friend.) But it’s true. I built a soundproof recording booth in my home office closet just for fun. I have a backdrop and lighting set up at all times. Basically if you want to drop by my home and create a full feature movie, I can probably hook you up.
This list is by no means comprehensive. Every so often I’ll wander through my office and say, “Oh yeah. I should add that to the list.” That’s how much tech stuff there is. Goodness. If I ever go missing, just follow the daisy chain of XLR cables. I’m probably at the other end joyfully gluing soundproofing to something. Just use one of the packing cubes if you want to bring stuff with you. OMG I LOVE TECH STUFF
“Organization is everything when it comes to abundant travel for work. If you pre-plan your outfits, your meals, and your technology, you get a lot more free time to spend with the people you will see at conferences, conventions, and meetings.”