When I travel, there are certain "must" items that make the cut when packing.
Just as you consider your daily ensemble based on your meetings, the weather, etc.. the same applies for les voyages. You must consider your destination and length of stay. That will determine the size of your luggage. Once that's in order, the weather of your final destination will determine what you wear and ultimately how much you pack.
The only thing I DO consider is what I'll be brining back from the place I've visited. We all know duty-free is a great way to shop and bring back cheap alcohol or last minute gifts. I use duty-free for unfound liqueurs in the U.S. and Clinique make-up. Way cheaper in any airport.
Then there are the lovely local art work, craftmanships, fashions and artesenias you are apt to finding in street shopping, boutique, vintage shops and museums. Those are most important, so having enough space in my suitcase for the return trip is critical.
("jelly fish" lamps found in street shopping in Playa del Carmen, Mexico)
But, allow me to introduce and talk on the point of those little "gifts" we don't ever think about making room for or bringing back. Those little gifts we find in our hotel rooms, our resort suites that are generously placed in our bathrooms for our liking, aromatic pleasure and bodily enjoyment.
I'm talking about the sewing kits, conditioners, shampoos, body gels and soaps and body lotions that I admittedly love to take every morning and call housekeeping to replace after I've showered. Hey, I've paid for the room, so I figure it's mine to use and take. And if anyone ever questions my decision to make them my own beyond my visit, consider their minuscule size.
However, there have been unique cases where the portions were so nice, and the brand so exclusive, I hardly could resist placing an order to take home with me; or simply not using at all, thus making my take home stash even larger.
I do a lot of traveling and have smelled and lathered myself with tons of luscious scents and suds. One of my faves became European brand Molten Brown after 1st being introduced to this luxe line during a weeks' stay at The Westin hotel in Greenville, S.C., 8 years ago. I was so tickled with the fabulousness of the goodies, I had the kind bell boy Fed Ex me a 1lb box of all the bathroom toiletries. Then, we all know about the BLISS Spa line found at the W Hotels. Those are nice, but not as full-bottled or sexy as Molten Brown. I've also enjoyed Fedderic Fekkai products in NYC hotels.
And, I've come across more exotic scents and textures in St. Maarten and Cabo, San Lucas' Sheraton Hacienda Golf & Spa resort, only a few months ago.
I just came back from a fabulous visit to Maya Riviera, Mexico, near Cancun and Playa del Carmen, and stayed at the all inclusive and adult-only Valentin Maya Imperial resort. This 3 year old resort, perfectly located in multi-million dollar real estate with a white sand beach lacing its property, offers 9 restaurants, car service to and for your hot spots and a slew of daily activities that will do nothing but rush you to your room for a relaxing evening and sexy shower in the marble stalls.
(shower in my "swim-up" suite at the Valentin Maya Imperial)
This is when the goodies placed on the white alabaster trays come into graceful play. These had something different about them. The toiletries were made of whole wheat grains and organic honey, offering both scrubbing benefits and sensual, sweet aroma. I appreciate the buyer's choice in selecting a brand that is eco-conscious. Accepting all the benefits were fitting, there was one issue: the size. At 4.2 oz, they exceed the carry-on luggage limit, causing me to re-think making room in my luggage. But, the soap scrubbed my arms so nicely, the shampoo left my hair smelling like bees had just washed it and the body lotion made me extra sexy.
After 3.5 half days and 3 nights, I had accumulated enough bottles to share with my sister who's now visiting me in Atlanta and take on our next mini-vacay.
When traveling, don't be shy to gift yourself with these lavish goodies replenished there for your enjoyment! If all else fails and you want to be sure, simply call house-keeping and kindly ask. I guarantee 100% of the time will they say "sure."
Bathroom goodies are one of the given perks of traveling and you should take full advantage of! That's not to say you should go and book a flight simply to stock up on smell good prod!
Oh, one more thing about collecting hotel and resort toiletries; they can always be recycled and donated to local charities or homeless shelters for those in real need. I find myself having to do that once a year and it's just as gratifying giving them away as much as initially enjoying them!
Where have you stayed and just loved the shower gels and soaps found in the bathroom!?