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What’s in Your Bag? 13 Hilton Hospitality Pros Share Their Essential Packing Tips

With this summer expected to be a record-breaking travel season, people are not only dusting off their suitcases, they are also scrambling to remember how to assemble the right packing essentials.

We talked to 13 Hilton hospitality professionals on the best way to pack, so that you can hit the ground running with your next vacation. Whether you're packing for business, leisure or ‘bleisure’ (the blending of business and leisure travel), consider the following helpful tips and advice from Hilton executives and property team members:

13 Expert Packing Tips from Hilton

“Luckily, packing is easy when you’re at an amazing hotel that has everything included at your fingertips, such as our newest All-Inclusive resort, Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya. I always bring a good book and my iPad and rest easy knowing I can find golf clubs, fishing poles and whatever else I need on property!”

Danny Hughes

President, Americas, Hilton

“I reuse the plastic dry cleaner bags, layering them in between clothes to keep my shirts and pants from getting wrinkled. On a more meaningful level, I do at least one activity each trip that connects me to the local community – from trying a local cafe or donut shop to taking a walking architecture tour or volunteering. It makes every trip a learning experience and a bit of an adventure.” Phil Cordell, lifestyle category head, Hilton

“I love to take road trips with my dogs Bear and Daisy. As a pet parent, it’s important to help them adjust to their home away from home by maintaining a routine, so always make sure to leave space in the car for their food and water bowls, familiar toys, cozy beds and of course bring their leashes for lots of walks and playtime.” Rick Colling, global head, Homewood Suites by Hilton

“While music is certainly a great way to escape and soothe the mind while traveling, most often I find myself settling down on the road with a good book. Not a book in tablet form though, an old fashioned, page turning book! I find the feel, the smell, and the actual physical process of turning pages something that is very comforting and allows me to disconnect from the myriad of interruptions that comes with electronic devices.” Alan Roberts, global head, Hilton Garden Inn

“No matter where I am going or what type of trip I am embarking on, I always pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes to ensure my feet are ready to get through a day of exploring. I look at every trip as an opportunity to learn and enjoy new places, such as Miraflores, which offers everything from great shopping, spectacular oceanic views and seaside dining to street art murals, parks and archaeological sites.”

Sofia Drosos

General manager, Hilton Garden Inn Lima Miraflores

“When I travel, I always take my noise canceling headphones and my paper tablet. This way, I can enjoy great music as well as take notes of whatever inspirational thoughts I have during my trip.” - Jimmy Sarfraz, general manager, Signia by Hilton San Jose

“Single-use travel toiletries are bulky and a hassle to restock before and after each trip. I prefer to use reusable and refillable toiletry containers that are easily packed and limit the amount of unnecessary waste. Taking a lead from Hilton San Diego Bayfront, I’ve also cut out all single-use plastic beverages from my travel routine. Instead of relying on an airport café for a pre-flight water, I bring along a reusable metal bottle that can filled up at a water station.” - Mario Thompson, commercial director, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

“The most important item that I pack is a family picture to be placed in the hotel room that will remind me of home.” - Cedric Nubul, general manager, Hilton Singapore Orchard

“My must-haves items when I travel include outlet adapters that can accommodate the chargers for my cell phone, watch, laptop and professional camera in any country I visit.”

Clavel Jacques-Louis

General manager, Embassy Suites by Hilton Miami International Airport

“I always bring my ‘Pack It and Forget It’ carry-on. While grounded, I always have a carry-on ready and packed with travel-sized toiletries, sanitizer, wipes, granola bars, travel binoculars as well as a charger and backup battery for my phone. P.S. Travel binoculars are highly recommended when staying somewhere like Hilton Saint John. With so many rooms featuring panoramic harbor views, you are sure to be treated to a show by the sea dogs or the many sea birds in the area.” - Glenda MacLean, general manager, Hilton Saint John

“I bring along my favorite hair and skincare products. My go-tos are a Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, Oribe hair products, Dr. Barbara Sturm Deep Facial Moisturizer and Nivea Lip Balm.” - Cindy Racco, general manager, Waldorf Astoria Park City

“When thinking about the essential need-to-pack items when traveling for leisure to Mandalay Beach, three things immediately come to mind: A day-pack to ensure I have all the gear I need to explore the nearby Channel Islands National Park, a tripod and a phone/camera to capture the countless ‘Instagrammable’ spots and sunsets and several bathing suits to enjoy the resort’s reimagined pool area or the sugary sands of Mandalay Beach.”

Ben Ly

General manager, Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton

“My biodegradable sunscreen is a must. I want to make sure I am respectful to the environment and local fauna while not returning as a human lobster.” - Felix Schlokat, manager, Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort

More than two years into the pandemic, Americans are beginning to realize the negative effects of being grounded. In fact, a recent Hilton survey* revealed that 76% of U.S. travelers experience negative feelings when they go too long without a vacation, with burnout (41%) and boredom (36%) being among the top emotions.

No matter where travel takes people this summer, the most important thing to bring along is an open mind. “Going on vacation to get away from the stressful day-to-day routine and spending some quality time with my loved ones is top priority,” Schlokat says. To that end, 39% percent of Americans surveyed feel mentally refreshed when reconnecting with their partner during vacation. “Don’t forget to bring the positive energy, positive vibes and lots of love!”

For more insights on what travelers are looking for this summer as they pack their bags, visit stories.hilton.com/summertrends.


*The Hilton Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 Nationally Representative US Adults Ages 18+, between March 11th and March 16th, 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey. The data was weighted to ensure an accurate representation of US adults ages 18+.


About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising nearly 6,900 properties and nearly 1.1 million rooms, in 122 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for five consecutive years. Hilton has introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 133 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook,  Twitter,  LinkedIn,  Instagram and YouTube.