TansyTips: Packing In

Tried-and-tested products, tricks, and ideas for nimble and juicy adventures

TansyTips: Packing In

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Oi! My name is Tansy Kaschak, I am the Editor in Chief of A Hotel Life. Splitting our year living between New York, Brazil, Baja California Sur, and Europe — Ibiza this time — plus the work trips the job requires, we are constantly packing, moving, inventory-editing, trying to stay sane, and doing our best to tread lightly on the planet.

“How do you keep the balance of it all?”, many of you ask us. The answer is a work in progress, and the semi-migrant life is endlessly teaching us — and so do the other savvy travelers we find along the way.

An enthusiast of all things for a fun, healthy, and stylish life on a fair, happy, and healthy planet, I am always improving my arsenal of tools. So I am opening up my TansyTips bag to share some tried-and-tested products, tricks, and ideas in this column.

There’s more to come and I’d love to hear from you: if you have questions or suggestions, email, adding TansyTips to the subject line.


Good to know: What you’ll find below is an honest selection of products we love and creators we want to support.

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TansyTips: Packing In

There’s an old, wise saying: Who travels light goes further. And, if you are one of those who cruise strictly with a carry-on, you will agree that, through airports, slanted stairs leading to your friend’s guest bedroom right up their apartment’s attic, or navigating pedestrian-only rocky roads on a Mediterranean island, being nimble is the way to go. Especially in Summer.

But, the truth is, we like to be a bit extra: a landing pad might require some vibe-control, a last-minute invite could take us to the best costume party of our life, and treats-to-self or as thank you’s can go a long way. 

I am a Virgo, a Rat, and some friends call me Pary Moppins — I like to be prepared, resourceful, and versatile. I am not shy to say that wherever I go, there’s always something interesting coming out of my bags.  

A whole month of Summer in, here are some goodies and ideas worth spreading.

The Vessels

Choosing the right carriers is the first and fundamental step on a happy journey. We have to trust them — even better if they look nice.


A good, durable carry-on with a front pocket is a traveler’s best friend. It is worth investing in a piece with robust wheels and finishes, made of quality materials that will last a lifetime and save us money in the long run. A front pocket grants easy access to computer and the other bits we want at hand or that we have to display at airport security checkpoints.


When I spent a few months in Berlin last year, I noticed all the cool girls had this same chic and understated carry-all tote. In a variety of colors and finishes, Vee’s are made from recycled bottles and are probably the lightest bags on the planet while being super practical, water repellent, and resistant, and in the perfect size to fit under the seat.

Pro Tip: Pack some extra soft bags and pouches in different sizes: one that can be a carrier for the goodies you’ll pick up along the way or used on an overnight adventure within the adventure; a smaller one for beach days or daily shopping; an even smaller one to wrap something precious or an impromptu gift.

The Get-Ups

The best route to keep the packing minimal is to play with blacks and whites, but we like to make it sexy, crispy, and rich. Nothing says ‘I know what I am doing’ like a well-cut monochromatic ensemble, especially if they are made the right way.


“Prior to seeing this fabric, I was familiar with various products offering a silk-like experience; however, I always thought most felt like polyester (100% unsustainable). This Bemberg® based product was different. It feels as luxurious as the most expensive of silks and, by being sourced from previously discarded seeds of the cotton harvest and processed in a closed-loop facility, it is wonderfully sustainable.” Nilüfer Bracco, founder of niLuu


“SLOAN is alive thanks to a community of skilled Mexican artisans empowered to work remotely, securing their place as thriving members of the vibrant workforce and economy they so fiercely co-create. My deep belief that fashion can and should feed the soul is delivered through the conscious manufacturing of fewer, better, timeless pieces that can carry you from day to night, any season, with pride and grace.” Julia Sloan, founder of SLOAN

Pro Tip: Ben Pundole and I have been collecting pre-loved frocks and fabrics for as long as we can remember, and wherever we go, we take some with us. Beautifully faded colors, strong pattern game, or simply a good material that stood the test of time, they are unique, a lot of fun, and carry the memory of when we found them somewhere cool around the world. When visiting a new city, the first pins on my map are for secondhand stores, from upscale and highly curated boutiques to pay-by-the-pound shops that make our heads spin. They are usually located in the coolest areas and the treasure hunting is always rewarding, even if it ends purchaseless — they tell us many things we want to know about a place. And the people watching is just great.

Summer Add-Ons

The three graces of a fun sunny season: A stylish pair of shades, a colorful accessory, and flattering swimwear.


“Les Monts caters to highly creative people who appreciate a unique blend of eyewear and art form. The collection is produced in extremely small quantities (we only manufacture 50-100 pieces of a given style) and entirely manufactured in Italy, where we collaborate with an outstanding family-owned factory. Creating a single pair of Les Monts frames can take nearly six months and incorporates over 200 steps.” Casey Klugman, Les Monts founder. Les Monts is also a partner of Mental Health America and donates a portion of their annual revenue to the organization.


Lydia and her daughter, multidisciplinary artist Miranda Makaroff, are the embodiment of fun translated into colors. Their art can be seen adorning some of the coolest spaces in Ibiza (and beyond), like the Beach Caves at Six Senses Ibiza and El Silencio. Wearing one of their pieces is like an instantaneous happiness booster.


Not only Medina’s pieces are drop-dead gorgeous and made to last, the brand goes above and beyond to ensure their product is made responsibly and to give back to causes close to their heart, like donating 3% of sales to the Azores Preservation Foundation where their last campaign was shot.

Feeling Thyself

Want to build yummy, long-lasting memories? Make sure you feel good… And bring the senses in. It’s called emotional memory, and because of our brain’s anatomy, the experience gets embedded right in. When touch, sound, and smell are combined with a heightened sense of wellbeing, magic happens… And lasts forever.


Using high-grade CBD has changed my life. It helps me manage chronic inflammation and pain due to autoimmune conditions and endometriosis, and it soothes occasional aches like nothing else — so it is great to always have it at hand. Better than Advil, I like to say. This Onda CBD Starter Kit allows you to sample a few of their flagship, baseline products to find what works best for you. Start small and work your way up.


The newest Commes des Garçons unisex fragrance is made with 95% ingredients of from natural origin. Avoiding any ingredients that are suspected to have a negative impact on human and environmental wellbeing, such as synthetic colorants, UV filters, phthalates, palm oil, palm oil derived or BHT. And the packaging is partly made of recyclable glass and fully plastic-free. If you hug me this summer, that’s what I’ll be smelling like!


If I were to invest in — and pack for a trip — only one skin product, this would be it. A high-performance facial oil cleanly crafted with potent full flower hemp extract — and it smells like it. A heavenly bedtime ritual to wake up to healthy, hydrated, and glowing skin.


This newly launched product is already a must. Formulated with clean, traceable ingredients, it is rich in 5HTP, a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor that supports the biosynthesis of serotonin, our feel-good hormone. While Looni is a women’s health brand — led by our friend Chelsea Leyland — I bet this product could easily become popular with all those who need support for their mood equilibrium, especially when summer brings those kinds of celebrations we need extra help recovering from…

Pro Tip: To minimize waste and make sure we don’t find ourselves using products whose ingredients sound like science-fiction, we try to carry our own toiletries at all times. Solid bars of soap, shampoo, and conditioner are favorites, but also a small bottle of Castile soap (like Dr. Bronners) that can even be used to handwash our clothes or dog if need be.

Vibe Control 

Bright white lights, plain sad spaces, a not-so-interesting background noise: they could be lurking around the corner, and we don’t want to risk it. Or even when things are already great, some personal touches can still turn the experience up some notches.


A candle tackles two sensory delights at once: light and scent, creating a nice atmosphere to warm up an evening but also helping bring the nervous system down when it is time to unwind. Reena creates her Ayuri candles based on Ayurvedic wisdom and by hand-pouring natural soy wax blended with premium essential oils.

A Hotel Life Playlists

Summer is to listen to the sea, cicadas, and birdsong… And the tunes that can fill up a space with life and set the tone for activities at any time. Be it a peaceful morning rise, focusing on getting work done, or celebrating the sunset and getting the party started, our A Hotel Life Spotify profile has playlists created for us by some of the coolest music-savvy friends on the planet.

Pro Tip: A nice piece of fabric can do many tricks: it can be used to cover a bright lamp or as a throw to spice up a bed or sitting area (our friend and masterful experience creator Lauren Brand travels with her light bulbs, we’re not that pro yet) and, of course, be a versatile wearable or beach blanket.


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