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Storm travel and I go hand in hand, and my job would be impossible if I didn't have a routine. Since I'm usually traveling in the worst of the worst weather, my flights are often rerouted, delayed, or canceled, so checking luggage is never an option.
No two weeks are the same, but when there's intense weather, a typical travel schedule for me can look like this: Pittsburgh on Monday, fly to Boston on Tuesday to report for the TODAY show, drive up New England to cover the blizzard for Nightly News, head to Iowa on Wednesday for another shoot, then, back to New York by Thursday night.
So how do you pack for that?
Good question! Over the past two years, I've become very proficient at packing a lot into a small space:
That's everything I need for this week...including an assortment of winter coats! To travel with three winter coats, I always pack two and wear one:
Once I finally get to a hotel, I do my best to unpack and layout everything the night before. I get the chargers out for my phones, laptop, mifi, backup charger and make sure everything is fully juiced for the next morning. All my bathroom stuff, makeup, hair straightener (yes, even though I wear a hat most of the time, I have to straighten the ends!) is out and ready to go. I always shower the night before so that when I wake up the next morning — 45 minutes before I have to be at my liveshot location — I can immediate start getting ready.
My first step is to make a cup of coffee in the little hotel coffee pot (if there is one!) Then, getting ready involves a quick straighten of my hair and a layer of waterproof makeup.
And then lots of layers of everything else:
There's the base layer, a second layer, ski pants, water repellent socks, Ugg slippers, NEOS winter boots (New England Overshoes), one of my three jackets, scarf, gloves, and hat. If you lay out your outfits for the week, you only pack what you need — no backups! If you think ahead and know what you're wearing each day, it also makes getting dressed that week easier.
How do I fit snow boots into my small suitcase? I pack my slippers into my boots, then stuff whatever I can into each boot! I fill up my shoes with all the underwear, socks and small items I can. My best packing tip is roll, roll, roll... First, fold nicely, then roll and squish your smaller shirts and thinner clothes into any extra space you can.
The secret to warm feet involves hot packs for your toes. You have to sandwich your toes between them...one hot pack on the bottom, one on top. Then hot-packed feet go into Ugg slippers, which then go into waterproof snow boots. I bring along lots of hot packs, but they're also thin. Anything thin can go around the outside of your bag — don't stack because that will only take up room!
Speaking of hot packs...I put a hot pack into each of my pockets and also stick one to the inside of my jacket. Combine that with Belvita breakfast crackers and bananas...and that's everything I need!
And that, my friends, is my week in a nutshell — and my routine to get through it!
Find more TODAY morning routines here.