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May 22, 2009

Clinton Kelly: Fashionably Smart Travel

Clinton Kelly always knows what to wear.

by Beata Loyfman

Hey, you! Yes, you with the pleated khakis, Scooby-Doo T-shirt, and fanny pack, I'm talking to you. If you continue in your fashion disaster ways, don't be surprised if you're ambushed by one Clinton Kelly, style guru of TLC's popular What Not to Wear. If you're lucky, Kelly will take you from zero to hottie faster than you can put down those greasy french fries and invest in healthy carrot sticks.  

Searching for makeover candidates takes Kelly all over the United States. And after racking up almost a million miles per year, he's learned a thing or two about efficient travel. Thankfully, Kelly was all too happy to share his pearls of wisdom with us this week:

DT: With all of the traveling you do for What Not to Wear, you've probably mastered the art of packing light.

CK: I will brag and tell you that I haven't checked a bag in four years. One day, I did the math and calculated that I would have wasted an entire day of my life just waiting for luggage at airports. So packing light became the goal.

DT: Impressive. What's the trick?

CK: I just bring the essentials: a great pair of jeans, a jacket/blazer, a pair of multi-purpose shoes.
Also, I pack travel-size options of all my favorite products. And if they don't make a travel size, I transfer the products into small plastic containers. Lastly, if I'm traveling for work and need multiple outfits, I'll ship clothes ahead of me.

Read after the jump for more of Kelly's travel insights. 

DT: What items should every traveler pack?

CK: Definitely bring a tube of OxiClean Spray-A-Way to attack stains as soon as they happen. You can get a trial bottle for free. Also, I always pack a little laundry detergent and get down and dirty in the bathtub, stomping out stains like Lucy on the grapes. Air in hotels is always so parched that your clothes will dry overnight and, as a bonus, keep the air moist. Bottom line: There's no need to carry more than four pairs of underwear anywhere you go.

DT: Carrying a giant vat of dirty laundry back home isn't efficient. Got it. What about on the plane?

CK: The key to successful air travel is staying hydrated inside and out. During the flight I drink lots of water and use Eminence Couperose-C Serum on my skin. Also, I absolutely swear, swear, swear by Airborne. I take one before and after every flight, and I haven't caught so much as a sniffle all year.

DT: What are your favorite destinations?

CK: In the United States, my favorites are San Francisco (for its beauty), Chicago (for its public art), and Miami (for its fun atmosphere). Internationally, my absolute favorite place is Sydney. It has fabulous shopping, restaurants, and museums, and you can hop on a bus and be on gorgeous Bondi Beach in ten minutes.

DT: What's your ideal next trip?

CK: Incredibly, I've never been to Greece (and I've been wanting to go since age 12). My next trip will probably be to Greece, Croatia, and Turkey. Should be beautiful.

Further reading:
* Kelly's right on point with his next trip. Condé Nast Traveler reported on the coasts of Croatia and Turkey--"the next Riviera"--in our March 2009 issue. 
* Boldface: Celebrity travels.


Nice article! I agree not checking can be a big help. Last week I waited an entire hour at JFK for my bags. On the other hand, If you have a lot of stuff sometimes it's worth it not to be hauling it around the airport for hours. Everything with reason. Also, Airborne may seem like like vitamin c-flavored Alkaseltzer but it really does seem to help. Emergen-c with zinc is also a good option.

Great article. Your point on just bringing the essentials is important if you do not want to check your bag. Women generally want to bring all of their facial care items, but can get by with mixing them with items found at the hotel (facial cleanser mixed with sugar creates a nice facial scrub, for example). Pack simple and carry-on.

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The editors at Conde Nast Traveler answer questions and share travel secrets, tips, and dispatches

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