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How To Pack Like A Pro For Your Holiday Trip

By Sponsor in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 19, 2016 6:00AM


Peak travel season is here, so we hope you've secured your holiday trips! Even if you're stuck going to your in-laws or you're popping over to the neighbor's for eggnog, it can't hurt to indulge in a little wanderlust and think about where to go next. So if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Poolside, oceanside, countryside? With the help of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card® from American Express and five travel bloggers they partnered with, we’ll show you how to pack like a pro and where to stay for a great holiday getaway.

Ben Schlappig is the genius behind travel blog One Mile at a Time. He specializes in getting the most out of airline miles and credit card points, flying an average of 400,000 miles a year in international first and business class, while staying at luxury hotels.


Included in Ben's travel bag:
swim trunks | slip-ons | chino shorts | white denim | oxford shirts | t-shirts | polo shirts | long-sleeved henley | shades | MacBook Air | portable battery charger | waterproof phone case | Kindle Paperwhite | jeans | shoes | blazer | shirt

Where are you going this holiday season? I'm headed to Miami for Christmas with my parents.

Where will you stay? I'll be staying at the W South Beach. The property is modern with unbeatable views!

And what are you most looking forward to about the trip? I love warm weather and ocean views, and Miami has both in abundance! I'm mostly looking forward to relaxing under a beach umbrella and spending time with my family.

Summer Hull is the mom of two little girls and the author of Mommy Points, a blog focused on family travel and getting creative to accrue the most travel miles and points possible to take her family around the world for less. Check out her work here!


Included in Summer's travel bag:
sneakers | stroller | lovey | AG leggings | nursing cover | iPad mini | J Crew coat | infant bottle | Ergo baby carrier | volume limiting headphones | Lulu + Roo leggings | Freshly Picked mocs | faux leather jacket

Where are you going this holiday season? We're staying close to home this year!

Where will you stay? We opted this year for a stay-cation at The Westin at The Woodlands, since it is a new beautiful property that is located a little north of Houston and within walking distance to a seasonal ice skating rink, tons of great bars and restaurants, a movie theater, a mall and so much more. It is also an easy driving distance to neighborhoods with great Christmas light viewing, which we absolutely hope to do!

And what are you most looking forward to about the trip? We have dedicated our time to local family holiday fun! I love traveling the world, but not at the expense of missing out on closer to home holiday attractions, so I'm very much looking forward to this closer-to-home use of points.

Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world - that's 193 to be exact. Travel icon Arthur Frommer called Lee the "Marco Polo of the 21st Century." Check out his work here!


Included in Lee's travel bag:
Billabong swim trunks | Havaianas flip flops | tabasco sauce | iPhone 6S+ | TripIt Pro travel app | Macbook Pro | Bose noise canceling headphones | mosquito repellent with deet | Coppertone suntan lotion | Allianz travel insurance

Where are you going this holiday season? I am headed to San Diego, California for two nights!

Where will you stay? I am staying at the US Grant Hotel, an SPG Luxury Collection property. It's a historic hotel on the National register of Historic Places!

And what are you most looking forward to about the trip? I'm most looking forward to some good weather, good sushi, Mexican food, seeing some friends, strolling the beach and relaxing in luxurious comfort at the hotel!

John E. DiScala, aka Johnny Jet, travels around 150,000 miles and visits over 20 countries each year. He and his website have been mentioned over 10,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Fortune and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC and PBS. He has also hosted the TV special Hot Spots 2012 on the Travel Channel. When he’s not traveling the world, Johnny can be found at home in Los Angeles with his wife Natalie and their son Jack.


Included in Johnny's travel bag:
PIPA by Nuna car seat and stroller | Scottevest | 4TB My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive | Island Bum straw hat | Sunny sunscreen | Bag Bungee | Lifeproof phone case | waterproof pouch | Fly-Tot | wineskins | iPhone 7 Plus

Where are you going this holiday season? I was originally going to go local and stay in Los Angeles but I’ve decided to take my dad to Hawaii between Christmas and New Year’s to celebrate his 88th birthday!

Where will you stay? We're staying at one of our favorite hotels, The Westin Surfrider. I absolutely love the Surfrider because of its location, history, views, and I can't wait to go.

And what are you most looking forward to about the trip? I'm definitely looking forward to the views, food, water, friends, acai bowls and the music!

Jen Miner is one third of The Vacation Gals, award-winning travel writers who know all there is to know about family trips, girlfriend getaways, and romantic escapes. Check out their work here!


Included in Jen's travel bag:
compact Panasonic camera | LifeProof phone case | Moophie power station | sleep mask | Hamilton soundtrack | TravelSmith dress

Where are you going this holiday season? This past Thanksgiving, my family and I went to New York City, and we had a practically perfect week.

Where did you stay? We stayed at The Chatwal, just off Times Square, which was a great location because in one week, we went to Saturday Night Live, United Citizen’s Brigade, a live jazz show, and…the hottest ticket in town, Hamilton!

And what was the best part of your trip? It almost goes without saying — besides a delicious, 3 billion calorie Thanksgiving dinner with our extended family, the best part was seeing Hamilton. Yes: it lived up to the hype. My kids are listening to the soundtrack every day!

These five world travelers, also known as "SPG Amex Stars," took 70,000 Starpoints® and used them to book two nights at a Starwood hotel during the most wonderful (and also the busiest travel) time of the year. Whether traveling to the to the W South Beach in Miami or The Chatwal in NYC, these Stars took on the Holiday Challenge and showed just how far Starpoints can go during the peak holiday travel season.

Become an SPG Amex Card Member and redeem Starpoints for free nights and flights—choose from over 1,300 hotels & resorts in 100 countries and over 150 airlines, with no blackout dates in sight. With the Card, you'll earn up to 5 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases at participating Starwood hotels —that’s 2 as a Card Member on top of the 2 or 3 you can earn as an SPG member 2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Rewards® hotels and 1 Starpoint for all other eligible purchases. You’ll also enjoy no foreign exchange fees, complimentary Wi-Fi at Starwood hotels and complimentary Boingo. Even better? You can earn 25,000 Starpoints when you sign up, and the first year fee is free for new Card Members. Learn more and sign up today!

This post is a sponsored collaboration between the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Gothamist staff.