What I Pack: Barbara King

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A perfect view in the Maldives.

What I Pack

Virtuoso travel advisor Barbara King shares her tips.

Barbara & Michael King at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
Plowing a rice field in Bali.

Virtuoso advisors travel the world to discover the best things to see, do, and eat, plus connect with hoteliers, tour operators, and local guides. Armed with these great relationships and knowledge, they come home inspired to plan trips for clients.
In this series, we reveal the inside scoop on how travel advisors pack smart for their adventures.
Travel Advisor: Barbara Sackheim King, based in Leawood, Kansas
Favorite Destinations: Southern Africa - South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Mozambique. I joke that I must have been a hippo in a previous life because I am drawn to Southern Africa, having visited at least once a year since 1999. My love for the area transcends the sightings of the glorious animals. The vistas are breathtaking and the people are so friendly and joyful. I also love the vibrant art and culinary scenes in Cape Town.
Dream Destination: I went to Fiji many years ago, but I so want to experience Laucala Island in Fiji. I’d also like to go to South Georgia Island near Antarctica.
Packing Philosophy:
Comfort is a huge priority. My philosophy is I’m going somewhere to experience the destination, and that the focus is not “all about me.” The only time I over pack is for Virtuoso Travel Week and I’m even getting better at that. I don’t like lugging a lot of suitcases - whether they roll or a bellman rolls them. My rule of thumb is everything I pack must be worn at least 3 times or it stays home.
Travel Essentials
Compression socks: I wear a pair on every flight over four hours [compression socks, recommended by many doctors for long-haul flights, cut blood clot risk]. I also wear them at my destination if I plan to walk a lot. My new favorites are Vim&Vigr's nautical striped ones. I also buy socks through Rejuva Health.
House of Colour lipstick: I refuse to buy cosmetics or clothes that don’t work anymore. I invested in a House of Colour Color and Style analysis, which was a huge benefit because now I wear the most flattering colors. My favorite colors help me look refreshed even when I’m not.
Soma Vanishing Edge briefs: Can we talk underwear?? I wear these all the time and would not travel without them. When I’m sitting on a long flight or going on a walking safari, I don’t need to play tug of war with my underwear.
Lace contour bra by Rosa Faia: The “girls” don’t like underwire nor bands digging ruts in my skin, so this particular bra is a must.
Pashmina wrap: I look for one with a subtle pattern that goes with everything. I rarely travel with my Herm├Ęs scarves because I fear I will misplace them. Plus, I don’t like to advertise I’m a tourist or call attention to myself.
Folding Scissors: How plebeian, you say? The most utilitarian tool I carry with me. 
Jambu shoes: I just ordered these casual flats in beige. I love, love, love this brand. They are so comfortable and my old pair went all over the world with me.
Ten over Ten nail polish: I’m a huge fan of this nontoxic polish – there are no nasty chemicals, your nails stay white and healthy, and the square bottles make them fit easily in a hard-shell eyeglass case. Plus, it’s long-lasting!

Michael and Barbara King visiting the Great Wall of China.

Michael King, Virtuoso travel advisor (and Barbara’s husband!), shares his packing tips. 

“I once went to Africa for a month with just a carry-on bag. My tips:
• Lay out items you think you may want. Cut that by 50 percent, then cut that by another 25 percent.
• Use small bags/pouches to organize items – when you arrive at your destination, just take out the bag for quick unpacking.
• Use small pouches for electronic charging cords, adaptors, and extra batteries.
• Check to see if the hotel has laundry facilities available.”

Get inspired: More great content on Virtuoso.com