I used to travel at least six to eight times a year for work, but since having my daughter 10 years ago, I’ve cut that down a lot. Now it’s more like four times a year, and always to locations where the food is great and needs reporting on, like Houston or Florence.

Since I hate checking luggage, I try to only go carry-on. But just in case, my favorite bag is lightweight but has a hard shell , so if I have to end up checking it — say I give in and buy olive oil in Umbria or a bottle of Amaro in Rome — I won’t worry about it breaking in transit. To fit maximum stuff in my bag, I’m a believer in packing cubes. They keep me organized as well.

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My last big trip was to Italy, visiting my friend Elizabeth Minchilli. Elizabeth gives the best private food tours in Rome and around the country, tailored to exactly what you want to learn about and taste. And I live by her Eat Italy apps — I won’t choose a restaurant in Italy without checking with the app first.

For the plane ride both ways, I always bring my own food. My plane snacks consist of some kind of non-messy sandwich, either bagels and lox, or prosciutto and butter on a baguette. And then I pack nuts, fruit, chocolate, cookies and raw veggies in these adorable plastic bag alternatives. They are great for bringing food home in, too, and I can throw them in the dishwasher to clean them.