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Tips from a Travel Pro

An interview with Fashion Stylist and SCOUT's own Creative Director + Co-Founder, Deb Waterman Johns.

What do you pack for a weekend getaway in the spring?

DWJ: First, check the weather. Then, factor in what you're going to be doing.  Are you going to be walking all over or are you sitting and relaxing? I like to have the least amount of stuff with me so I start by packing casual and then work my way up. I pack a pair of jeans, t-shirts, a city-sport shoe, a nicer shoe, a vest (for pockets,) a light down jacket, an outer layer windbreaker and finally one great statement necklace and a great statement jacket. All of these pieces are easy to layer over one another so you can transition easily from day to night.

What is the easiest trip to do from D.C.?

DWJ: NYC, Philly + Baltimore. That whole corridor is so easily accessible by train. It's a 3-hour schtick. Hop on the train and relax with no traffic.

Check-in or carry-on?

DWJ: The only time I check a bag is on my flights home from Europe or to move a kid into college. Aside from that, I never check a bag, I always carry on. One Weekender that I put in overhead storage and a DJ Bag (see you FW2016) to put under the seat in from of me. Oh, I also fold up a Weekender to put inside of my Weekender to have just in case I collect more stuff on my trips!

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What's in your carry-on?

DWJ: Inside of the DJ Bag I have my iPad, a giant wool or cashmere scarf to wrap myself in, protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, a book or magazine - in case technology fails me, glasses, lip moisturizer, Tylenol, Tums, Imodium, a notebook and a pen. I like to be prepared!

What are you watching on your iPad?

DWJ: Right now I am into Broad Church, it's a great British detective show on Netflix. Some of my other favorites are Broad City (which is fantastic,) House of Cards, The Killing and Damages.

How do you manage long flights?

DWJ: Keep drinking water to avoid drying out and BYO entertainment. Also, hopefully, you can sleep, but don't count on it, so plan accordingly. Bring snacks. Anticipate your own patterns and plan for them. I always drink Emergen-C before a flight, folklore or not, it works for me!

Any tips for booking travel?

DWJ: Talk to the hotel directly. Start by researching on the big sites but book with the hotel. They will usually match the price you've found on the internet so they don't have to pay the third party. Also, they generally have a less rigorous cancellation policy and you will have the added benefit of getting to know the hotel (you'll have a higher likelihood of being able to check in early or check out late.)

What is the best hotel in your opinion?

DWJ: Number Sixteen, in London, is unparalleled in terms of service and overall experience. I have stayed there for many years and the group who runs it really does a great job. For service, a Ritz-Carlton or a Four Seasons is always safe. I like knowing what to expect from a hotel and you get that there. I also love a hotel with personality. In California, some standouts are Shutters in Santa Monica, The Viceroy in Santa Monica and The Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. I love the Ace collection of hotels; I always feel like I am home there, these hotels are young, dynamic and sensible. The Crosby Street Hotel in New York is fabulous, it's stylish, hip and worth treating yourself.

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