Mario Lopez Has Perfected Packing Light and Traveling With Kids — These Are His Tricks
Expert traveler may be one of the many hats that the star wears.
Actor Mario Lopez has perfected packing light. In fact, he can fit everything he needs for up to two weeks into a carry-on suitcase.
"I'm pretty good, I do a little military-style folding. I like the roll — the roll is key — you can fit a lot like that, jam it in there," Lopez told Travel + Leisure in a recent interview. "You never have to worry about losing your luggage, which is the best luxury."
An avid traveler, known for his time on iconic TV show "Saved by the Bell" and various hosting gigs throughout the years, Lopez has had plenty of flights to perfect both his packing technique and how to get some shut-eye on a plane.
"I'm pretty good about sleeping on a plane so I try to take advantage of that," he said. "Or I like to read so I catch up on some reading; or when you get WiFi there, if i'm not watching movies, then I catch up on texts and emails. You can be pretty productive, you're alone, quiet… it's nice."
Over the past year, Lopez has been on quite a few pandemic-era flights for work — he's gone to New York, Texas, Florida, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Arizona — and even managed to "sneak away" to Hawaii with his family.
"Travel is just a beautiful experience for you and your family that you should embrace. You get culture and you learn a lot, it's inspiring," he said. "You want to disconnect and recharge, and that's a great way to do it."
It's exactly this passion for travel and expertise that prompted United Airlines and Chase to partner with Lopez for the launch of their United Quest Card, featuring a $125 annual United purchase credit, a pair of 5,000-mile award flight credits each year, up to 3,000 Premier Qualifying Points from United, and two free checked bags, among other perks. The card comes with a $250 annual fee.
In addition to Lopez, Chase and United partnered with surprise travel company Pack Up Go to offer adventure seekers the chance to get away for half the price. Anyone (even non-cardholders) who books a surprise trip with the company for travel through 2023 can get 50% off up to $1,000 with the code "QUEST." An additional 50 codes are released every Tuesday through May 18.
But as anyone who has traveled with kids knows, there's always a few tried-and-true tricks to avoid the dreaded eye rolls from fellow passengers on the plane (something Lopez, like most parents, said he worries about).
"Tablets are key: bring those iPad tablets, load 'em up with movies; get some snacks; try to time it with the naps, keep them up late and get them up early so they can try to sleep," Lopez said, joking he doesn't know "how they did it back in the day — coloring books, I guess."
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.