Robin Locker Lacey Melange Travel

Ciao! Bonjour ūüôā

I’m Robin Locker Lacey.

Italophile, Francophile, lover of food and wine, indy traveler. I never met a French cheese I didn’t like and I can eat my weight in pasta carbonara.

As a minimalist, I naturally travel light. ¬†Known in certain circles as the¬†‘Carryon Queen’, I teach people¬†how to¬†travel with only a carry-on bag.

I’m also the owner of M√©lange Travel and I’ve been dishing out Italy and France travel advice and planning trips for nearly¬†a decade.

I am extemely passionate about what I do and feel so grateful to do work I love. EVERYDAY. I get to help people with their dreams of traveling to France and Italy. What could be better than that?

But I didn’t always have this fabulous job. ¬†I created it. Organically. And it was born from a passion of two countries I love¬†and a desire to help people.

Let me explain.

As cliché as it sounds, my life changed forever the day I saw Under the Tuscan Sun. I charged outta the theater, determined to travel to Italy. I subsequently planned my first (of many) trip, with my husband (then boyfriend) as he stood by in shock and disbelief.

The trip was amazing. I fell deeply in love with Italy -the gregarious people, the simple, delicious food, café culture, the wine, the architecture, the history, the language, and the lifestyle in general.

And gelato. Did I mention the gelato?

Craving more European culture (read food + wine), I decided to put my high-school French to good use and travel to Paris, solo. It was there I discovered the nooks and crannies of the magical city, without the distraction of a companion.

I savored my first real French croissant, began my obsession with macarons,¬†dispelled the ‘French are rude’ myth and overcame the fear of traveling alone in foreign city.

And I planned both of those trips myself. On a budget. Without a travel agent or signing up for one of those overcrowded, overpriced, marathon ten-cities-in-five-days group tours. Those are so not my style.

When I got back from Paris, I started a little¬†blog¬†as a way to share my experiences, recipes, travel tips and¬†infuse European culture into other’s lifestyles.¬†I enjoyed writing, so I decided I’d try¬†some freelance travel writing.

Friends and family started asking for advice with their travel plans. I was excited to help and found my advice actually made a difference.

So, I combined my passion for travel and food, Italy and France, my detail-oriented nature and years of management and customer service experience and created a multi-faceted travel business.

And that’s how M√©lange Travel was born.

My wish is for you to experience Italy and France like a local, discover your own passions and be willing to let it change your life as it did mine. My goal is to help you get there! By traveling smarter, lighter, stress-free and on any budget.

And me? Well, maybe I’ll¬†publish a¬†travel memoir someday. Each subsequent trip adds more stories!

But mostly, I dream of living out the rest of my days somewhere in the beautiful Tuscan countryside – drunk on Chianti and the Italian language.


1. Why Mélange?

I’ve always loved the word. ¬†In French, it means a mix of things. ¬†And not only are my services a mix of things – travel planning, food and wine tours, helping people¬†travel lighter – but it also describes my travel philosophy, perfectly.

I believe the recipe for a good trip contains:

  • a mix of history, culture, food
  • a mix of touristed hot spots and hidden gems
  • a mix of pre-planned activities and plenty of down time
  • a mix of guided tours and self-discovery
  • a mix of dining experiences – wine bars, street food, picnics, casual and award-winning restaurants

So Mélange worked on many levels. And it just fit.

2. If you had to pick between the two – which country do you love more?

I get asked this pretty often. And it’s a tough question because although they have many similarities, there are¬†differences too. Without offending anyone, this is how I generally sum up my feelings:

I love France, but I’m in love with Italy


+ couples trips, honeymooners

+ solo travelers

+ first-timers

+ local, authentic experiences

+ food & wine

+ value luxury {when to splurge vs. when to save}

+ packing light


+ early-bird planners

+ appreciate experiences over things

+ open-minded, responsive, collaborators

+ independent, slow travelers

+ life enjoyers