Celebrity traveler

Tracie Thoms last year on Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, where she was shooting the film, "Safe House." (Tracie Thoms Photo, Baltimore Sun / September 13, 2012)

What travel items do you always pack?

I can't go anywhere without my eye mask and earplugs. Not only am I somewhat of a night owl, I'm also a very light sleeper. So I need to shut out all noise and light just so I can get some sleep. It's not always easy.

And I can't go anywhere without my cellphone. I use it for everything: email, Twitter, Facebook, photos, Netflix. It's like an extension of my hand. I may be embarrassed by that fact, but at least I'm honest.

Do you like to read when traveling? Do you prefer traditional books or an e-reader?

I always have my iPad with me. I usually use the time on the plane to read scripts for any projects that I am working on or thinking of working on. It's honestly hard to read for pleasure because I'm [typically] backed up on things I have to read.

Are you a heavy or light packer?

Heavy? Light? That's so subjective. [Chuckles.] A girl always has to have the right pair of shoes for any occasion.

What does travel do for your mind and spirit?

It's truly a blessing to travel to the places I've been [because] of my work. And I usually try to sneak some personal time in and see some touristy things while I'm away. It awakens my sense of adventure!

Tracie Thoms' 5 favorites

From Chicago to Cannes, celebrity traveler Tracie Thoms has made the world her stage. Here are five of her favorite places:

1. Cape Grace Hotel, West Quay Road, Cape Town, South Africa. Luxury hotel situated amid the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with views of Table Mountain. Amenities include a spa, library, gourmet restaurant, and a whiskey, wine and cocktail bar—Bascule — that offers some 400 whiskeys from around the world. For more info, go to capegrace.com.

2. Sofitel Philadelphia, 120 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, 212-569-8300. French elegance meets Philadelphia freedom. Sip cocktails in the Liberte Urban Lounge, and for breakfast, nibble a fresh croissant. Go to sofitel.com. Another Philly favorite is Dalassandro's Steaks, 600 Wendover St. Philadelphia. 212-482-5407. This popular spot in the Roxborough neighborhood has a menu loaded with the iconic cheese steak sandwiches, hoagies and more. Go to delassandros.com.

3. Drago's Seafood Restaurant, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras St., New Orleans, 504-584-391. Seafood reigns at this Big Easy eatery. The famed charbroiled oysters are grilled in the shell with garlic, butter, herbs and Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Go to dragosrestaurant.com.

4. Blowfish Sushi, 2170 Bryant St., San Francisco, 415-285-3848. Dozens of sushi choices, including cod, venison and eggplant, including the Popeye roll, made with spinach and Asian peanut sauce.

5. Giordano's Famous Stuffed Pizza, Chicago (multiple locations). The menu offers pasta, salads and more, but the pies—with cheese, veggies, pepperoni and shrimp, among other ingredients—take center stage. Go to giordanos.com