November Purchases

I had the realization yesterday that November was the first month in over two years where I didn’t take at least one flight. Crazy! I’ve spent the month enjoying the Bay, thinking about the trips we’re going to take in 2016, and prepping for holiday travel. In anticipation of our trip in December, I made a few purchases to make the trip a bit easier.

November travel purchases

I really like Josie Maran products, especially the cleansing oil. It’s much gentler than any face wash that foams up and I find that I don’t need as much facial moisturizer. I picked up this Argan Skincare Ritual Set of travel size products to help my skin survive the cold weather on the East Coast.

November purchases

I usually keep an reusable tote in my luggage. It’s handy to have for extra space or to transport stinky shoes or clothes. This month I added this reisenthel Touring bag to my collection to transport any presents. I like that it has a zipper and a strap that fits securely over your luggage handles.

November purchases

I also picked up a pair of cashmere socks help keep my feet warm. They are surprisingly reasonably priced and since my last pair lasted for five years, I think these were a worthwhile purchase.

Continue Reading

Holiday Travel Survival Tips

The holidays. The bane of frequent travelers. The airport is overrun by those who lack with-it-ness or just plain common sense. This year, we decided to stay on the West Coast after seeing the expense for such a short trip, but will be taking a much longer trip in December. If you’re heading out of town for Thanksgiving, here’s a few holiday travel survival tips, even for those of you who travel regularly.

Holiday Travel Survival Tips

Get to the airport early. Usually, I get to the airport 20 minutes before my flight boards, but not during the holidays, even with TSA Precheck. Everyone and their mother (literally!) is traveling, which means more people at check-in counters and at security. You’re also traveling with people who move more slowly and might not know TSA’s policies on liquid limits or removing shoes and jackets.

Clearly mark your bag. I still can’t believe the number of people that remark on what a clever idea our bright luggage tags are. Since there are more people traveling, you could face having to gate check your bag, which means it goes to baggage claim. I’ve found this to be useful even with cabin baggage when someone mistakenly grabbed my bag out of the overhead bin. Our J.Crew luggage tags have lasted for several years now.

Pack a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. You’ll stay in your own little world, free from crying babies or overly chatty seatmates. I’ve been very happy with this pair. Don’t forget to check your battery’s strength before leaving, too. Check out my other travel essentials here, too.

Double-check that you have ID. Seriously. Last December, as we got off the train at SFO, I had the sickening realization that I had left my driver’s license in my gym bag. Fortunately, with some additional security screening, I was able to board my flight. If you ever find yourself in the situation of having no government-issued ID, immediately ask for the TSA supervisor on-duty. I was able to prove my identity to TSA by showing several credit cards, magazines that had my home address, and a prescription medication label.

Have patience. No matter what, you’re going to be aggravated while at the airport. Take a deep breath and relax. And consider hitting up the yoga room if there is one at your airport.

Taking a red eye? Check out my survival tips here!

Continue Reading

Bleisure Travel

I recently read this Fast Company article exploring how millennials approach business travel. The author writes

As they are less likely to have responsibilities at home, millennials can approach business travel as a lifestyle experience. In their position, why not hack a grueling travel plan to make it more enriching, rewarding, and—yes—pleasurable?

Enter what some in the travel industry are terming “bleisure” travel (to the dismayed groans of others). At first, “bleisure” only referred to business trips that were extended for pleasure. Now the word encompasses leisure experiences that are woven throughout a business trip.

I found myself checking off almost every point mentioned in the article: I frequently extend business trips for a long weekend (or find attractions to visit after work and at the very least, meticulously research where I’m eating); I’ll book a favorite hotel brand (if it’s cheaper) even if it means a longer commute; and prior to becoming an elite flyer, I always bought flight upgrades on my own dime.

Continue Reading

At Home On The Road

At home on the road

Back in September, when I did my crazy eight days bouncing around on the East Coast, I started to feel burnt out. I think it was partially because I hadn’t been on the road (for work) since early July and so I was out of practice, but also because I never felt anchored since I was spending a day or two in each location. My most recent trip was fine and in fact, went by quite quickly and enjoyably, despite working a few late nights and on a Saturday. That got me thinking about some best practices to make yourself feel at home on the road, even if you’re in a hotel and traveling for business, not pleasure.

Unpack your suitcase. If I’m going to be somewhere for more than 2 days, I fully unpack my suitcase and nest. Aside from helping de-wrinkle garments, this action makes me feel more at home instantly.

Maintain your routine. I am a creature of habit so I try to keep my schedule consistent while on the road. I keep similar bedtimes and wake-up times so that I don’t disrupt my sleep schedule. This is extra important to me given the time change between California and New York – I want to adjust as quickly as possible.

Pack your coziest pajamas and don’t forget slippers. You’re a grown-up. Ditch the old sorority tees and sweatpants and invest in some matching pajama sets. It makes staying in a hotel a little more glamorous. Right now, I’m digging BedHead PJs after spying several pairs on The Mindy Project this season. And of course, I pack my favorite pair of slippers for every trip.

Make time for friends. Or work colleagues. Or those work colleagues who are actually your friends. Or just go to a restaurant to eat at the bar and make friends with the bartender! Traveling for work can be extremely isolating so it’s important to find time to socialize.

But also make time for yourself. I’m an introvert, so being in an office can be exhausting, especially if it’s an open-space layout. I find quiet time for a walk or a coffee during the work day and I always reserve one evening per trip for just myself so I don’t wind up feeling run down by the time I get home.

Communicate with home. My husband was a consultant in his previous life, so we had a lot of time to figure out our communication style when one of us is traveling. For us, it’s texts and G-chats throughout the day and a short good night phone call. That doesn’t work for every couple, so figure out what works best to keep you both sane and connected.

Continue Reading