Director of Marketing and Communications, Bunkhouse
Favorite hotel amenity: Matches. My dad traveled a lot for business and used to collect matches on the road. We had a huge basket of them in our house. Now I like to carry around matches from my travels in my purse. They are such a compact reminder of past adventures.
Tip for keeping calm and carrying on: I am a book nerd and always bring something to read. A book can turn a long layover, unexpected delay, or other travel headache into precious reading time. I’m also a big fan of portable battery chargers for getting through long days away from an outlet, and of course Rescue Remedy herbal spray for moral support.
Favorite airport amenity: Local restaurants that convey the local experience. Also, reliable, secure, and free public WiFi.
Fail-proof travel hack for smooth transit:Global Entry, which is essential for international travel and ensures TSA Pre-Check — you'll breeze through security. In addition, a compact rolling bag with at least two outside pockets in any color you want other than black. At minimum, it's best to book Economy Plus (or airline equivalent) to ensure there’s enough room to open a laptop and onboard WiFi.
Tried-and-tested tip that has improved your travel experience: Immediately connecting my smart phone to Bluetooth in a rental car; collecting points on airline and car rental loyalty programs.
Won't leave home without my Louis Vuitton briefcase. It’s a President Classeur from 1972 that's been all over the world with me. I use it as a substitute for weights and do exercises in my tent.
The number one mistake people make when planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip: Trying to do it all themselves. For a trip that important, I highly recommend consulting an expert on the destination. Not only can they help personalize the itinerary to reflect the traveler's personal passions, but they can provide recommendations on activities or experiences that can’t be found in a guidebook.
Favorite airport amenity: There is one amenity unique to a concourse, and for which I will sacrifice a non-stop just to revel in its near criminally good flavor: The Garrett Popcorn Shop at O'Hare International Airport. You can smell the trouble as you enter the terminal. Resistance is futile.
The number one mistake people make when planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip:Over-planning. Filtering the experience through “experts” who granularly interpret all the meridians for you, leaving no room for serendipity and authentic discovery. As Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav advised, “Never ask directions from someone who knows the way; you risk not getting lost.”
Where to next:I'm leading a trip to Myanmar this November.Travel chips away at the walls of tyranny and prepossession, and that’s why it’s important to visit Burma now. It is a chance to to celebrate diversity and customs distinct, and perhaps make a difference.
Carryon necessities:Warm socks, a notebook, and moisturizer.
Tricks for bringing back souvenirs: I've always been the kind of traveler who loves wandering; eventually, I'd end up in the market. As a backpacker, I'd usually just buy textiles because they are easy to pack. I now have an impressive collection of scarves from around the world.
If you're hoping to bring back travel finds bulkier than scarves, I'd suggest taking an extra duffle bag that folds up with you. It's often cheaper to check a second bag than ship things. If you do need to ship, local post offices often have great rates, and I've shipped from post offices in Poland to Japan with no problems. The vendors in markets that you buy from are also great resources, and can help you ship. They're so resourceful, know all the shipping options, and can help you pack your items safely. Just ask!
Favorite hotel amenity: Boutique beer or wine from the region.
How to calm and carry on while on the road: That's easy. I enjoy meditation. Each time I get a little impatient (happens in India a lot, maybe that's why they meditate so much), I remind myself, "Ah, this is a great opportunity to meditate. I'm not gifted with those moments in my normal life as a Whirling Dervish."
Where to next:Tres Santos, located in the Pueblo Mágico of Todos Santos, Baja California, is the type of place where your heart, head, body, and soul converse. There will be a boutique hotel, homes, an organic farm, hiking trails — you'll feel like you're part of a true community centered on well-being.
Tips for the best possible in-flight experience: I don’t drink alcoholor eat heavy meals while flying, and keeping a good beauty regimen is important. Also: Be comfortable. The cashmere socks and eye mask we introduced at VistaJet have been incredibly well-received.
Best airline amenity: I love the dates and Arabic coffee served on Emirates for take-off. It's a nice cultural detail. Understated efficient cabin service that is discrete yet attentive is the best of all. When cabin hostesses know your name, it's always a good touch.
In-flight rituals: I always ask for a second pillow, in whatever class; one under my head, one on top. It helps with noise reduction. If you ask nicely, they will almost always find you one. While it's a jacket and pocket square at check-in, I always change into sweatpants or pjs when I'm ready to sleep. And finally, dry fly. As sad as it is, it's better for your body.
How to maximize a big city experience when short on time: Go deep in one or two neighborhoods — don't waste time in transit. Pre-book a gig, concert, or comedy show; live performances takes you to the heart of a local scene quicker than most things. Life's too short for a crowd-sourced Tripadvisor no-no. We have a fabulous new LUXE App, with recommendations and offline functionality. The ultimate cut to the chase.
Favorite hotel amenity: I always appreciate a good writing desk and comfortable chair to sit in and make journal entries while traveling. I stayed at a great hotel (Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort & Spa) in Chiang Rai, Thailand and they had a great writing desk, handmade from local wood by a local craftsman, and a terrific sound system that I could play my music from. It was a perfect setting for writing.
How to keep calm and carry on: At the end of a great day of travel, it’s wonderful to be able to record your experiences with all the tiny little things that you may forget as time goes on. The simple act of holding a pen and starting to write on a clean page can be relaxing and force you to slow down the often hectic pace of travel.
How to keep calm while on the road: I do a lot of long-haul trips for work. And I usually need to connect to two or three other in-country flights. I pace myself with the usual combination of books, movies, and journaling. What is ultimately important is that I’m ready to hit the ground running when I finally get to where I’m going. My tip would be to confirm, multiple times, when in-between routes, that the airline has records of transferring baggage. More than once this has saved me.
My idea of luxury is having room to breathe, a body of water to swim in, and access to a decent cigar.
Travel Essentials: A hard-sided Dsh-1 check-in suitcase and Spacepak. My on-board kit is filled with Airborne Vitamin C gummies, wet wipes, a travel toothbrush, and Dermalogica face lotion. I wear Sockwell's compression socks and never leave without my old-fashioned Casio alarm clock. (I can never figure out how to work the hotel alarm.)
Fail-proof hack for smooth transit: Be organized. When I go through security, my pockets are already empty, and I've enrolled in TSA pre-check, which means travelers aren't required to take off their shoes or take out their laptops.
I have everything I'll need for the trip in the seat-back pocket ahead of takeoff. After long-haul flights, the first thing I do is take a shower and just enjoy being at the hotel. I love to check out the hotel bar — I find the atmosphere to be generally friendly because everyone is from somewhere else.
Favorite hotel amenity: There are these Korean cookies that we stock in the rooms at The LlNE in KTown LA. They're called gosomi biscuits. A little sweet and a little salty, they taste like coconut and sesame. Chef Roy Choi delivers coffee to your room in Stanley mugs. They are camping thermoses that keep the coffee piping hot. It feels like you're camping, but in a penthouse suite overlooking all of Los Angeles.
How to keep calm and carry on while on the road: Limit coffee intake (which is hard when it arrives in a camping thermos).
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