Today I am blessed to be living that dream, traveling the world for work and fun. But as every frequent flyer knows, it’s not necessarily as glamorous as it seems—unless you safeguard your travel style.
After facing some of the logistical challenges of global travel, I believe that how we treat ourselves on the road is just as important as how we treat ourselves at home.
This shift in thinking wasn’t easy for me. My parents taught me to work hard and stretch every dollar. Never would it have occurred to me to look for anything but the cheapest possible airline ticket. But once I found myself taking regular transatlantic flights, it dawned on me that this exhausted person in sweatpants, squeezed into a coach seat on a connecting red eye, was not who I wanted to be in the world.
So I looked into business class seats, and I thought they were so expensive. But once I took the plunge, I realized that they call it business class for a reason. I could plug in my laptop and my phone, answer emails, work on my newsletter, get prepped for a meeting—all while stretching out comfortably with a glass of wine.
I’ve come to realize that for me, anything that makes it easier to focus on what really matters most is not a luxury: It’s the new necessity. Flying business is one example; another is using a luggage service. I discovered it last fall when flying from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur after a coaching event with an entire extra suitcase of clothes. I decided to use a service to send the bag home, and it worked flawlessly, making my hectic trip so much easier. Worth it!
Slowly, things I once thought of as superfluous luxuries were becoming necessities for me. I’ve always known that I feel better when I’m put together, so I stopped seeing travel as an excuse to slack off on my appearance, and instead as a reason to put in a little extra effort. That’s not to say that you’ll find me walking half a mile through an airport in my Jimmy Choos, but I’ve learned how to look and feel my best while staying comfortable on a flight. My secret? I always make sure to get my hair done before I leave for the airport. It may sound indulgent, but it makes all the difference (and I look a lot better in the occasional selfie too, as many of my fans noticed!).
As women entrepreneurs, we’re taught that we have to handle everything ourselves, and be frugal wherever possible. I’ll admit, frugal is not one of my strong points! No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we can give ourselves permission to treat ourselves well. It’s that extra care and attention that will make you feel confident, relaxed and powerful as you set off to a glamorous new destination—feeling and looking fab!
Arrive in Style
No more waving or whistling down cabs, my dear. Smartphone app Uber offers everything from regular cars to top-of-the-line luxury vehicles, with higher-end services promising lightning fast pick-ups. Uber also eliminates the paying process hold-up, as your credit card is linked to your account for a quick and easy drop-off.
Let’s face it, no matter how swiftly your bag rolls or how light of a packer you are, lugging your bags around the airport is a royal pain. Take advantage of luggage shipping companies like Luggage Forward and skip the schlep. Simply set up a pick up time prior to your travel day, and they’ll have your bags delivered to your hotel or home before your flight even takes off.
Arrive at the airport looking glamorous and make the jet bridge your new runway. Take the time to get your hair blown out prior to your flight so you don’t look jet-lagged before you even touch the ground. Try a chic blow-outs-only salon like Dry Bar, located in eight states and growing, for a reliably radiant look.
id you know you can get two passports? Or that some countries won’t let you in unless you have completely blank passport pages? Don’t get caught in a sticky situation (like I did!). Here are the top things every jetsetter must know about that coveted little blue book:
• Many counties require that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the dates of your trip.
• If you’re a frequent world traveler, you can get an extra-large passport with extra pages, as many countries require completely blank pages for entry.
• U.S. citizens can get a second passport, which will be a lifesaver if yours gets lost, if you’re getting a visa and still need to travel internationally, or if you have traveled to a “banned” country previously.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll pass on being stuffed into a seat like a sardine. Spend the extra cash, or miles, and upgrade your seat to business or first class. Use the Seat Guru app to compare amenity options and check where your tush will land. Not liking what you see? Call your airline to upgrade to a more luxurious seat.
Skip The Lines
Skip the security line by signing up for TSA Pre-check, which ensures you quicker passage through security, without having to take off your clothes or shoes or unpack your laptop. Traveling internationally and want to get home faster? Sign up with Global Entry, the preferred traveler program for low risk customs and border patrol, which grants you an expedited entry into the US.
Bring Your Entertainment With You
We all have that moment where we need a little downtime, and just wish we could watch that latest episode of Homeland from the comfort of our hotel room. Use online services such as Amazon Streaming, Google Play, and iTunes to load up your laptop before you travel. Follow these tips below so that even if your in-flight movie selection is lacking, you’ll be ready.
• Amazon only streams in the US, the UK, and Germany, so if you’re headed elsewhere download before you leave.
• Google Play works globally, but international purchases must be made via data roaming, not wi-fi. Once you start downloading you can switch to wi-fi.
• iTunes is a download-only service, but the good news is you can download from a wifi or hotspot connection internationally.
Go Beyond The Hotel Gym
Sometimes even the best hotel gym just doesn’t inspire a really great workout. If you miss the energy of group classes, try GoRecess.com to search fitness classes around the United States. If you’re headed to New York you’ll want to download the Beautified App, which aside from luxe same-day beauty appointments also offers last-minute access to cult classes like Barry’s Bootcamp and Physique 57.