Long Flight Comfort Update 1
January 5, 2010

This is the Winners and Losers version, Part 1.

Kindle—Winner!!  Normally for a two day trip I will bring 4 books. For a trip with 50 hours of flying I brought 8, on my Kindle. The first thing I noticed as I was picking up my purse to leave for the airport was how light it was. Awesome! I have read two books so far, and my eyes have not hurt at all, which I was concerned about. It has been great! The only problem is that I did not receive my case before I left, so I am constantly worried about dropping it or breaking it.

Eye mask—Winner!! Of course, I didn’t end up needing the one I bought because they give you one in Business Class on American, which I didn’t realize. Oh well.  Not only did I use the eye mask on both long flights, but I used it in my hotel room yesterday when I was sleeping during the day (remember, I’m working at night and sleeping during the day).  The only disconcerting moment came on the first flight when the nice man beside me had to wake me up so he could get out of his seat. It was pitch black even when I opened my eyes, and there was a quiet, unknown, Japanese-accented voice in my ear. Took a minute  🙂

Ear plugs—loser 😦  I didn’t end up using them, because when it comes down to it, it creeps me out. I didn’t realize this until I was about to put them in. Maybe I will try again, maybe not.  What I did end up using was my iPhone White Noise app with headphones, and that was great. With the eye mask on and the white noise going in my ears, it was like I was the only one on the plane!

Seat Organizer—Loser  😦  I still think this could be really useful, but it took up a lot of room in my backpack that I just didn’t have to spare, so I didn’t even bring it. I think for another trip it could work, so I’m going to try again.

Next edition:  Seat cushion, travel blanket, and compression socks. Fun times!

DFW has what??
November 10, 2009

This morning I was walking (okay, running) through Terminal C in DFW when something so amazing, so important, so impossibly exciting caught my eye that I skidded to a stop. What is this incredible vision, you ask? Yes, my friends, DFW now has a Sephora vending machine.

If you have read any of my previous posts you know that I love Sephora. I spend lots of time and money there. Makeup, shampoo, face cleansers….everything you need to be beautiful is there. And now they have the mini version in a vending machine at DFW airport.

It has everything a girl on the go needs (and might have forgotten at home). All the necessities! Makeup, shampoo, face cleansers….it is like all of the best products from the store distilled into one perfect place. There are also full kits available in case you forgot all of your stuff, from makeup kits to hair product kits to face kits. All in precious travel sizes.

The world of airport vending machines is no longer dominated by Best Buy and Netflix. Now the girls get something too! Next time I am in Terminal C I will stop by to say hi, look longingly at all the fun stuff, and maybe take a picture.  Maybe I’ll get really lucky and forget something in Salt Lake City and need to buy something! Fun, fun times.

Make-up Rave
September 20, 2009

Last week was crazy. I was literally in 7 different towns in 6 days. And I was in DFW airport 4 times in three days.  I was eUrban Decay Cream Eyeshadowxhausted when I was done.  But there was a bright spot throughout all the madness: I fully realized how awesome my eye makeup is. 

This stuff is so, so great.  I put it on at 8 am in Nashville, did trainings and meetings for 1Tarte Lock & Roll0 hours, then flew home (through DFW of course), getting home at 1am. I passed out without washing my face (so bad I know!).  When I got up the next morning my makeup literally looked like I had just put it on.  Staying power doesn’t get much better than this, folks.  I use Urban Decay Cream Eyeshadow in Sphynx as a base coat, and top it with Tarte Lock & Roll powder in Amethyst. I highly, highly recommend them! Not only do they stay on forever, they are so pretty. They are both available from Sephora.com.

I am currently field testing a new tinted moisturizer, Korres Watermelon Lightweight Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30. I will let you all know how it turns out.

Travel tips for the temporarily handicapped
August 20, 2009

Earlier this year I had the misfortune of breaking my foot.  Luckily, I had no trips scheduled for immediately after my fall.  However when the time came for me to have to travel, I was flummoxed. I was on crutches—how could I carry a suitcase, get from my car to the gate, and then to the hotel?  I could drive, so that wasn’t a problem, but the rest of it worried me for two weeks. I searched the web for advice on how to travel while on crutches, but (again) couldn’t find anything really helpful. So, I muddled through on my own. Here are my tips for any who may find themselves in my situation.

1)      If you can, pack everything in a backpack.

I know it is not the ideal situation, but if you are used to carrying on and you don’t want to check your bag, a backpack is the only way to be self-sufficient. I pared down to only the necessities and was able to fit it all in my amazing expanding backpack (similar to this one http://www.buy.com/prod/wenger-synergy-laptop-backpack-by-swissgear-r-maker-of-the-genuine/q/loc/16234/10393071.html ).

2)      Get a purse that fits cross body

This way your purse is not in the way of your crutches.  With my backpack and my cross-body purse I was able to crutch around without aid a lot of the time. Much nicer than having to have someone follow you around carrying your roller bag.

3)      Have a lot of $1 bills for tipping the nice wheelchair people

Carry around $30-40 in $1 bills, depending on how many flights you have.  Assume that you will have one person wheel you from the ticket counter to your gate, another wheel you down the ramp to your plane, another wheel you from the plane to the gate, yet another wheel you from one gate to the next, and so on. You don’t have to tip all of them the same amount, but I assume around $2 per person (unless they wheel you for a long time, like they did for me in the Chicago airport).   While they wheel you your backpack and purse can go on your lap, and you can balance your crutches on the footrest of the wheelchair.

4)      Call the airlines ahead of time to request wheelchairs and assistance

Most airlines are really good about assisting people who need it. I called my company travel agent and the airlines to make sure I was in the system as someone who needed wheelchair assistance and seats that were easy to get to.

I hope this helps you! Of course, really I hope that you don’t get into this situation in the first place….and I hope it never happens to me again!

Sending good balance to all of my traveling sisters!

-RoadWarriorette

Travel Safety Tips
July 28, 2009

When traveling alone anytime, including for business, it is so important to keep safety in mind! For those of you who travel often I hope you know most of these, but here is a quick rundown of the most important safety tips.

· Make sure the desk person does not say your room number out loud. If they do say your room number aloud, ask for a different room.
· Make sure you have a deadbolt in your room
· Use valet parking if it’s available. It may cost more but it’s much safer then wandering around a parking garage
· When you’re in your room keep your deadbolt locked at all times.
· Never put the “Please Clean My Room” sign on the door. It’s an open invitation to thieves! Call housekeeping instead.
· If you order room service make sure the person at your door is hotel staff.
· Don’t use the door sign provided for ordering breakfast. This is alerting anyone who walks by your room and looks at it that you are ordering for one.
· Make sure you have directions to your hotel. Also have their phone number and address handy. (I know this sounds obvious, but the last time I went to Salt Lake City I went to the wrong location of my hotel, and then couldn’t find the correct location and drove around lost for thirty minutes. I finally found the phone number on my iPhone and the very nice man stayed on the phone with me until I got there. I should know better than this!!)
· When you leave your hotel for the evening put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. This makes it look like someone is there.
· Don’t put your home address on your luggage tags. Put your business address.
· Choose national hotel chains with indoor room entrances.
· Don’t stay in a room on the first floor whenever possible.
· Make sure there is no door connecting to another room.

For a very detailed list of safety tips check out:
http://kevincoffee.com/women_safety/travel_safety_tips_for_women.htm

What to pack for a business trip
July 21, 2009

There are many schools of thought about how to pack for a business trip. Some people like to have options. I think options are great! Except for that whole carrying everything you take thing.

My first business trip (four days) I took four separate outfits, a couple of “option” shirts, a large toiletry kit, four pairs of shoes…….and I could not lift my suitcase. By the time I got to San Jose I was so ready to go to my hotel and get some food. But instead I waited for my bag at baggage claim. And waited. And waited. Literally twenty minutes after the first bag came onto the carousel (and fifty minutes after I got off the plane) my bag came. I then had to drag it to the rental car bus. And those of you who have been to San Jose know that the rental cars are not close or convenient to the terminals. (This was also the first time I rented a car, but that is a whole other story.) I finally got to my hotel an hour and a half after my flight landed. To add insult to injury: I wore less than half of the clothes I brought.

Three years later, I have learned my lesson!! Don’t pack “outfits”. If you really feel like you need options, pack tops that go with all of your bottoms. That way, for example, you have a possible eight outfits with two bottoms and four tops.

My current packing list for a four day trip:
1 pair of black pants (wear on plane)
1 pair of Capri pants or a skirt
1 pair of jeans or casual pants
4 cute tops (that match with all bottoms)
Yoga pants and tank top for sleeping
Enough undergarments for every day plus one extra
Carry-on toiletries
Makeup
Curling iron
Comfy travel shoes (wear on plane)
Comfy nice shoes for work
Pashmina
Book
Knitting
Laptop

All easily carried in one small carry-on suitcase and one large purse. Lesson learned!!

Oh Pashmina, How I Love Thee
June 29, 2009

I think the pashmina may be the most useful, versatile item you can pack when traveling.  It has so many uses! Blanket on cold planes, scarf to jazz up an outfit, sarong for over a swimsuit….I could go on.  They are available in a range of prices, materials, and colors.  If you forget yours, you can probably buy one for $10 at your airport.  So convenient!  I found the one below at www.thepashminastore.com and I feel cozier just looking at it.  Probably has something to do with security blankets during childhood.pashmina