This year (2017 — when Bleisure Living™ was founded) was an amazing year of business and leisure adventures and learning…31 trips in all!
My business journeys were for for speaking, meetings, conferences and events. As entrepreneurs know, even vacations and family visits involve some work time. The places I traveled to were the New York area (my former home and “hub” — 8x), Maryland/DC (5x), Arizona (my new home — 5x), Chicago (4x), Las Vegas (3x), Florida (2x), and San Francisco, Massachusetts, New Orleans, and Atlantic City (1 time each).
Here are 15-1/2 lessons learned along the way. I’m sure I picked up many more, but I’m now busy planning my 2018 bleisure trips.
- The Sofitel rose in the ranks as one of my fave hotel brands. Not only do they have wonderful beds and great-smelling bath products but the staff is soooo charming and always greet you with a “Bonjour.” Even if you can’t get to Paris, you enjoy a class and romance vibe.
- Concierges can be amazingly helpful people. They recommend local gems in many areas. In fact, the concierge at the one hotel referred me to the realtor who helped me find my new apartment.
- Always bring an analog activity (like reading, knitting, or other project) on flights. Wi-fi is not 100% dependable. Of course, you could always sleep or make a new friend. Speaking of which…
- Talk to strangers when appropriate. Make new business connections or get recommendations for local activities.
- Don’t be hangry. Bring snacks. Avoid paying for expensive and carb-y airport food. And, if your hotel or airline offers free snacks or water, pick one up for later.
- Also related to hydration…invest in a lightweight and portable insulated water bottle to refill throughout your trip. Add a little free hotel ice and you’ll have an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to $5 minibar H2O.
- Tote light sneakers. Pick from this list. Even if you don’t run, you’ll want to wear them for sightseeing and casual nights walking around town.
- Lose even more weight in your suitcase (and save time packing) by investing in super-squashable machine-washable dresses and pants. I even have a down jacket that stuffs into a carry-on…great for traveling between cold and warm climates.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Buy extra sample-size toiletries next time you’re in Walgreens, CVS, or Target. If you travel as much as I do, having spares at the ready is important.
- Hair today…glam tomorrow. A great blow-out (perhaps at a place recommended by the concierge or one of the national chains like The Dry Bar or Blo) can last for a couple of days if you wear your hair in a satin or terry scrunchie on top of your head when you sleep and exercise. It’ll save you morning prep time.
- WeWork is a great workplace home away from home. I found a comfortable place to work and meet in many cities.
- Root for the home team (whoever that is). My BF introduced me to the concept of going to baseball games in the cities I visited. Stadiums, fans, and sports food vary from place to place.
- ABH. That stands for “always bring headphones.” One never knows when she will encounter a screaming baby on a flight. Plus, you can listen to books and podcasts and get 31 times smarter.
- Mother/daughter bleisure trips are good for the soul. My daughter and I spend two great weekends in Florida (Orlando and Atlantic Beach) after she was done cleaning up our rivers. I remember the days when she came along on MY trips. She even gives me great business and life advice!
- Let’s Get Clear. TSA lines have gotten long and slow. Clear is a great alternative (for now, at least — until more frequent travelers break down and invest). And, as a tech geek, I think the facial recognition aspect is super-cool.
And the last one doesn’t really count as a whole suggestion because it may be obvious.
15.5 Keep a list of all the places you go, what you’ve seen, and (most important), what you learned along the way. Pick up unusual souvenirs if you’re so inclined.
Looking back on my 31 journeys was fun and educational (and I still have one more trip to go before 2017 draws to a close!)
BloDry BarPackingPlacessofiteltravel tipsWeWork