Frequent Fliers: Take Note
Our editorial director has mastered the long-distance commute—thanks to a few creative time-saving tips.
Our editorial director, Sarah, travels back and forth from her home in New Mexico to our office in New York (and you thought the F train from Brooklyn was a long commute). Between always following the same schedule and keeping her carry-on packed—even when she’s home—she’s made the art of travel into a bit of a science. We asked her to share her top tips when it comes to traveling for a quick business trip.
1. Fly strategically
To maximize my time in the office—and away from my family—I fly overnight. I put my kids to bed Sunday night, sleep on the plane and get into the office bright and early Monday morning. At the end of my trip, I take a late flight out, so I’m able to work a full day and still get home to give my little ones bedtime kisses.
2. Keep your carry-on on standby
I have a second set of chargers for my laptop and iPhone that I keep in my carry-on. I keep a big Baggu pouch stocked with an eye mask, pillow, blanket scarf, headphones and a pair of wool socks. I also store my laptop bag and Kindle case in the bag, which make it easy for adding my tech stuff when it’s time to go.
3. Invest in your luggage
I never check a bag and I like to take public transportation when I can (I blame it on my propensity for getting cabsick), so my luggage has to be hearty and easy to maneuver. Invest in something sturdy with four wheels and handles on both sides—the side handle is crucial for climbing subway stairs. As tempting as the extended zipper is, don’t be fooled. I’ve seen one too many people fighting with the overhead because their super-stuffed roller-bag is too fat to fit.
4. Toiletries are key
I’m Birchbox-obsessed, so my toiletries bag always has sample-sized things that I toss once I’ve used them. My beauty essentials that always make the cut: Melatonin drops, which I take pre-flight in the terminal, M-61’s Power Glow Peel, which de-clogs pores that get congested by travel, Teddie Organics rosewater mist, Klorane dry shampoo and WaterWipes (it’s almost like being able to take a shower post-flight!).
5. Try it on at home
I’ve heard it’s a no-no, but I never unpack in my hotel room—with long days and early mornings, I’m hardly there as it is. When I pack, I put together each day’s outfit, down to the jewelry, and then I roll it up together in my bag. There’s no decision to be made each morning, I just grab and go. And I don’t stress about having to pack everything back up before I check out, because I put things back at the end of each day.
6. Pack in a palette
I keep things to a minimum, so packing coordinating pieces ensure I can adjust to unexpected conditions (it’s raining. I don’t feel like wearing a skirt. It’s colder than expected). It’s also incredibly helpful in the winter—I just bring one good layer that goes with everything and I only worry about coordinating with one piece of outerwear and accessories.
7. Lose the shoes
8. Take advantage of the local amenities
Instead of bringing a blowdryer and a curling iron, I book a blowout in the hotel halfway through my trip. I have no choice but to eat out all week, so I make sure I enjoy all of my favorite foods—even via takeout—that I can’t get in NM. If I have time before my return flight, I get a chair massage in the JetBlue terminal to help me windwind and ensure I’m able to sleep on the plane.
9. Pack your luggage—in itself
When I get home, I toss everything into the wash, then I nest my toiletries bag in my tote, my tote in my carry-on, and I wheel the whole thing into the closet. Voila! Ready for next time.