Photographed by Lianna Tarantin.Be you a business-class newbie or a globe-hopper with a million air miles, traveling for work is unfortunately almost always a drag on the body, soul, diet, and wardrobe.
Because so many of you are probably just starting off on what will be a career of departures and arrivals, we've teamed up with the travel experts at Hyatt and tapped three experts in the fields of nutrition, organization, and style for tips that will help you rack up the miles without running you down. Get ready to revise what (and how) you pack, the things you eat while you're out of the office, and the way you style yourself for all your points in between. This is your official travel 4-1-1.
Photo: Courtesy of Fernanda de la Puente.Fernanda de la Puente, Nutrition Expert
After studying Ayurveda, macrobiotics, and Chinese medicine, as well as Western nutrition, biology, and chemistry, Fernanda de la Puente now advises the industry's top models on health and diet on her website and on Cleanse. Today, though, she's all yours.
“We all get exhausted and jet-lagged when we travel and get too foggy, scattered, and distracted to perform the demands of work. My quick jet-lag cure: A 16-hour fast. Sounds scary, but trust me.
"Don’t eat anything for 16 hours before you get to your destination, and plan to eat soon after arrival. This clicks a reset button on your circadian rhythms, so you adapt quicker to the new time zone. Also, if you think about it, you're not expending any energy sitting on a plane. Where's the need to eat? You should drink plenty of water, however, even if you have to stand up several times to go to the bathroom (it's good for your legs).
“The in-flight meals served by the airlines always have same flavor profile of processed cheese and white bread. Plus, they're packed with calories, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats. Most snacks offered by airlines are also highly processed (even their nuts are calorie-dense and drowned in fat) and those ‘healthy’ wraps they serve are usually no better than a white-bread sandwich.
Photographed by Andrew Ingalls.
“But, if you’re not willing to do the fast and do decide to have an in-flight meal, go with vegetable crudité, a hummus plate, or dried fruit and nuts (check the back of the package and make sure they are not drenched in fat, of course). If it’s a longer flight, pick some substantial form of protein like chicken or fish. If you want to bring a snack with you from home, you're best off with fruit, kale chips, cacao nibs, or goji berries. For a full meal, try cooking up quinoa and tossing it with some veggies.
“After eating airplane and airport food, people traveling tend to grab whatever they find at their destination (bland-tasting sandwiches, burgers, etcetera) and go into a downward spiral of unhealthy eating. In truth, one can actually be healthier when traveling than at home. Out there, you're free from your automatic, and perhaps indulgent, habits. You're at a new place, so you can make new connections in your brain to food and create new eating habits. It’s an
opportunity to teach your body another way of being and eating. Seek whole foods and fresh vegetables whenever possible. Try to go to the more rustic local restaurants and experience new and unknown flavors and spices.
“Personally, I always bring a ziplock bag of relaxing herb teas to help me go to sleep: chamomile, ashwaganda, lemon balm, holy basil, and passion flower. For a positive stimulating effect that's not as harsh as coffee, I use ginseng, ginger, licorice, and ginkgo biloba. Finally, I always pack spirulina (or one of its blue-green algae cousins, chlorella or E3live). In addition to having all essential amino acids, this biologically complete, nutrient-dense protein contains minerals like iodine, calcium, potassium, and magnesium that support the body’s ability to produce hormones and regulate all key metabolic functions.
"Look, I know traveling can pose some stress around food and run you down. But, if you mentally and physically prepare for it, it doesn't have to."
Photo: Courtesy of Melanie Charlton.Melanie Charlton, Organization Consultant
If there's anyone who can help you take the rolling mess that is trip prep and turn it into an orderly, manageable process, it's the CEO and creative director of fashion-organization consultation and closet-design firm Clos-ette.
“It can be so easy to give up when organizing for [your] travels — particularly when you focus on a big, bad list of a million things to do rather than breaking down your itinerary into manageable pieces. Prepping for a cocktail party, four client meetings, and a dinner at the hotel is a lot easier than planning for ‘three days of nonstop work events.’ The key is to edit by smartly anticipating real versus perceived needs.
“Many people throw their otherwise well-cared for and well-loved stuff together in a jumbled mess just to get their packing done. But mess going in means mess going out. It also means more, not less, labor-intensive tasks on the other end (cleaning, ironing, steaming, purchasing replacement items, etcetera). Instead, start off by filling your shoes with socks to save room and preserve your shoes' shape, then place them in cloth shoe bags to avoid dirtying up [the rest of] your stuff.
Next, arrange the shoes all along the inside perimeter of your suitcase. Neatly fold heavier jeans, sweaters, sweatshirts, and jackets, then place them at the bottom of the suitcase. Now, put your shirts, dresses, pants, and skirts on top. Underwear should go in a laundry bag or in a pocket to save space. Fine lingerie, silk scarves, and tights should travel in lingerie bags to prevent snagging and ripping. Also, buy a second charger for each gadget and bring a pair of flip-flops or slippers for walking around the hotel room. Any personal-care items should be securely capped and wrapped in individual, sealable plastic bags within a toiletries bag. Finally, always pack an extra bag for dirty laundry!
Photographed by Mindy Best.
“Essentials like your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, makeup, and medication should go in your carry-on. Oh, not that it needs saying, but never pack jewelry, cash, identification, keys, travel documents, or credit cards in your suitcase. My personal carry-on also includes my laptop, gum, mints, a favorite snack, a bottle of water, as well as an extra pair of underwear, and socks just in case my checked luggage doesn’t make it. Finally, my Clos-ette Too Jewelry Case is always with me.
“Key tip: unpack first thing on arrival! It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes and makes a world of difference when you get ready for meetings and events. Hang your outfits in the closet by event and arrange shoes from casual to dressy beneath your clothes. Neatly place your underwear, socks, and sweaters in drawers and arrange your toiletries in the bathroom as similarly to how you would at home.
“When it comes to what you pack your stuff in, buy the best light, but sturdy model you can. Look for reinforced seams, tightly woven fabrics, wrapped frames, interior straps, recessed handles, wide-track wheels, and large zippers with big pulls. Personally, I prefer a hard graphite exterior. Choose a color that doesn’t show scuff marks easily and mark it with a distinctive piece of tape or ribbon for identification — and don't forget your luggage tags!
“You know, once, I was running to catch a connecting flight when my discount suitcase exploded. I had to scoop everything up, run to the nearest gift shop and buy a ghastly tote emblazoned with ‘Chicago, The Windy City.’ In that instant, I learned that no matter how organized you are, a quality piece of luggage is still worth every penny.”
Photographed by Steven Pan.Lara Backmender, Stylist
With big-ticket clients like Bloomingdale’s, Kate Spade, Madewell, Nike, Steven Alan, editorial gigs at Esquire, I-D, Seventeen, and Teen Vogue, and a host of celebrities including Katy Perry, Leighton Meester, Naomi Watts, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johannson, and Taylor Swift demanding her skills, stylist Lara Backmender of Kate Ryan Inc. is pretty much bi-coastal. Here she tells us how she gets from point to point looking like a million bucks.
“I know when you're traveling, comfort comes first. Still, you should always look presentable and put-together. As a stylist, I say leave your sweats at home. I mean, you never know who you’ll run into. Once, I was flying to L.A. and the women sitting next to me complimented my outfit. We started talking, one thing led to another, and she wound up hiring me for a job! Also, if your flight is delayed, you might need to run straight from the airport to a meeting or dinner. You need to be prepared for that.
“All you have to do is wear a tailored piece and some nice shoes, and carry a handbag for the flight. Personally, I wear airplane cozy socks when I go through security check and then I take my shoes off and wear the socks to stay warm on the plane. You can always slip them in your handbag right before you get off!
“Before packing, I check the weather report for the duration of my stay. Then, I lay out my weather-appropriate clothes, making sure that every piece I pack is interchangeable with the others. For example, I'll take a tailored blazer that will pair well with the trousers and the dress I pack. Also, choose mostly black pieces to make my looks more wearable from morning to night, interchangeable (again), and flattering to my silhouette. This way, I can go directly from work to dinner by just popping on a heel and a red lip, and all my looks can fit in a small suitcase or carry-on.
Photographed by Mindy Best.
“Generally, every businesswoman should pack a nice dressy shoe, flat, or heel, a wide cashmere or alpaca scarf that works with all outfits, and a tailored piece of clothing (say a blazer or a jacket) as a second layer. Flying and traveling also dries you out, so remember your hydrating facial spray, eye serum, lip balm, and a big bottle of water (there is never enough water on the plane for me). Oh, and I never go anywhere without my Armand Diradourian travel blanket.
“Now, I always pack flat to optimize luggage space. I layer the most wrinkle-prone articles of clothing and fold them together in the middle. Next, I place the less-wrinkly pieces into that fold to prevent a sharp crease in the delicate ones. Also, I prefer four-wheeled suitcases — ones where you don’t have to tilt the case to roll it. Buy a carry-on bag that sits well on top of your suitcase. Personally, I love my bag by Koza. It has a panel that slides onto a handle on my suitcase so that when I am running, it doesn’t fall off. I'm always doing anything to avoid carrying my heavy items on my shoulders. It wrinkles your fabric and, hey, traveling is hard enough, right?”