On the Road Eats: San Antonio

I have something to share with you.

I had a day trip and I knew after arriving at Love Field that I needed to eat when I got to San Antonio.  I had a flight home after lunch but something told me that this meeting would run right up to the time I needed to be back at the airport.

Thank you Eater- I found Fairview coffee about ten minutes from my appointment.  A great cup of coffee and a perfect piece of avocado toast with tomato!  Kept me going till 4pm when I landed in Dallas.

My Packing Secrets

I have something to share with you.

My girlfriend said I must be an expert packer. Hmm. Frequent traveler? Definitely. Do I have some packing secrets I could share with her? Absolutely.

One night trips are easy. Fill my lingerie bag, grab PJs, the toiletry bag(always packed and ready to go), a suit, a shirt, jeans that work with the shirt I travel in and flats(ballet or oxford!). In the morning, I’m in my suit and heels, just need my makeup bag (only have one) and a small bag of cashews or a KIND bar. DFW – here I come.

imageLonger trips – different story.  I must use a list.  Yes, I write out the days I am gone, the events for each day so I can mix and match my outfits.  No, I don’t have to stick to what it says once I arrive but I will have numerous options if I plan it in advance.

First, the color choice.  Am I going with black or neutral shoes?  That determines everything.  the suit, the pants, the tops, the dresses….it all comes down to the shoes.

Next, the events.  Dinners at night or free time, tradeshow, client meetings or an internal conference?  Time to change after meetings or outfits that go from day to night?

My longest trip is our annual sales conference in California(4-5 days).  My standard outfit- black pants(Ann Taylor or Banana) or a black or gray suit, flats/heels depending if I am sitting or up and around most of the day, and on top, layers…a solid or printed blouse(Pleione is great), sleeve length dependent on location with a cardigan that I can wear on the plane so I don’t use room in my suitcase (Bobeau from Nordstom is my new favorite).  Two pairs of jeans(one denim, one black or gray) and another comfortable but business casual pair of pants(Kut from the Kloth).  And a belt, which stays in my bag since I seem to forget that the most.

The other trick – make the best use of the suitcase.  My TUMI is not perfectly flat so my flat iron goes on one side and my pajamas on the other.  Then it becomes flat and I can start folding sweaters and shirts like they do at retail stores(cross the arms and fold in half).  My toiletry case is flat and square so it fits flat or standing on its side.  Shoes always go in bags to protect my clothes. Sometimes I can get away with wearing the same suit twice in one trip if I only have one meeting on the first or third/fourth day.  And if I can, I hit the hotel first so I can change quickly and be comfortable when I travel.  Dresses are easy and don’t take up too much room in the hanging side of the suitcase.    In the winter I try to match my outfits to a tall, flat boot for both comfort and warmth so I don’t have to pack them.  In the summer, I can usually fit a pair of flat strappy sandals or flip flops in my backpack and leave my heels in the car between appointments.  I finally mastered the art to packing in one carryon for multiple day trips, regardless of weather.  The one exception – skiing.

Wait, let me correct myself. I was a frequent traveler with my old job. Now with only 1-2 trips a month, my suitcase is back in the closet where it belongs.  Jessica, hope Chicago is fantastic!  Bring me back some Garrett’s – caramel cashew please!

The Travel Essentials

I have something to share with you.

If you are a frequent traveler, you know this story.

Headed out to DFW around 11am. Parked and stopped by the Centurion Club to eat. By 3pm, I still hadn’t boarded my flight. The reason? Not really sure. Each gate agent had a different answer. One- no plane from Austin. Two- air traffic control. Three- weather in Chicago. I’m Platinum so I tried standby. No such luck. I finally arrived at my hotel around 8pm and the Conrad had my relaxation pillows waiting for me!  Finally, I get to smile!

Fast forward not even 24 hours later and I am back at the airport. At 2pm the AA app said I was delayed so no need to rush to the airport after the meeting. We end at 4pm and slowly the app continues to show delays. It’s now 8pm as I start to write this post and I am waiting for the flight to push from the gate. At least I got my upgrade.

It’s not the delays that are so frustrating but the lack of communication and accurate information.  The trick to making travel easier is to keep your briefcase packed and ready to go.

So what are my most important travel essentials?

  • Multi-outlet charger:31L+pI123aL._SL500_SR100,100_
    One charger for my iPhone, my iPad, my MiFi and my laptop.  Plus, if someone is using the one available plug at the airport, they usually don’t mind sharing since I have multiple outlets. I use the Belkin 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger Surge Protector with Dual USB Ports.
  • Pashmina:
    Neutral colors work well for fashion reasons but it keeps me warm with the always changing weather when I travel North and on the plane, doubles as a blanket if I have the opportunity to take a short nap.  Nordstrom offers a variety of colors.
  • A packable lightweight weather-friendly raincoat:nordstrom-CHjacket
    During a visit to Chicago it was a bit chilly and started to drizzle.  My umbrella was in my hotel room but it was September so I didn’t bring a jacket.  On my way back to my hotel, there was a Nordstrom Rack and I found a great deal on this Cole Haan jacket.  It folds into a small travel bag and fits easily in my briefcase or suitcase.
  • A Snack:469x352_vanblueberry
    I always enjoy trying new restaurants on the road but when I need a quick snack to keep me going or I get stuck at the airport due to delays, I always grab a KIND bar. My two favorites:  the KIND Healthy Grains Vanilla Blueberry bar and the KIND Blueberry Vanilla & Cashew Fruit and Nut bar.
  • Spare iPhone headphones with a microphone and volume control
  • Antibacterial Wipes:antibacterial
    These are a must for wiping down the tray table on the plane and for the remote in the hotel room!  The individually wrapped ones are really convenient and they fit in my briefcase and my suitcase.
  • The Purple Stick:
    The main reason that my heels can stay on for the whole day! Read my post about one of my must have items!

What do you make sure is always with you while you are on the road?


Would you knock on the door?

I have something to share with you.

It finally happened to me. After 5 1/2 years of business travel, staying in Hilton’s, Hyatt’s, Marriott’s and Starwood’s, it happened- UGH.

See, I had a rough travel week. Delays on Monday got me to my hotel in Chicago at 8pm when I planned to arrive at O’Hare at 3:30pm and hit Little Goat for dinner. No such luck. Then delays the next night back into DFW – home around 11:30pm. Things happen in three’s so of course I had delays flying out on Wednesday night into Houston so another late night, checking in at the Marriott there at 11:30pm.  Really wishing I was home with my family.

Back to my story. I check in, head to my room, change out of my clothes. I hear people enter the next room as I head to brush my teeth. And then it starts.

Reminder:  Hotel walls are thin.  People CAN hear you! Yes, I am talking to you, the girl in room 604 at the Marriott in Houston.

Would you Knock?

By now it is after midnight and there is NO possibility of sleep for me or anyone on this floor with the audio soundtrack that I hear from the next room.  I’m all for “fun” but seriously, control the volume.  I turn on my TV and at around 1pm, I finally fall asleep.  Not sure if it is because I am so exhausted or if the man in the room next door exhausted his companion.

Alarm goes off at 7am, wakeup call from the hotel follows 5 minutes later.  Silence in the next room.  I jump in the shower, turn on the TODAY show and get ready for my meeting. Pick up the phone to call my husband and daughter and the audio soundtrack starts again.  Put the phone down and finish packing.  I’ll call them when I leave to grab coffee. No need for my five year old to hear that in the background.  Hoping their door doesn’t open as I am leaving.

My trip is for business, hers was obviously for pleasure.  But please remember, whether you are in your room watching TV, talking on the phone or well, doing what she was doing, the walls are thin and someone may decide to knock on your door!