If you follow me on instgram (or snapchat) you know that I pretty much travel every 9 or so days. Due to my job, I have to go so often and whenever I can I try to squeeze in something just for me. I have never really documented what I’ve learned along the way until now. We may have to call this a PART ONE of sorts because I’m sure I will forget something this first time but for what it’s worth, let’s start.
- LOYALTY is key. As often as you possibly can, try to fly exclusively on ONE airline. I prefer Delta (I live in Atlanta so I’m at an advantage) but I have flown on other airlines (only twice in the past year) and I just love the service on Delta and my medallion status comes with ALL KINDS of perks! I recently hit platinum. I have gotten SO many free tickets by using Delta (which helps me invite friends along on trips and even fly my Mom to ATL from LAX FIRST CLASS using my miles)! You can always use sites like Kayak to find lower fares on the airline you’re being loyal to. One time I found a first class ticket to Paris $7,000 cheaper than it was on the site.
- If you’ve never really traveled on your own, start with a staycation. Pick a super snazzy hotel and live it up for a night. See if you can check in early so that you can take full advantage of the day. Some of my favorite hotels are: Wait let’s make that #3.
- Some of my favorite domestic hotels are: Ritz Carlton Baltimore: Views on top of VIEWS! And it’s situated amongst a bunch of little shops (LUSH and Anthropologie). The bar in the hotel is just so RIGHT! Ritz Carlton Naples: You will never experience better service. Every single touch point at this hotel is EXCELLENT. The wine selections are epic, sunsets are unmatched and it’s a quiet town in Florida which is perfect for unwinding. The Chatwal in New York is gorgeous … The room feels like it hugs you. The Roger (also in NY) is BEST bang for BUCK hands down! The Langham in Chicago is just gorgeous. I love every single thing about it. My best friend has a place in Chicago and whenever I visit and feel like splurging I stay there. When I DON’T feel like splurging but still wanna live lavish I stay at the Thompson or PUBLIC (simple, modern rooms and bitchin’ bar)! When I want the purest form of luxury in LA I stay at the L’Ermitage. Every now and then you can get a crazy amazing rate on hotels.com. Always check for that. But when on a budget and still wanting to ball out, try Sofitel and the Beverly Hills Hilton. Both easy and pretty reasonable. I’m realizing that I could literally go ON and ON with hotels. It’s honestly one of my hobbies. I love the experience! I’ll have to do a separate post on this or we’ll run out of room!
- MEXICO! I love Mexico. Try Nizuc in Cancun or Banyan Tree Mayakoba and Rosewood Mayakoba. None of those can do any wrong. If you’re boo’d up, go for Viceroy Riviera Maya. Sexiest place you’ve ever seen. If you head to Puerto Vallarta, stay at the St. Regis and when in Cabo check into Las Ventanas.
5. When you can’t really afford fancy but know in your heart you’re fancy as HELL, use the Hotels Tonight app for super awesome rooms on the low.
6. If you want even more tips on how to really get OVER at hotels, read “Heads in Beds” by Jacob Tomsky. It’s a super funny book with SO many tips that I use to this day for travel.
7. Bae put me on to the “36 hours in …” series by NY Times. I use it whenever I’m in a city looking for a little local fun and it has yet to fail me.
8. Foodies listen up! Bae uses EATER to find all kinds of awesome restaurants whenever we travel. Everything is alway so so good! We recently went to Nashville and had drinks at 5th & Taylor (ambiance was on 100) and dinner at Rolf & Daughters. Amazing!
10. If you plan on staying at a hotel or resort for longer than a night, bring cash and tip like crazy. Once people know you’re a “tipper,” the word spreads and the level of service goes up. I usually tip 10s and 20s here and there (I heard that you should always tip an amount that a person can go out and get a drink with — so leave the 1s at home).
11. Announce yourself whenever possible. Give the hotel/resort a call before you arrive and let them know what your plans are, ask who you’re speaking to (and ask for them once you arrive). Having a personalized experience is always better and doesn’t cost any extra. Try it.
I’ll be back with more tips. Enjoy!