Beauty Thursday: Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor

September 18, 2014 - One Response

Every week Road Warriorette features a beauty product that makes traveling easier. Do you have a favorite? Send it to RoadWarriorette @ gmail.com.BareMinerals Pretty Amazing

For many parts of the country it is finally fall, with cooler temperatures, changing foliage, and longer nights. It also means drier air is on its way, as the humidity of summer leaves us. The first place I notice this is in my lips, so it’s not uncommon for me to have a lip balm in arms reach at all times through winter and into spring. Of course, casual and business travelers are well familiar with dry air, spending so much time in the arid environment of airplanes. In addition to using lip balm constantly, I also love creamy lipsticks. They look great, hold their color, and keep me hydrated. My favorite is Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor. There are a range of colors, from light pink to dark red. My favorite is Courage, which is a little darker than nude-for-me. Available for $11 at Amazon.

Readers, do you have a lipstick that’s your favorite for drier weather? Any other travel beauty tricks you want to share?

Be sure to check out my new page with products I recommend for travel!

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3 professional backpacks for business travel

September 18, 2014 - 5 Responses

Do professional backpacks that are appropriate for business trips exist? Reader T asks….

I have been traveling for work for several years and have always carried a regular briefcase. I injured my back a few months ago, and my doctor recommended that I start traveling with a backpack to reduce the potential for a future injury. I’ve never seen a professional looking backpack. Can you recommend some that are reasonably priced?

That’s a great question. I have seen people bring some terrible-looking backpacks into work before, so I understand your concern. There are plenty of attractive, affordable options. It just takes a little more searching to find them! Here are three of my favorites.Briggs Riley Convertible

Briggs & Riley BRX Luggage Excursion Convertible Brief. ($125) Briggs & Riley have are one of my favorite luggage brands—they make solid bags that travel well, plus they include a fantastic warranty. I like this particular bag because it is slimmer and more compact, and the clean lines make it more professional. The best thing is that it will convert from a shoulder bag to a backpack—so if you are ever in a situation where you need to be at your professional best, this bag will accommodate that. But you can still wear it as a backpack while dashing through the airport, saving your back from strain.Swissgear backpack

SwissGear Computer Backpack. ($65) I own this backpack, and I will be honest. This is not the most professional bag I’ve ever seen. But it will hold so much stuff it is unbelievable (I call it “the amazing expandable backpack”). You can load it up with two computers, files, notebooks, bottles of water, all the chargers you could ever need, not to mention your personal items, and it is still comfortable to wear. There are a million pockets to keep you organized. If you tend to travel to offices that are more in the business casual dress range then you will be fine carrying this bag.Solo backpack

Solo Vintage Colombian Leather Laptop Backpack. ($78) If you need a very sleek option, this Solo Vintage backpack is a great option. It is gorgeous and will hold up to a 15.4” laptop. There are plenty of pockets, the straps are well-padded, and the turquoise lining makes it easy to find things inside.The reviews are rock solid, with one reviewer coming back to update that after a year of vigorous travel it still looks great and functions well. IMO this would be acceptable in all but the most formal of offices.

Readers, do you have a backpack to recommend for business travel?

Be sure to check out my new page with products I recommend for travel!

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Only in Vegas

September 17, 2014 - 3 Responses

It was a flight like any other.  I gaze out the window at the beautiful desert landscape.  The captain comes on with our weather: “Bright and the beessunny day in Las Vegas today with a temperature of ninety eight degrees. Enjoy the temps under a hundred while you can!”  I put my laptop away and brace myself for our landing.  I notice the older gentleman next to me staring at the Vegas strip as we continue to descend.  This man is obviously here to gamble with what I can only assume is his lucky Vegas shirt: a button-up covered in pictures of poker chips.   We land.  “Welcome to sunny Las Vegas!” the captain announces.   I look out the window at the strip as we taxi to our gate, disappointed because I’m here for business and not pleasure.

As we continue to our gate I notice something odd.  No other planes are in sight.  A strange feeling creeps over me.  It was like we were in the middle of nowhere.  Thump.   What was that, I thought?  I look around to see if anyone else noticed the sound.  Thump, thump.  “Did you hear that?” I said to the older gentleman next to me.  “Hear what?” he says.  Thump, thump, thump, thump………………  It sounded like large hail pounding the airplane, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The lady behind me screams.  One scream leads to another and another.  Panic begins rushing through the cabin.  I try to look out the window to see what is happening. THUMP!  Bees.  Bees as big as my fist!  They are desperately trying to get in the plane.  I panic.  “What is it?” asks the older man.  I ignore him.  My instincts were to get away from the window, as far away from the bees as possible.  I break my etiquette rules and climb across the man to try and get to the aisle.  It was the only thing I could think to do.  “We’re being attacked by bees!” the captain yells.  The sound of glass is heard throughout the plane.  Everyone is shrieking.  “I’m going to try to and lose them!  Hang on I’m attempting to takeoff!” the captain yells again.  Then I hear a horrific sound.  “Ahhhhhhhh ZZZZZZZZZZZZ”.  The sound came from the captain’s intercom.

There was a few seconds of eerie silence.  Everyone in the cabin was staring at the cockpit door wondering if the terror was over.  THUMP, THUMP, THUMP!!   The large thumps continued, now coming from the cockpit door.  Hundreds of them.   I had my hands over my face in the aisle wanting this all to end.  I fearfully peek through my hands and see the cockpit door rip open.  A flight attendant screams…

Ok, so that’s not exactly how it went down the last time I landed in Vegas. What actually happened is while we were taxiing to the gate we had to stop about twenty feet out due to a swarm of bees. We waited for a while for them to disperse but eventually had to move to another gate. Luckily they were normal bees, not giant mutant bees, but it was still too dangerous for anyone to be outside.

Today I head back to Vegas for a conference, but the Home Warrior and I will get a day and a half of vacation first. Fingers crossed for an uneventful journey!

Readers, what strange things have you experienced that kept your plane from the gate?

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Tipping hotel housekeeping

September 16, 2014 - 10 Responses

A question that comes up frequently is if travelers should tip hotel housekeeping, and if so how much should they tip. This discussion has 9-16-14-2come up again with the announcement that Marriott is partnering with Maria Shriver to start leaving envelopes in their rooms suggesting that hotel guests tip housekeeping. According to travel tipping etiquette, a good housekeeping tip is $1-3 per night.  Some people recommend leaving a tip daily, as the person cleaning your room may change from day to day.

There are several schools of thought to this. Some people see tipping housekeeping as similar to tipping bellmen, valet, or room service waiters. Others complain that Marriott (and other hotels) should pay their housekeepers more instead of asking their customers to give them a raise. According to the article, the median salary of a hotel housekeeper in 2012 was $9.51. (However, it also states that in some DC-area hotels the housekeepers are unionized and make double that.) A reader poll done a couple of years ago shows that 39% of business travelers don’t ever tip housekeeping, with only 23% always tipping.

My overall tipping philosophy is that it’s better to tip too much than too little. I am typically only in a hotel room for one night, maybe two at the most. On longer hotel stays I will always tip, but for shorter ones I don’t always. And I’ll be honest—it’s hard for me to remember to bring any cash at all on a trip, and I’m always so busy that remembering to tip every single day is just not going to happen. I get why it’s a good idea, but it’s not realistic for me.

I have read in a lot of places that people just aren’t aware that they are supposed to tip housekeeping, and if the Marriott tipping envelopes bring awareness to the situation then IMO that’s not a bad thing. But you know what would be the most convenient thing–if there were a line on my receipt where I could add a tip, so I wouldn’t have to remember to stop by the ATM.

Readers, what do you think? Do you tip housekeeping? Will the Marriott envelopes encourage people to tip more?

Be sure to check out my new page with products I recommend for travel!

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Too Connected: Cell phones and airports

September 15, 2014 - 3 Responses

A few weeks back I posted about a woman talking on her phone while boarding who couldn’t get her suitcase up in to the amazon phoneoverhead bin, but refused to put the phone down. This past week I had another annoying encounter with a traveler too focused on his cell phone to pay attention to his surroundings.

I was walking through PHX (again—I seem to be there all the time these days!) trying to decide if I wanted delicious pizza or delicious burger in terminal B. I was crouched at the side of the corridor looking in my bag for my wallet, against the wall and completely out of the way, when I saw a man walking and texting heading towards me. I started to say something (like, “Excuse me!” or, “Look out!”) when he literally tripped over me. Like, would have fallen completely on his face if he hadn’t braced himself against the wall. He apologized profusely, of course, but he just hadn’t seen me because he had been walking and sending an email.

Look, I get it. I really do. We are all busy people with lots of things to do, and multitasking is a part of our lives. But for Pete’s sake—pay attention to where you’re walking! Even if you’re off to the side, just STOP. Stand still for the 90 seconds it will take you to complete your email and send it, or the five seconds you need to send that text, or whatever. It is so much safer and less annoying than the alternative. What if I had been a small child, and he had tripped over me? There is no reason not to watch where you’re going, especially in a place as crowded as the airport.

Over in a city in China they are doing an experiment where part of a sidewalk on a street has a cell-phone lane. Doesn’t sound so crazy, does it??

Readers, have you had any recent encounters with people staying too connected during travel?

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Posts from the past

September 14, 2014 - Leave a Response

What was going on this week in years past?Post from Past pic

2013

2012

2011

2010

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Road Warriorette Weekend Express

September 13, 2014 - Leave a Response

Hey readers! Got a question or something you want to discuss this weekend?  Here’s the perfect opportunity!  Whether you want to share Weekend Express pican interesting travel story, a packing tip, an etiquette tip, or anything else going on in the business travel world, comment here and we’ll have a discussion.

Travel tip of the week:

  • Give Uber a try!  I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first when I heard about ridesharing services such as Uber, but I have to say I’ve been really happy with my experience overall.  I’ve been using it for five months now and it has been really convenient when I’m traveling in New York and don’t want to rent a car.  It’s super easy to locate a ride using their app, you can choose drivers that have the best reviews, and when the ride is over it automatically charges my card and emails me a receipt so I can get on my way without delay.  So if you haven’t tried them yet give it a shot! Be sure to also check out my post on my first Uber experience.

Week in review:

  • Traveling is stressful, but when you add work into the mix stress can go through the roof. See my post with ways to help cope with all the stress that is part and parcel of business travel.  Coping with stress before takeoff (Leave a Response)

Read more of this article »

5 Travel Safety Tips

September 12, 2014 - 6 Responses

When women travel alone, whether it’s business or personal, it’s important to keep safety top of mind. Don’t feel foolish or paranoid—it’s do not disturb 2simple to be aware of your surroundings and take a few basic precautions, and far better than the alternative. These are five things I do on every trip.

  1. Choose a hotel with indoor room entrances. This will keep random people from wandering up to your hotel room.
  2. Use valet parking, if it’s available. It may be more expensive but it’s safer than wandering around a parking garage or parking lot late at night.
  3. Ask for two keys. This way it’s not as obvious that you’re traveling alone.
  4. Lock your deadbolt anytime you’re in the room.
  5. Don’t hang anything on your door other than the Do Not Disturb sign. If you need to have your room cleaned call housekeeping. Don’t use the room service door hanger, as anyone who looks at it can see that you are traveling alone.

Bonus: Try not to stay on the ground floor, but if you do check the windows to make sure they are locked.

When thinking about your safety during travel it’s easy to let all of the potential frightening scenarios overwhelm you. But taking a few common-sense precautions will give you peace of mind as well as make your environment safer.

Readers, what safety tips do you try to follow on every trip?

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Coping with stress before takeoff

September 11, 2014 - Leave a Response

Traveling is stressful, but when you add work into the mix stress can go through the roof.  It often begins before you’ve even started 9-11-14-1traveling.  Packing when you would rather be enjoying time with friends and family.  Making sure you don’t sleep through your alarm due and miss your 5am flight.  There is stress the night before, deciding whether or not you should put certain things off until morning.  On the drive there’s the stress of, “Did I forget ______?” (I still haven’t gotten over forgetting my wallet!!).  What will the security line be like?  Will my flight be delayed, causing me to miss my connection?  Will I have time to eat?  Will……..RELAX!

Here are some ways to help cope with all the stress that is part and parcel of business travel.

Use an app for packing.  A packing list is essential, but the days of organizing these packing lists yourself are in the past.  There are several packing app options out there, both free and paid. I personally use Packing ProIt’s currently $2.99 in the Apple app store but is totally worth it IMO.  I’ll be doing a more in depth review down the line but in short its categorizing features have made packing a breeze.    Check out the description and reviews in the app store to learn all about it. To make my drive to the airport less stressful I check the ‘essentials’ list to make sure I have those items before I walk out the door (such as my wallet!).

Don’t unpack everything.  For a few things it makes more sense to have two sets so you don’t have to unpack and repack during frantic travel periods.  I have certain items that are in my bag all the time and recommend you do the same.

Create Google Calendar reminders.  Reminders can be annoying if you over use them, but they keep you on task.  I set reminders for when to start packing and when to be out the door heading to the airport.  Also by setting reminders it makes it more likely that I’ll actually get things done the night before instead of pushing to the morning of my trip.  I try really hard not to have much to do when I wake up in the morning, so the night before I’ll usually shower, finish packing, program the coffee, make my breakfast, and lay out my outfit so that when I wake I’m stressed as little as possible.

Set two alarms, two sounds.  To wake up in the morning I have two alarms set.  I have one to start trying to get me up about 15 minutes before I have to wake (which I’ll usually snooze till the final alarm), and another one with a different sound from the first. When that second one goes off I know it’s go time.

Check your flight status. Don’t wake up to surprises. Check your flight status the night before you leave as well as right before you leave for the airport. You can use an app like FlightAware to confirm that the inbound plane is on time, and the American Airlines app tells you that as well now.

Preparing for security lines.  I highly recommend you apply for TSA Pre-Check (or Global Entry if you travel internationally).  The lines are much faster in my experience so it takes a lot of the guessing out of preparing how long it will take to get through.  Plus there is the added convenience of not having to take your shoes off or take your laptop out of your bag. If you don’t want to fork up the money for this or are waiting for your application to get approved, consider trying out the MiFlight app.  It uses social sharing to provide the average time it’s taking to get through security.  I personally haven’t used it because it’s not available at my airport (and because I have TSA Pre-Check) but it’s highly rated in the iTunes app store.

Readers, how do you alleviate stress before a business trip?

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Business travel news roundup

September 10, 2014 - One Response

Here are a few of the stories that caught my eye in the last week or so…. news pic bag

Readers, anything interesting come across your desk lately?

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