I’ve traveled a fair amount in my 25 years, and until recently it has been a comedy of errors. Picture me, frantic and sweaty, splayed out on the floor of the airport rearranging my bags to meet the weight limits. Boarding a German train only to find my giant suitcase firmly lodged in the aisle, with a crowd and the murmur of European annoyance building behind me. Lotion on silk shirts, rogue wheels slamming luggage into my ankles with every step, headphones knotted beyond all hope. Arriving red-eyed and disheveled to every destination. No longer, though: with a plan to open in 40 cities in 4 years, Team COTERIE is on the move, and I’m on a mission to streamline my travel experience. Below are my best tips to do that. P.S.- we know our COTERIE community are jetsetters, too, and we’d love to hear in the comments about your recent or future getaways!
Before you go….It all starts with your luggage. Efficiency is the name of the game when you’re traveling for work, and that old LL Bean duffel is just going to slow you down. Start off on the right foot with chic luggage + accessories from women-owned brands like Away and Cuyana. Away suitcases have built-in USB chargers, secure locks, and scratch-proof, beautifully minimalistic hard shells. I’ve got my eye on a zip-top leather tote (personal item!) and leather travel case set, in matching pearl grey, from San Francisco-based Cuyana.
The most important rule of them all: do not check a bag. Just don’t. You’ve got work to do and cities to explore. No time for lost luggage. Lay out everything you want to bring, then edit ruthlessly. Don’t pack anything you haven’t worn before, don’t pack anything that doesn’t go into at least two outfits, and don’t pack anything that requires a lot of care. For shoes, my rule is one pair of heels + one pair of flats + one pair of tennis shoes. I’m currently searching for sneakers that are supportive for running, but are compact and unobtrusive enough to wear with regular outfits (anything that can do double duty is prime for travel). As for actual technique, our founder Joanna swears by the rolling method. I took her advice for our last trip, down to GrowCo in New Orleans, and I fit in way more than expected, with minimal wrinkles. In your personal item, use pouches to make necessities easy to find: one for wallet + cell phone, one for makeup, skincare, and Visine, and one for headphones and chargers.
I know this is a hot-button issue, but hear me out: the Kindle is the best thing that has ever happened to me. For plane reading, anyway. It’s slim, backlit, and lets you switch between books without having to haul them. Or download some podcasts ahead of time. Check out Forbes Million$, interviews with amazing female founders like Glossier’s Emily Weiss, or The School of Greatness podcast for entrepreneurial anecdotes and skill building. Or, heck, buy an Us Weekly and catch up on Taylor Swift's love life. No judgement here.
Know how to step off a plane feeling fresh as a daisy? Yeah, me neither. However, I have gathered a few tricks to help you feel less like an old sponge upon arrival. Plane air is crazy dry, not to mention full of microbes. Hydrate like you’re preparing for hot yoga the day of the flight, and pop an Emergen-C when the beverage service comes around. The air affects your skin as well; as moisture is pulled out, cracks can form that allow bacteria to enter more easily. Get ahead of dullness and breakouts with a cleansing wipe right after you’ve strapped in, followed by moisturizer and sunscreen. UV rays are intense up there, and sunscreen provides a better physical barrier to bacteria than moisturizer alone. Our Director of Operations/resident aromatherapist Blair never travels without essential oils: lavender to relax you and protect your airways, lemongrass for an immunity boost, and peppermint for clarity and focus after you land. Hope these tips help you on your next adventure, work or otherwise. Cheers to breezing past the luggage carousel!
-Lindsey Hook, Community Development Assistant