rules for the research road

I’m in the middle of a 4-week conference & research trip series that takes me through LA, Chicago, San Francisco, and Oaxaca. I’m a pretty seasoned traveler, but even I get burnt out during this marathon session. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned:

  1. Pick the shortest flights possible. Even if it’s a bit more expensive, a direct flight is always better. No time spent waiting in airports, eating their expensive food and paying for wifi.
  2. If you do have a layover, pick a good airport to have it in. From now on, I’m all about SFO. The new terminals are gorgeous with wine bars, spas, and a full-blown candy store!
  3. If you have the option, book early and fly Virgin America. There’s nothing better than landing in an airport listening to Billy Holiday.
  4. If you get lost (and you will), enjoy the ride. Today I took the wrong bus and arrived half an hour late, but at least I got to see more of San Francisco.
  5. Always carry $2.00 in exact change if you’re planning on using the Muni. Ok — that’s a bit specific, but definitely check ahead of time with how public transportation works.
  6. Invest in a light, fast laptop with a long battery and lots of memory.
  7. I never really believed in the whole bring your own toiletries in mini disposable bottles thing, but having tried it, I’m convinced. It’s like a little slice of home. Or, be really luxurious and invest in a L’Occitane travel set.
  8. Definitely get enough sleep and drink enough water.
  9. If you have to choose between a banana and a cookie, pick the cookie. Traveling is tough and sometimes you just need a little piece of decadence to remind yourself the joys of traveling. Or follow my lead and find the nearest spa (preferably a Bliss at a W Hotel) for an evening pedicure.


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