Lessons Learned - TS Travel Fail

Trip Stylers

[trip style = any] 

In anticipation of our first getaway with two children under two {AND our dog}—WHAT were we thinking bringing the pup?!? {Sorry Mr. Nacho King}I painted my nails red, did my hair and put on an extra swipe of mascara. All gussied up for the occasion, I was looking forward to a fabulous foray back into travel following a small hiatus pre- and post-Pink Styler's arrival. With almost 40 international flights and countless hotels under our collective belts WITH Blue Styler in tow, I felt like adding in a newborn and a dog would be no problemo, especially in the context of a local getaway. "We got this," or so I thought

The Planned Getaway
Our plan: Head to Whistler, a nearby resort destination, to relax in nature, spend some time in the pool, and let other people do the cooking. What could go wrong?!? I booked something posh with included spa amenities {steam + sauna} in the room rate and service befitting a five-star stay. Two cribs, two mini robes, diapering supplies and dog bowls were waiting in our room. 

The Fail
Turns out, we "don't got this"at least on the first try. I'll start with the conclusion: We left early {after night no. 1 of a two-night stay} and abandoned a $250/night room. Fail. This happened for a few reasons, but in large part it was due to our failure to book a two-room suite so the little stylers wouldn't wake each other and we could drink wine in hotel bliss. 

To Be Fair
In an effort to be "fair" to our family travel fail, there were a lot of factors at play including Blue Styler getting over sickness, four people being in one room, a chorus of night wake-ups, and a dog who developed a crazy skin rash while we were there. The odds were stacked against us. We arrived at noon, decided at 6am the next morning the trip was a fail, and promptly left at 9am with red-rimmed eyes and a zombie stride in our step. I'm EVER MORE embarrassed to admit the Trip Stylers even stopped at McDonald's on the way home. It was that kinda morning.  

Lessons Learned
1. Don't bring the dog {when attempting tester-style getaways}.
2. Do bring two strollers. We only brought one stroller, but having our second stroller for Blue Styler would have helped him sit still in a familiar seat for an extra moment. 
3. Do book a suite. At this stage {as the little stylers are learning to ignore each other in the night} booking a suite or a vacation rental with two bedrooms would have been a good starting strategy. Even with a sound machine to dampen noise, a studio hotel room does not cut it {right now, not forever}. It's fine with one little styler, not with two under two!
4. Choose to see this fail as a WIN. To quote the popular NBC PSA: "The more you know." 
5. Continue to measure life in moments.

All in all, the trip taught us a lot about our current family travel needs and served its purpose as a test trip given we've got a BIG trip booked in November. While I was a bit of a "mess" on the drive back, the situation helped us to appreciate our life at home all the more, and focused our thoughts toward a bunch of exciting changes we've been contemplating. And hey, at least my nails were still red. 

[photo by @tripstyler]

Uh, Travel WOW

travel wow moments

[trip style = luxury]

One reason I love having Trip Styler as my near and dear travelog is because I have the honor of detailing trips that are worth the journey AND bringing you along {an opp I don't take lightly}. Over my Trip Styling span, a few airlines, hotels, restaurants and experiences have stood out:

I started recalling my travel wow moments when I saw a video made by Casey Neistat, a "power" YouTuber with more than 4.7 million followers. He just flew Emirates' business class for the first time and documented the whole thing. His reel reminded me of everything I loved about my Emirates travel wow experiencemattress on the life-flat seat when you go to bed, Godiva chocolates at turndown, in-seat massage modulesand why I'm saving my Alaska Airlines points for a business class ticket with Emirates {an Alaska partner} to the Maldives.

Please enjoy his travel wow moment, and remember: If you ever save your airmiles or splurge on a special ticket, never {EVER} go to the airplane's bar in socks {like Casey}.  

In-flight {+ at-home} Beauty Tips from the Most Glam Squad in the Sky

That's me {center} in top-to-toe Virgin-wear

That's me {center} in top-to-toe Virgin-wear

[trip style = any]

A few years ago I hopped on a Virgin Atlantic flight across the pond to attend the airline's grooming class, a one-day spiff-session every crew member takes {including ground crew} to learn about Virgin's top primping and priming techniques for travel.

At the risk of being a "Captain Obvious," it was one of the best assignments I've ever taken. I mean, YES to learning tips for gorgeous gallivanting from the most glam squad in the sky! 

In my new life with two tiny stylers in tow, I don't have time to lallygag when I get ready for the day, so Virgin's jet-lag fighting skincare, go-to hairstyles and two-minute makeovers are MORE relevant than EVER {even at home}! 

For an Expedia story I recently wrote, I contacted Virgin to see if they were teaching new go-tos for sky-high grooming. The below list rounds up their greatest hits {which I've personally tried and tested over the years}, as well as a few new ones. With this I give you:

Grooming On the Go, Virgin-edition
*Coles notes below. For the FULL list, see my story in the Expedia Viewfinder.

Me {left} Interviewing Virgin crew during during a class break

Me {left} Interviewing Virgin crew during during a class break

1. Sky-high skin prep
How do Virgin’s red-suited crew come off a 14-hour flight with dewy skin while the rest of us look as dry as a desert? Here’s how: Plump skin is more than just a dab of moisturizer and a swipe of eye cream. Virgin teaches that sky-high skincare happens round-the-clock with high-quality products and regular facials to maintain a cared-for complexion. It doesn’t stop here. The night before your flight give the skin you’re in a good cleanse, exfoliation, and hydration boost {think: moisturizing mask}—a regime that will do wonders for your skin’s luminosity upon arrival.

Sky-high skin prep

Sky-high skin prep

2. Moisturize more
“If you spend money on only one skin-saver, buy a good moisturizer,” my grooming goddess told me. The day they fly, recruits are taught to use more than their average dollop of hydrating cream to ensure their face maintains a glow, even on the go.

Moisturize more

Moisturize more

3. High-altitude hair
One way to ensure hair stays put and full of flair while flying is wear it up in a coiffed and chic do. The bonus of this mane methodology is the dividends it pays upon landing; instead of looking like you’ve been flying for 10 hours, you look like you walked out of salon. If your tresses are shoulder-length or shorter, bring a comb to spruce it up with a touch of backcombing and smoothing before deplaning.

High-altitude hair

High-altitude hair

4. The two-minute makeover
One of my favorite tips—which is equally applicable to jet-setting and real life—is Virgin’s two-minute makeover. For guys, it’s meticulous facial grooming, and for gals it’s mascara, cover-up, blush, and red lips {all of which help hide tiredness}. Upgrade the look with classic Virgin shadow colors of lilac or grey, powder, and bronzer to go from bare to brilliant in five minutes flat.

The two-minute makeover

The two-minute makeover

5. The right red
To match that perfect shade of Virgin red, ladies sport the classic red lip. If you think you’re not a red lipstick kind of gal, think again. Rebecca Creer, Chief Beauty Officer at Virgin Atlantic, believes there’s a shade of red to suit every woman, and suggests starting with a blue-red hue for a bright and chic look.

The right red

The right red

Et voila: a fresh-faced arrival!

Measure in Moments

measure life in moments

[trip style = any]

I realize it has been a month since I posted here. Time flies when you have two tykes under two, are recovering from a C-section, and have a sick dog to name just a few things currently going on at TS HQ. 

Somehow, through all of this, I had an epiphany, which I want to share as a lens to view travel and, well, LIFE. 

---> Measure {Life} in Moments <--- 

I'm sure some coach or sage or proverb preaches the same thing. In fact, Tony Robbins probably has a convention on the topic. Either way, through a series of events, I've concluded we put too much pressure on ourselves, as well as expectations on everything else to be near-perfect—think: our health, a trip, a night out, ANYTHING. And yet, hitches are inevitable, which is why I'm starting to count my blessings in moments rather than days, months or years. 

To use travel as an example: A trip is rarely Instagram-perfect. Seriously, do you know how many "takes" are required to capture that sultry sunset, mystical landscape, pouty profile shot or ba-na-nas brunch spread? There are always delays, inclement weather, a spilled drink, an off dish, or a botched hotel stay. Oftentimes these situations are one-offs; sometimes they happen in succession.

When we let ourselves get down by a frustrating event, or allow an unsavory situation to mar an entire journey, we sell it AND our enjoyment short. So, live in the moment, but more importantly, DWELL in the good moments, and know that the bad bits are also just moments.

turtle fairmont orchid hawaii

[photos by @tripstyler]

Introducing: Pink Styler

Pink Styler

[trip style = any]

Late last month a cute recruit was added to the Trip Styler crew: PINK STYLER! Joining Trip Styler, Mr. Trip Styler, Baby Styler {now "Blue Styler" since there's a new babe in town} and Dog Styler; at three weeks old, Pink Styler is newest member of the TS troop. 

Two Trip Stylers Under Two
With this, you may have noticed there has been less activity on Trip Styler as I transition to trip styling with two children under two! {Props to Mr. Trip Styler's first class dad skills AND A+ grandparents.} Rest assured, along with Mr. Trip Styler, we'll figure out life on the ground and in the air with deux tots. 

Turbulence Out of the Gate
While I don't share too many details about my life at home, the past few weeks have been a tad turbulent with Blue Styler AND Dog Styler both falling ill {unrelated ailments} causing mom and baby to hightail it to the hills in an attempt not to catch the multiday virus. Oy. Life; its highs and lows happen both at home and on the road.

First Trip
As for where we'll take our first trip, I'm not yet certain, though in the short-term I'm dreaming of a close-to-home cabin by the sea to capture the last rays of summer. Fast forward to fall: Thinking Santa Barbara would be an ideal locale to test out travel as a foursome.

Why California, aside from its sure-thing vacation status? It's two-hour flight from Vancouver, in the same time zonean important consideration {for us} as Pink Styler establishes her nighttime sleep patternsand a natural beauty bordered by beaches and wineries. Come wintertime, we have our sights set on the tropics {Aloha, Hawaii Island + Hola, Mexico}.

What's Next for TS
Stay tuned for a host of fabulous hotel and destination deets flying your way in the coming weeks. And to answer the obvious question of "Will TS add more family content?", the answer is: Likely. However, as always, my suggestions and stories will remain true to TS roots as a travel lifeSTYLE publication for jetsetters of all ages. {Case in point: Our first jaunt with Blue Styler took us to the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, and our last trip prior to Pink Styler's arrival saw us exploring Stockholm's Scandi-cool cafes}. 

Beyond TS, after a short maternity leave I will continue to collaborate with industry-leading travel partnersthink: Expedia, Air Transat and Luxury Retreatsthat graciously allow me to wander throughout the world in style, and with my growing crew.

[photo by @tripstyler]