Category Archives: Travel

Dream big

Jonathan Cronstedt’s travel goals

Dreaming of the next big adventure

You could say that when I dream, I dream big. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Jonathan Cronstedt loves to travel, and I always feel like I’m planning my next big adventure or dreaming of where I’ll go next, especially when I’m traveling for me, as opposed to for Empower Network.

Last year, through traveling both for pleasure and in my capacity as CEO at Empower Network, I flew more than 225,000 miles. To tell the truth, I’m eager to increase that amount in 2015, especially as I look to visit and experience more and more places.

During a previous career transition, I had the ability to spend six weeks bouncing around Europe with a buddy. It was a fantastic experience, yet I felt like I wasn’t able to fully experience each place we visited, which brings me to my travel bucket list.

Jonathan Cronstedt’s travel bucket list

My ultimate goal (which is currently unfeasible) is to take a year off to spend one month in each of 12 different countries. As a foodie, I want to taste my way through each of these countries, which I believe is one of the best ways to experience any new place.

The ability to spend a full month in a country, in my opinion, allows you to enjoy the full experience. That way, you’re not running yourself ragged trying to see and do everything you can in just a week or a few days. It allows you to find some of those hidden gems that you might not have come across in only a short stay.

The 12 countries I want to visit and experience as fully as possible are:

France

Spain

Germany

Austria

Croatia

Thailand

Australia

South Africa

Brazil

United States (I would stay in New York)

Italy

Scandinavia (Sweden/Norway)

Cultural immersion is so important as you become a more culturally sound individual, which can allow you to add to your knowledge base and enhance your everyday experiences with others.

I’ve found that traveling allows me to better relate to people, which helps me out as the CEO of a company that reaches people from all walks of life. Traveling allows you to see things through another person’s eyes and experiences, and that can be an incredibly valuable tool.

What are some of the places and activities on your travel bucket list?

Best,

Jonathan Cronstedt

travel tips

Jonathan Cronstedt’s travel favorites

Breaking down the travel experience

Anyone who knows me will tell you: Jonathan Cronstedt loves to travel!

Amenities are a large part of the travel experience. After 225,000 miles flown last year, both for pleasure and in my capacity as CEO at Empower Network, I know what amenities make a difference in making the best of any travel experience. That said, I also know which amenities are, quite frankly, more of a hassle than they’re worth.

I continually wait for someone to bring back true business class travel. Right now, even at the finest resorts, the business traveler is often only an afterthought – someone to be procured with points and not through a great experience. I love to travel; I spend much of my time doing it and I want to enjoy the whole travel experience, not just pieces. Here are some of the pieces that help add up to the whole:

Dining while traveling

I’m a self-proclaimed foodie and, in my opinion, the best airport food is at Bradley Terminal at LAX. From sushi to Chinese, burgers to steaks, when I’m traveling, I know that I’ll eat well when I’m at Bradley.

The other airport that I thoroughly enjoy is JFK. Why, you ask? Simply because JFK boasts a Shake Shack. I’ve literally changed flights just to be able to eat at the Shake Shack. It is one of my all-time favorite restaurants.

How to travel

I’ve previously shared my tips for stress-free traveling, which include packing light, among other things. I would spend hours – even days – waiting to check and pick up luggage if I checked my bags every trip I took.

One motto I live by when traveling: “Less is more.”

Hotel offerings

I frequently make the trip from the West Coast to the East Coast and back, and I can tell you that after a day on planes, nothing makes life better than a seamless hotel experience.

Things it’s important for a hotel to have:

  1. Great WiFi

In my experience, a hotel with slow WiFi is nearly as bad as a hotel with no WiFi – or even worse. Free WiFi is a nice perk, but fast WiFi is far better. I wish more hotels would offer the option for paid WiFi over free, because most of the hotel WiFi systems are like watching snails try to build a pyramid. It makes trying to work while on the road far more difficult than it needs to be.

  1. Working USB charging ports

This is a big pet peeve of mine. Hotels put the built-in USB charging stations into their rooms, but I feel like half the time they don’t work. I’m not sure if that’s because someone tried to charge something that was too high voltage or what, but I end up having to unplug the alarm clock and plug in my phone by the bed. And I know a number of people who have left their chargers behind in a distant city because of this issue.

  1. Great coffee

You know me, I like food and I’m a sucker for great coffee. Someday they’re going to name a latte after me and call it The Cronstedt. Sometimes when jetlag kicks in and I need that extra boost, on-site coffee will do the trick. However, nothing is more challenging than getting your day going with weak coffee. I bet if a smaller-scale local coffee shop partnered with a local hotel, it would make an impact.

These are just a few of my top insights on what makes an exceptional travel experience. Putting the pieces together with an attentive hand is what will make the difference between an exhausting, joyless trek and a relaxing, fun trip. What are some of your must-haves while traveling?

Best,

Jonathan Cronstedt

Photo credit: rusbase.com

travel tips

A CEO’s tips for stress-free traveling

Jonathan Cronstedt provides helpful tips for travel

Traveling is something I have to do often for work, and something I love to do on vacation.

My favorite place to travel to on vacation is Europe, especially the Italian Coast, Salisbury, Austria and the Greek Isles. They are beautiful and perfect for spending time relaxing with my wife N. Cronstedt.

While I thoroughly enjoy these exotic locations, traveling can be stressful – no matter if it’s for work or play – with the all the hustle happening in and around airports, traffic, layovers and long waiting times. I have a few travel tips I always refer to, especially for my frequent business trips, that may also help other professionals make traveling for work trips stress-free.

These might come across as obvious tips; however, it may surprise you how few business professionals know how to travel. This includes those young business professionals who recently started traveling for work.

Travel lightly: Only take what is essential. Get travel-sized bottles for toiletries you might need and don’t overload yourself with things you probably won’t use. Pack smart. Have a plan for every item you intend to take. Make sure your clothing is versatile and that you can mix and match it with ease.

Carry on: Airports are infamous for losing and destroying luggage. Airlines will reimburse you for any out-of-pocket expenses you may incur when something happens to your luggage, but most have a limit on how much they will reimburse you and it can take a while for you to receive the compensation. My solution is to never check a bag! Carry on only. Not only does it ensure my bag is never too far from my side, but it also keeps me to my first tip of packing on the light side.

Battery life: My final – and possibly most important – tip is to carry an external battery for your phone when traveling. I know my phone always dies at the most inopportune moment. When I’m stuck waiting at the airport, I like to use my phone to pass the time, but things like games, apps and just browsing the Internet drain phone batteries faster than normal use. Having an external battery is necessary because with it, you won’t have to be a wall hugger like everyone else with a dying electronic device, fighting for one of those rare wall outlets. Most of the external batteries available today can charge not only cell phones for hours on end, but laptops, too. Some can even charge both at the same time.

I hope my travel tips will be useful in preventing stress from taking over the next time you have to travel. Do you have any other travel tips for me? Let me know!

Jonathan Cronstedt is the CEO of Empower Network. He is also an experienced traveler from California to Florida and across the globe. Jonathan enjoys spending time with his wife and their puppy, Stella.

Photo credit: rusbase.com

travel, health, jonathan cronstedt

Maintain your health while traveling

CEOs and entrepreneurs work hard. They move from meeting to meeting, city to city and event to event at a very fast pace and for more hours than what an average business person works. Sometimes it’s difficult to step away from it to get a deep breath and actually evaluate yourself, the company and your team. Maintaining your health while working long hours and traveling allows you the extra room to evaluate without worry.

I’m constantly reminding myself to take care of my health; when I’m healthy, the company is also healthy. I frequently travel between California and Florida and many other locations like Costa Rica and Europe. Enclosed spaces, like the cabin of a plane with hundreds of other passengers, are breeding grounds for disease, and moving from one climate to another also often causes illness. Throughout my travels I’m frequently asked how I stay healthy. I have a few tips that work for me, which may also work for you.

  • Stay hydrated – in the mind, spiritually and with water. I read business books to keep my mind fresh and help further my knowledge base; I maintain faith that there is something greater; and I stay hydrated with water to flush my system out.
  • Sleep schedule: Flights are an exceptional place to catch up on shut-eye; however, drooling on your neighbor is not ideal. If you are traveling to a different time zone, try to begin the transition to the new time zone the day you are set to travel.
  • Exercise: It isn’t always easy while traveling, but finding something local and fun helps get me the exercise I need while away from home. I especially like snowboarding.
  • Don’t overindulge. It might seem easy to enjoy the extras while traveling, especially as you hop from meeting to meeting at restaurants, bars or catered events. Be mindful of how much you indulge – which includes food and beverages – as it can leave you feeling lethargic for the next meeting or unable to fully participate.
  • Relax: Make sure you relax, whether you use music or take deep breaths throughout the day. Don’t forget that relaxation is a major part of staying healthy and stress-free.
  • Stay positive. Traveling has its hindrances and things we can’t always control. Remember to go with the flow and know that you can only control your own emotions.

While these tips aren’t the end-all, be-all of staying healthy while traveling, they are a few tricks that work well for me. Everyone is different – there are some people who get sick much more quickly than others and some always work through their illnesses. We each have our own ticks that seem to help us stay healthy. What are some tips that help you stay healthy while you travel?

Jonathan Cronstedt is the CEO of Empower Network, LLC. Empower Network is a leading affiliate marketing and direct sales company that’s helping tens of thousands enjoy the “Empowered Lifestyle.” Jonathan enjoys travel, spending time with his wife and red wine.