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.”
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
Photo credit: rusbase.com