MAPLE LEOPARD: Secrets of A Stylish Traveler: Meet Jessica

Friday, May 27, 2016

Secrets of A Stylish Traveler: Meet Jessica


One of the best perks of blogging is all the wonderful connections I am making. I've made really great friends and chatted with amazing ladies from all over the globe.  It's been awhile since I did an interview on my blog, so I am excited  to share with you Jessica of " The Bell Voyage".  She blogs in the exact same niche I do- fashion and travel- so I thought it very fitting to feature her here.

Memorial weekend is also the kick off for summer travel  in the good ole USA.  A travel post is a good way to get the vacation vibes rolling!

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Unlike me, Jessica has travelled to countries overseas and has amazing experiences to share. I travel frequently in the US and Canada, and this interview has me determined to fly overseas!  I know you will enjoy her story. Now sit back, relax,  and enjoy the trip with...


THE BELLE VOYAGE


Please tell us a bit about yourself, your blog, and how you came to love travel.

Travel has been a big part of my life, and a source of inspiration, for as long as I can remember.  I grew up in a tiny Midwestern town, and I quickly got hooked on the sense of adventure that came with leaving home to explore somewhere new.  Later on in life, I took every opportunity I could to travel.  I studied and lived in London, Kyoto, and Melbourne and loved every minute! 








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These days, I try to maximize my vacation days as much as I can, and I also travel quite a bit for work – most frequently to New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston.  

I usually travel with male executives, and I always felt like the odd one out- nobody else has to pack up their makeup or run to catch a flight in heels.  I figured I couldn’t be the only gal out there who had similar challenges – so I started my blog, The Belle Voyage, to inspire women everywhere to travel more.  I believe that travel = experiences = wisdom = empowerment, so the more we travel, the better!  I also believe that travel does not have to mean frumpy – so I love finding and sharing ways to travel while staying stylish.

What’s the last trip you got back from and the next trip you’re going on?

This spring, I have been traveling a TON for work – and my most recent trip was to Stockholm, Sweden.  I’d never been to Sweden before and I completely fell in love with Stockholm – what an incredible city!   Highly, highly recommended.

Fortunately, my next trip is to for vacation – I’m going to Hawaii with some girlfriends!  We’re headed to the Big Island, so I’m excited to spend a few days soaking up the sun and lounging on the beach.

Do you plan out your daily itinerary for each trip or wing it when you arrive?

I am such a planner – I can’t help it!  I never feel like I have enough time in one place, so I always want to make the most of what I do have.  I also really enjoy the planning aspect of travel, so I do a ton of research beforehand – which usually means that my days are pretty well-organized.  I always leave time for spontaneity, though!

Tell us about the trip of your dreams!

Oh wow – there are so many!  I have a long list, ha!  If I could pick just one – I have always wanted to visit Iceland.  I’d like to spend a few weeks driving around the country and checking out all of the natural wonders – volcanoes, crazy landscapes – just everything I have seen of Iceland in photos looks so otherworldly.  I would love to see it all with my own eyes.

What’s the hardest part about frequent travel as a female? 

Oh man – for me it’s all the toiletries.  I almost always travel with only a carry on suitcase, so I’m constantly trying to squeeze everything in to a one-quart plastic bag.  I don’t think I’m THAT high maintenance, but when it comes to fitting hair stuff, makeup, and skincare stuff into that tiny little bag – it all seems to add up. 

What’s the longest trip you’ve taken with only a carry-on bag?  Tell us how you did it!

I did a full 2 weeks in Italy with just a carry on!  I felt like I deserved a medal.  But truthfully, packing light for summer travel is so much easier.  I just brought a lot of light sundresses, skirts, and tank tops.  I wore my walking shoes on the plane, so I just had two pairs of sandals to put in my suitcase.

Best shopping purchase you’ve made while traveling?

Hmmm….this is a tough one!  Partly because I seem to do so much shopping when I travel, hahaha.   If I had to pick, I’d probably choose the jacket that I splurged on during at trip to New York City.  It wasn’t cheap, but every time I wear it, I think about that trip and how much fun I had.



Describe what you’d typically wear on a flight: pajama-ready or celeb-worthy?

I have my flying outfit down to a science!  I usually wear black skinny jeans (stretchy = comfy), black ballet flats, a drapey linen t-shirt, a leather jacket, and a scarf.  Enough layers to add and remove depending on how cold the plane is!

You get invited on a last-minute, week-long trip – what’s the fastest you can pack a bag?

I can be pretty quick!  Though it might depend on when I last did my laundry, ha.  Since I travel so often for work, a lot of my stuff just lives in my carry on bag – so it’s already packed.  I can round up my go-to travel outfits pretty quickly, too, so I’d guess that I could be ready within about 30 minutes.



Let’s talk travel budgets.  Between accommodations, flight upgrades, high-end food, activities, etc. - where do you splurge and where do you try and save?

I try to be really strategic about racking up as many air miles and hotel points as possible.   I’m fortunate that I can save a lot of points through work travel, but I also have a credit card that is great for accumulating points.  By the time vacation time rolls around, I usually have enough points to cover airfare or hotel (sometimes both!).  So with those big-ticket items out of the way, I’m able to splurge on things like food and activities.

What’s the one beauty product you can’t live without when you travel?

Hands down, my flat iron.  I hate washing my hair when I travel, so bringing my flat iron along makes for easy touch-ups.  I can fix pretty much any hair issue that might arise, and it’s compact and easy to fit in my bag.

What are your in-flight necessities when it comes to entertainment, beauty, snacks, etc.?

I can’t fly without my ipad!  I use it to read magazines and listen to music on flights.  I discovered an app called Texture where you can download pretty much any magazine you want for $15/month.  Since I travel so often, $15/month on magazines is a bargain for me, not to mention that it saves a ton of space in my bag to have them electronically.

Ever had an overseas spa treatment or beauty salon experience?  Do tell!

OH YES.  I did a massage in Thailand that was not for the meek or modest.  Unfortunately I am somewhat both – so I think I’ll stick to foot massages in Thailand if I ever go back!


Words of inspiration to women who might hesitate to travel?

Be fearless.  Just go.

Thank you Jessica for sharing your blog and story with us! You can find more stories of travel and style by following the Belle Voyage on social media.






Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Where are your travels taking you this summer? I would love to hear in the comments.

 Have a wonderful weekend! If you live in the USA ... let us all take some time to pause, reflect, and be thankful for the service members who have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedoms.

Inspirational Quote for the week:  " The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."  Marcel Proust

xo Valerie


20 comments:

  1. This was so much fun to learn about a different blogger! I never heard of her blog before this, so now I have a new one to follow!!

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    1. Hey Lauren, glad you liked it..yes I always love learning of new blogs to follow too..hope you have a great weekend!

      xo

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  2. Your flight outfit sounds perfect! I will be doing a variation for my upcoming flight (no leather jacket) but I love the idea of a scarf for sure.

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  3. Love your gray dress and black & white skirt, really cute!

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    1. She has great style! Thank you for commenting!

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  4. What a fun post, always love to read about other fellow style-travel bloggers! That quote in the end is so deep and true. With that, have a great memorial day weekend gorgeous!
    xx, Kusum | www.sveeteskapes.com

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    1. Thanks Ms. Beautiful..I hope you are doing the same!
      Thanks for stopping by!


      xo

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  5. I completely agree with layers for the plane -- it can get so cold or be uncomfortably warm. Enjoyed getting to learn a little about you!

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  6. I love reading travel tips and this post was excellent! Loved getting a little glimpse getting to know her.

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    1. Thank you so much Cassandra for stopping by! Have a great week!

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  7. Excellent post about travel tips. I need this as I'll be having several trips this year. Thank you! Thank you!

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    1. Hi Ayesha, glad it was helpful, thanks for stopping by and happy travels!

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  8. It's so nice to "meet" you Jessica! <3<3<3<3

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  9. I always tell myself I should travel more, but it just doesn't seem to happen. I loved having a job that had me traveling every other month. So great Jessica gets to do that. - Katy

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    1. I Hear ya Katy..I would love to travel more too....and a job that lets you travel would be the ultimate!

      Valerie

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  10. I can't even imagine having a carry-on for two weeks out of the country! I'm so impressed!

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    1. I.K.R!?!? I don't think I could pull this off! Ha

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