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Monday, April 3, 2017

Countdown to Memorial Day: Laura Doerre's Travel Tips

Spring has sprung, and the countdown to summer's unofficial start on Memorial Day has begun! As temperatures rise, I find that travel planning increases so this is the first in my series of interviews highlighting frequent travelers. We'll cover their preferences and best practices, giving you takeaways to try for your next trip.

Ms Laura W. Doerre
To kick things off, I am pleased to share my interview with Laura W. Doerre, who has served as Executive vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of JELD-WEN, a leading window and door manufacturer with operations in 19 countries, since September 2016. Prior to that, Ms. Doerre was Vice President and General Counsel for Nabors Industries, the world's largest land-based drilling contractor with operations in over 20 countries, where she worked for 20 years. A frequent traveler, Ms. Doerre has visited over 60 countries and is currently on a quest to run a half marathon on all seven continents. Ms. Doerre serves on the boards of The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (2011-present), Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity (2010-present; current President) and Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation (2010-2012; 2014-present). She is a member of Women Executives of Charlotte as well as the International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Arbitration and co-chairs the Corporate Counsel Subcommittee of the U.S. Council for International Business' Committee on Arbitration.

ESP: Do you travel mainly for business, pleasure or both?

LWD: Both.

ESP: Do you prefer traveling via plane, train, boat or automobile?

LWD: Plane - It's so much more efficient.

ESP: What is your favorite destination and why?

LWD: Paris with its wonderful food, shopping and wine.

ESP: What is your preference for airlines?

LWD: American because I live in a hub city and, with all my traveling, have earned a higher status.

ESP: What is your preference for hotels or accommodations?

LWD: I have a few options that I prefer: Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton for their superb quality as well as Marriott and Hilton for the loyalty points garnered from each stay.

ESP: Do you book your own travel or prefer a travel agency?

LWD: I prefer to book my own travel. I usually find better alternatives and better deals.

ESP: Do you have any suggestions for making the most of loyalty programs or points?

LWD: To determine the best values, apply the rule that one point must equal $0.01.

ESP: Are you loyal to any particular brands?

LWD: In addition to the aforementioned American, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Marriott and Hilton, I would include United because I have earned lifetime status with them.

ESP: When flying, what do you ensure is in your carry-on?

LWD: Everything! But, if I'm checking a bag, I make sure my carry-on includes my valuables, essential toiletries and a change of clothes. Oh, and Bose headphones as well as compression socks for the flight.

ESP: Do you keep an extra bag of toiletries packed?

LWD: Absolutely! I started doing this years ago, and it has definitely decreased the aggravation of forgotten items.

ESP: How do you organize your time while on-the-go?

LWD: iCalendar synced between my devices.

ESP: What tools or tactics do you use to keep your accommodations organized while traveling?

LWD: Technology is very helpful. I like using iCalendar along with the app for the hotel where I'm staying. Additionally, to prevent scrambling once you reach your destination, international travelers need to have a curling iron or other frequently used appliances in 220 V versions to take on those trips.

ESP: Do you use technology to help stay productive and organized? If so, what's your favorite program, app, website or tech tool for surviving the chaos of daily life? And what's your favorite for being your best while traveling?

LWD: My iCalendar keeps me on track, particularly with separate color-coding for each aspect of my life.

ESP: Across all your travels, which restaurant did you enjoy most, why was it your favorite and what was the best food?

LWD: Joel Robuchon Atelier in Paris - My visit was a great night with great food and great wine. The seared foie gras with poached apricot is unbelievably good!

ESP: If you could have one super power to make traveling (or life in general) a little better, what would it be?

LWD: Teleportation.

Thanks for sharing so many excellent tidbits, Ms. Doerre!

Readers, do your preferences mirror hers? Do you use any of the tools or hacks that she's mastered over her countless travels? Which tip do you plan to implement in the future?

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