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Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
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Monday, May 8, 2017

Countdown to Memorial Day: Jay Vidovich'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 sixth 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.

Coach Jay M. Vidovich
This week, I am honored to share my interview with Jay Vidovich, who brought me onto his staff in the Wake Forest University men's soccer office back in the spring of 1997. After 21 years as the head men's soccer coach for my Demon Deacons as well as a year coaching the Portland Timbers 2 team of the USL Pro, now, Coach Vidovich coaches the University of Pittsburgh's men's soccer team. Widely considered one of the best men's soccer coaches in the entire National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Coach Vidovich led Wake Forest's men's soccer team to the 2007 NCAA championship with a 22-2-1 final season-long record and has the Pittsburgh Panthers poised for great progress in their year-over-year improvements. With all that soccer success, Coach Vidovich faces a tremendous amount of traveling, whether for recruiting or simply getting to game day. Add to that traveling with his wife, Julie, as well as two daughters, Zoe and Tess, and Coach Vidovich has plenty of travel experience to share. For more on Coach Vidovich, please visit his Wikipedia page here or view his professional bio here, and continue reading for travel insights to use over your next adventure.

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

JMV: Mainly business but prefer pleasure.

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

JMV: Plane or automobile.

ESP: What is your preference for airlines?

JMV: American Airlines because I have a frequent flyer membership with them and have been able to earn significant rewards.

ESP: What is your preference for hotels or accommodations?

JMV: For business travel, I prefer Marriott because they more easily accommodate team traveling.

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

JMV: My business traveling requires the use of a travel agency so I can seamlessly get where I need to when I need to be there; however, "pleasure" traveling can be a combination of both, depending on where I'm traveling.

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

JMV: Familiarize yourself with what benefits are offered by any program you join. Often times, you can save money on baggage fees, get complimentary upgrades and are offered greater flexibility when issues arise, but you can't take advantage of benefits unless you know they exist.

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

JMV: My carry-on bag must have my computer, all chargers for the devices I'm taking (both car chargers as well as wall chargers), whatever fitness gear will be needed and my rain gear.

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

JMV: Yes! My dopp kit is always pre-packed, including extra cash for emergencies.

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

JMV: I keep all the information for where I need to be in my phone. Then, I find it's easier to stay on track with what's planned while I'm on the road because there are no distractions.

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?

JMV: Absolutely! I depend heavily on my phone and use several apps to stay organized: iCalendar, Google Maps, Waze, Uber or Lyft, the app for whichever hotel I'm staying in, the app for whichever airline I'm flying and the app for the rental car company I'm using. The TripCase app syncs seamlessly with our travel agencies so I can more easily deal with changes for airline and hotel reservations. Having it all in one place is helpful.

ESP: What do you find most valuable throughout your traveling?

JMV: To survive, I must have fitness, whether running, a bike ride or something else. That is a must!

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

JMV: Ze do Peixe Assado on a beach in Portugal, just south of Setubal - I got lost and, then, got lucky stumbling across this. Basically, it's a fish market on the beach and absolutely incredible.

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

JMV: Patience.

Thanks for sharing so many excellent tidbits, Coach Vidovich!

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

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