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Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Countdown to Memorial Day: Natalie Perkins' 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 fifth 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. Natalie Perkins
This week, I am pleased to share my interview with Natalie Perkins, Chief Executive Officer of Clean Design, an award-winning brand + advertising agency that she has grown over 300% since joining in 2007. Ms. Perkins' invaluable industry expertise comes from over 25 years of industry experience, including market research, integrated marketing, graphic design, brand awareness and digital strategy. She leads business development for the agency and has played an integral role in recruiting major clients, such as Lenovo, Red Hat and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to traveling for Clean Design clients, Ms. Perkins' civic and charitable leadership takes her statewide across North Carolina, a state she is proud to represent as a 2015 graduate of the acclaimed Leadership North Carolina program. Most recently, Ms. Perkins received the 2016 Triangle Advertising Federation Industry Career Achievement Award, a lifetime achievement award that recognizes individuals for their dedication to the industry and the community, and Clean Design has been named "Best Places to Work" three years in a row by Triangle Business Journal. For more about her work as well as the multiple personal and team honors she has received, click here.

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

NP: I've been a heavy traveler all my career, and, for 2 years not long ago, I flew every week for my job, leaving out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Atlanta, DC or Pittsburgh. Most of my travel has been for business.

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

NP: I prefer to travel by car because I'm in control, but that's just not always feasible. But, if you mean a cruise ship for traveling by boat, I'll go with that option.

EP: What is your favorite destination and why?

NP: My husband and I love to travel throughout Europe. Everywhere we go is special in its own way. Last year, we took the Orient Express train journey from Venice to London. It was absolutely amazing!

EP: What is your preference for airlines?

NP: Domestically, they are all equally awful. I hate to say it, but it's true. Just look at the news over the past few weeks. I wish I could say that recent occurrences happening with United Airlines and, now, American Airlines are isolated events, but it is time for passengers to demand a new passenger bill of rights, requiring the airlines to treat us with dignity.

EP: What is your preference for hotels or accommodations?

NP: I have traveled so much that, when I travel now, I look for unique experiences.

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

NP: Domestically, I book my own using an online travel service; internationally, we use a travel agent.

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

NP: My points are scattered across many brands and programs so I have options.

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

NP: Anything I can't live without for 24 hours. Essential toiletries, make-up, medications, chargers, etc. On our honeymoon to Paris and Venice, the airlines lost our checked luggage for 2 weeks so we lived out of our carry-on bags for our entire honeymoon!

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

NP: Absolutely! I hate to pack so this is the only way I make it bearable.

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

NP: You have to be careful not to overcommit yourself. When traveling, you're always trying to find time to catch up on what's going on back home so it's best to just schedule that time.

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

NP: I love those zipper organizers. They help keep me from forgetting anything.

EP: 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?

NP: Only the airline apps... I'm sure you can help make me more productive, Emily!

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

NP: A delicious Italian restaurant in Venice. I think we ate everything on the menu.

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

NP: A time travel portal so I never have to get on another plane!

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

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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