Wanderlust Wisdom: Closed Set with Julie Bensman

I can think of no better inspiration for life, love, and fashion than travel. Whether work or play, weekend jaunt or two-week adventure, local getaway or international destination, breaking away from the daily grind shouldn’t be thought of as a luxury, but a necessity.

While we all have romantic illusions when purchasing plane tickets, the sad truth is that travel isn’t always smooth sailing: delayed flights, lost luggage, and unpredictable weather are just a few pitfalls that can turn an otherwise epic vacation into an epic failure – unless one is prepared.

With my summer excursions planned and paid for (Madrid! Paris!), I asked some of my most well traveled friends to share their secrets to traveling in style…

Paul Brady

Occupation: Associate Editor, Huffington Post Travel (check out his Tumblr here).

Best Travel Advice: Just go. Buy the plane ticket, buckle up, and everything else, you'll figure out.

City With The Most Stylish Citizens: Copenhagen! Where else can you bike to work in the freezing rain and still look more stylish than Tyler Brule?

Always Travels With: Extra pens; an honest-to-God paper notebook; an extra phone charger that never leaves my luggage; and lip balm for surviving dry air on long flights.


Nora Walsh

Occupation: Director of Public Relations, The Pierre – A Taj Hotel; Founder of Patchwork Compass.

Best Travel Advice: Always call or check online for flight delays before leaving for the airport. The last time I forgot to check my flight status, I waited three extra hours in the airport when I could have been watching the sunset from my ocean view room sipping a Mai Tai.

Difference Between a Good Hotel and a Great Hotel: A great hotel never says no, they’ll always find you an alternative and they rarely make you ask for things twice — and they have comfortable pillows.

Always Travels With: My black wool wrap to keep me warm on freezing flights (it doubles as a pillow) and a Gortex waterproof shell raincoat.


Laurie Zuckerman

Occupation: Director of Public Relations, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.

Always Travels With: The perfect carry-on bag — one that’s both functional and has the look you feel confident carrying.

Difference Between a Good Hotel and a Great Hotel: Warm, personalized service and special, unexpected touches.

Top Three Suitcase Essentials: Your favorite sunglasses (I love these tortoiseshell Ray Bans) and a lightweight, neutral sweater useful in any weather that goes with anything…and an extra bag for any new favorites you find!


Alexander Basek

Occupation: Co-Founder,

Best Travel Advice: My uncle taught me if a restaurant is empty at a peak time, there's probably a good reason to avoid it. (Runner-up was when he told me "a first class mind deserves a first class seat," but that doesn’t seem to work very well with the gate agent crowd.)

Always Travels With: I was recently gifted an REI sleep mask and it works like a charm, along with my noise canceling headphones. As close as you can get to total isolation on a plane….

City With The Most Stylish Citizens: Paris. Like making snails and frogs’ legs delicious, they can turn just about anyone into a fashionable looker.