Talking Travel With: Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, Co-Founders of Birchbox
Their beauty loot company Birchbox provides makeup aficionados their monthly fix, so it's no surprise that Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, who fly an estimated 200,000 miles a year, know how to travel stylishly. Below: their must-pack items, go-to carry-ons, and favorite hotels.
T+L: How many miles would you say you travel in a year?
HB: My best guess is around 200,000 miles.
HB: I typically book the lowest fare at the most convenient time. But I am partial to United for international travel due to their alliance with Scandinavian Airlines—may husband is from Norway—and easy upgrades.
How do you stay busy on long-haul flights?
HB: Sleep, jam on the inbox (it’s lovely over the Atlantic, when nothing is coming in and the number count actually goes down!), read a book, and make lists.
KB: I love reading on airplanes. It reminds me of what I loved about studying in the library in college—there's an unspoken camaraderie between everyone there.
HB: I lived in Hong Kong and loved the convenience of the airport. You can drop your luggage off in the city center before work in the morning and then travel hands-free to your flight later in the day.
KB: So many different ones! O’Hare for getting to connecting flights quickly without having to take an air transfer; DFW for proximity to baggage claim; LGA’s Selta terminal for best food options; Barcelona for shopping.
Hotel chain or boutique properties?
HB: A bit of both. I’m loyal to both Starwood and Four Seasons, but I prefer boutiques when visiting somewhere new so I can get a sense of place. For example, Su Gologone in the hills of Sardinia was authentic and memorable.
Best hotel amenity:
HB: I don’t even take a look at minibars! I was impressed with the offer to clean my sunglasses with a fresh mist by the pool at the Four Seasons Hualalai.
Hotel breakfast standby:
HB: I’m not big on breakfast. But I’ll make an exception for a chocolate croissant when in Paris.
KB: It’s hard for me to pass up a croissant, especially in Europe where they take them seriously.
One point of service you appreciate as a business traveler:
KB: I love the welcome notes in hotel rooms with the concierge’s contact information.
HB: Having the room ready for an early morning red-eye arrival time. WiFi that immediately works and has sufficient bandwidth is a no brainer. And unlimited free bottles of water and a desk with a nice view.
Go-to carry-on bag:
HB: Always carry-on. I have this mini from Muji that is feather light with no interior structure taking up the packing space.
KB: I love my Samsonite four-wheel-drive carry-on.
Pro packing tips:
HB: Pre-packed toiletries and an electronics pouch with all my chargers, adapters, headphones, etc.
KB: One jacket that looks great over a dress, with jeans, etc, and one pair of similarly multipurpose heels.
HB: For the flight, I bring a blanket-sized scarf in case of an over-air-conditioned airplane, hydrating spray, and earplugs.
KB: I love having really comfortable pajamas. Some people just make do when they travel, but I make space.
HB: I’m a data geek so I like recording everything. The Moves app records where you go throughout the day on a city map. It’s particularly fun in a new place so you can retrace your steps.
On-the-road workout routine:
HB: The seven-minute workout is the no-excuses and no-equipment way to stay active. You can download an app that calls out the exercises. Alternatively, I try to take long walks instead of taxis to get a sense of the city. Also, walking is better for impromptu shopping!
KB: On vacation, swimming and bike riding are my favorites.