Lupita Nyong'o can be our future travel companion — anytime.

Updated June 06, 2020
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Lupita Nyong'o
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This interview was conducted before COVID-19 travel restrictions were implemented around the world. Use Lupita Nyong'o's travel tips to plan ahead for your next adventure.

It only takes a few minutes of speaking with Lupita Nyong’o to understand how passionate she is about travel. Though she is a globe-trotting actress now, Nyong’o — who was born in Mexico City and then moved to Kenya when she was one-year-old — has teamed up with Delta and American Express, and the re-launch of their Delta Skymiles American Express card,  for what seems like the perfect partnership 

Though she enjoys traveling anywhere (especially if there is great food involved), it seems she cannot get enough of Africa. Her recent television project, Americanah, which she is not only starring in but also producing for HBO's upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, brings her to Nigeria and she could not be more excited. Travel + Leisure caught up with Nyong’o in February when she was celebrating the re-launch of the Delta/Amex suite to discuss her numerous travel plans as well as her best travel routines.

T+L: What’s the one thing you cannot travel without? 

I always bring compression socks and Cocorose London foldable shoes in my carry-on, especially for long haul flights. I will sometimes put on a Lancôme Advanced Génifique Hydrogel Melting Mask to prevent dehydration of my skin on the plane.

T+L: Do you have a plane routine? 

I try to relax and check out while I'm in the airport and on a plane. It's one of the only times I can completely disconnect. With my Delta Skymiles American Express Platinum Card it makes travel so much easier using perks like TSA pre-check and early boarding. Also, when I get off the plane I try not to go straight to work and acclimate to the city I'm in.

T+L: Where are you dying to go?

I've really wanted to visit New Zealand recently. I've been to Australia, but never to New Zealand even though it's so close and I've heard great things about its natural beauty. 

T+L: Do you have an airplane uniform? 

I'm all about comfort but I also want to look put together. I'll often layer as the temperature is so different from the terminal to the plane, but I think I usually look pretty cool.

T+L: What’s your favorite carry-on bag?

T+L: What do you always order to eat/drink on a plane?

I like to buy tea as gifts wherever I travel so often I'll have some tea from the place I'm just leaving as a nice reminder of the trip. I try to eat fairly healthy on planes, but I'll never turn down chocolate.

T+L: Do you have a packing philosophy? 

I'll admit it, I'm both a lazy-packer and an over-packer. A lot of my flight are last minute and I'm not sure of my schedule once I arrive so I throw so many options into my luggage, and wear a small portion of it.

T+L: What’s the best hotel you’ve ever stayed at on your many trips?  

I stayed at the Hotel Esencia in Mexico. It was gorgeous and the food was amazing...especially the crab guacamole.

T+L: What’s the one place that surprised you when you travel? 

I have fallen in love with exploring the African continent. It is so vast and full of surprises. I recently visited West Africa for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised by how different it is from East Africa, where I am from. I went to Accra, Ghana and absolutely loved it. The cuisine was outstanding, the people were welcoming and I heard some of the best music there. I welcomed many a sunrise as I danced the night away on that trip!

T+L: Why did you want to partner with Amex and Delta? 

Working with American Express and Delta was a no-brainer because I was already a Delta Skymiles American Express Platinum cardmember, and I fly Delta regularly. They've really worked together to make your everyday life, whether it's grocery shopping or eating out at two times the miles, earn you a guilt-free vacation.