Brooklyn Decker is known for her work as an actress and model, but you may not know she's also the chief design officer of Finery, a wardrobe-planning platform. And whether she's on location for “Grace and Frankie” (which recently debuted its fourth season on Netflix), working on her company, or jetsetting with her family, she's a woman on the go.
We chatted with Decker and found out her best-kept travel beauty secret, the little-known town she loves for romantic retreats, and the comical reason why she and husband Andy Roddick cut their Costa Rican honeymoon short.
Travel + Leisure: What do you always bring with you while traveling?
Brooklyn Decker: “I love to read — the thing that sort of fell by the wayside when I became a mom was reading, I had no time for it, but recently, within the last six months or so, I started traveling a bit more without my son and I really got to catch up on some books. For me, that’s a total treat to actually be able to read on a flight. That’s the number one indulgence that I partake in, the one thing I always have with me when traveling is a book.”
What are you reading right now?
“Right now I’m reading ‘On Emotional Intelligence.’ It’s basically a compilation of all of these essays from the Harvard Business Review about emotional intelligence ... You can pick it up and read an essay, and then drop it for a week and then start it up again.”
What has traveling as a mom taught you?
“That you just have to throw up your hands and give yourself over to the travel gods and trust that everything works out well. It’s so much more complicated with children ... I think the biggest thing is making sure that you have a ton of distractions and a ton of snacks. So when I’m traveling with my son, my bag is just loaded with crayons and toys and anything he can eat and drink. It’s just the art of distraction for however many hours it takes.”
Where is your go-to spot for a romantic getaway with your husband?
“I grew up in North Carolina, and there’s this tiny little town called Cashiers, about an hour west of Asheville. There’s really nothing to do there but to hike and eat excellent food. There’s a restaurant called Canyon Kitchen; it has a James Beard-nominated chef, and it’s really in the middle of nowhere. I think [the town’s] population is 2,000 throughout the year. Again, it’s tucked away, you can’t be found, and it’s so beautiful and peaceful. So whenever we have time off, we go to Cashiers to kind of tuck away.”
Speaking of romantic getaways, I know that you mentioned to US Weekly that you and your husband, Andy Roddick, cut your honeymoon short. Could you tell me that story?
“We went to Costa Rica, which we love — we’ve been back since because we love it so much; it’s absolutely beautiful. But we are people who can’t slow down, ever. We like to pick relaxing places, but then we do a ton of activities when we’re there. So we went to Costa Rica, and we did all of the activities that one could do in the area we were in. I think we had a seven-day honeymoon planned, but we knocked the activities out in four, maybe five days. And Dave Matthews Band was playing in Charlotte, North Carolina — which is where my family is — and I’m a huge Dave Matthews Band fan, so we ended up cutting our honeymoon short and flew to Charlotte to hang out with my parents and go to a Dave Matthews Band concert. I remember my parents being very worried for us. They were like, ‘You guys are newlyweds, and you’re cutting your honeymoon short to come to a Dave Matthews concert with your parents? Have you lost your minds?’ But to us, it was the perfect ending to a perfect week. It was the cherry on top.”
If you were able to take a vacation right now to somewhere that you’ve never been, where would you go?
“Probably New Zealand ... I spent a lot of time in Australia and I’m a really big fan of anything outdoors-y, and I feel like there you can do the vineyards one day, you could go to the beach one day, and you could be repelling down a cliff one day. It’s an area I really want to see and, obviously, it’s incredibly difficult to get to, so I think that makes it even more appealing. New Zealand is definitely on my bucket list.”
What would you say would be your best travel beauty secret?
“I don’t have one! However ... obviously planes are so dehydrating, but now, there are so many great face oils out there and I feel like years ago, you’d never put oil on your face because you would, at least for me, it would cause crazy breakouts. But now I find that when I’m super dehydrated on a flight, it helps to actually use a little oil before you take off. It makes you feel a little more human and a little less lizard-like when you land, so I always try to bring a good face oil when I fly.”