Melanie Brandman, founder of The Brandman Agency: Things I Can't Live Without
BY Judith Ohikuare
Check out this road warrior's essentials for traveling in style.
Melanie Brandman started her New York City PR firm, the Brandman Agency, in 2001. Today, the $4.2 million business has dozens of luxury travel clients worldwide, including InterContinental Hotels. Last October, Brandman launched The Travel Curator, an online travel guide. Next up? Want Me Get Me, a luxury-hotel-booking website due out this fall. Here are three of her go-to travel items.
Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag
I try to limit myself to carry-ons when I travel, so this oversize leather bag is perfect. It holds everything, including my iPad, MacBook Air, papers, and makeup bag. I usually head straight to meetings when I land, so I even throw in a change of clothes and a pair of high heels. The bag gets heavy, but I just put it on top of my wheelie suitcase and breeze right through the airport. Cost: $2,090
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover
I never got the hang of typing with two or three fingers on my iPad, but I love taking it on short business trips instead of my laptop. I bought this cover, which has a built-in Bluetooth keyboard, after seeing someone else use it on a flight. The cover attaches easily to my iPad using a magnetic clip. When I need to type, I detach it, flip it over, and slide the tablet into a groove behind the keyboard. Now, when I fly solo with my iPad, I'm much more productive. Cost: $99.99
Sferra Dorsey Throw
This cashmere throw comes in handy during business trips. I freeze on airplanes, so it helps keep me warm. Once I reach my destination, I use it as an extra blanket in my hotel room or even wrap it around my shoulders when I go out at night. The material is soft and breathes well, which makes it easy to be stylish and comfortable at the same time. I have the throw in five colors, but I usually take the gray one when I travel, since it goes with everything. Cost: $550
I've never been good about exercising on business trips. Recently, my trainer helped me put together a travel fitness pack that contains a jump rope, ankle resistance bands, a TRX training band that attaches to any doorway, and a Pilates magic circle. Now, it's easier to stay fit on the road.