Melanie Brandman, founder of The Brandman Agency: Things I Can't Live Without
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.