- Mark Ellwood Bloomberg
Those of us who love to travel always want to make sure we're doing it right. So we're talking to globe-trotters in all of our luxury fields - food, wine, fashion, cars, real estate - to learn about their high-end tips and off-the-wall experiences. These are the Distinguished Travel Hackers.
French entrepreneur Laure Heriard-Dubreuil co-founded the Webster, a boutique in an old art deco hotel on South Beach, Miami, eight years ago after stints working for both Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. It quickly became a style-setting destination, in large part because of Heriard-Dubreuil's own taste; since then, she's opened satellites in Texas, California, and Florida. Later this year, she will add to her empire with a six-story, 12,000-square-foot Manhattan flagship in SoHo.
Heriard-Dubreuil spends much of her flying time on Air France, as she's often traveling between Paris and North America, where she lives in New York with her husband, artist Aaron Young, and their son.
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- Carry a pocketful of sunshine on every trip.
Many people suggest getting some sunshine to ward off jet lag. I can never get enough sunshine - my first-grade teacher called me "the Tropical Plant" because of my love for sun. Vitamin D is like sunshine in a bottle - it helps fight inflammation and strengthen your immune system, in addition to helping mental clarity and regulating the melatonin levels in your body, which helps get your body ready for sleep. In the U.S., everybody uses melatonin, but I think vitamin D helps a lot: Try the oral spray by Dr. Mercola (which he recommends using five times daily). It's always in my suitcase, and I don't know how I managed prior to discovering it.
- This one tool will solve almost all your clothing and jewelry problems.
The Quick Unpick is the most simple, yet magical, invention. It goes through security (unlike) scissors; it can remove a label, fix a hem, remove a splinter and when traveling alone, it can aid in zipping dresses and clasping jewelry. I was traveling on a plane, and I had a tag in my dress that was itchy, and I started to have a rash; I was with a friend, who pulled one from her tiny handbag and she saved me. It was so, so amazing, and from then on, I've always carried one. When you have that tiny thing, you feel like Inspector Gadget or MacGyver.
- A surfer's app is secretly the best one for predicting the weather in a new place.
The first thing I do to prepare is: Check the weather. For me, the weather is key - it will tell me what to pack and how to dress. If it's tropical or not, dry or monsoon season, then the looks are different. My husband is a surfer, and he always checks the surfer's weather app, Magic Seaweed, which he thinks is the most accurate. I don't surf but I love watching him - he grew up in California, so he's been surfing all his life, before going to school, etc. I'm always discussing the weather with my husband and got jealous that he always had the right predictions. So I just had to download the app for myself, and now it's my go-to resource.
- Her picks in Paris skew distinctly old school.
My favorite park in Paris is the Jardin du Luxembourg, which is close to my house; there are some tennis courts, pétanque, chess, all the old school things. I love to go for a run there, but now that I have my son, it's absolutely incredible - you have pony rides, a little fountain where they have wooden boats with real sails that you push around with a stick. It's so beautiful. I love to do it with him. It's like an illustration in a book from a century ago, and it feels so French to me. I also love all the markets in Paris, but my favorite is the Marché Paul Bert Serpette at the Puces de Saint-Ouen; in the tiny little streets there, you'll find lots of things - knickknacks, fashion, some objets.
- Her favorite city break spot might surprise you.
I went on the most incredible trip recently to Mozambique with some friends who have a house there and go all the time. We stayed in Maputo at the incredible Polana Serena Hotel, an historical five-star hotel located in the heart of the city with service like you wouldn't believe. I was fascinated with the country's rich Portuguese influence, which pervades the country through its architecture, language, and food. We had memorable meals at Zambi, A Nossa Tasca, and Campo di Mare, where we ate fresh pasta and prawns while enjoying the sea breeze. And I still dream about the crab curry at Manjar dos Deuses. I am a crab fanatic; I know my share of crabs from Joe's Stone Crab in Miami - I think I've cut my fingers a lot on the claws - and this was so simple. Of course, no vacation of mine is complete without some shopping. I stocked up on countless capulanas (sarongs) in a myriad of colors and patterns at Casa Elefante, an expansive textile shop in Maputo, which I brought back as gifts for my friends and family. I love African prints, which are a little like batik, but the fabric is usually very thick and so very stiff. What I really liked there was that they treated them [for softness].
- The Mediterranean island you always forget about - but shouldn't.
I never tire of returning to Corsica. My parents have a house there, and it's an amazing summer ritual: All the children and grandchildren, with a big garden, and we can go on nice boat trips. The south of Corsica is very different from the north. Next to Bonifacio [in the south], it's gorgeous, beautiful, and so dramatic - the village is hung from the cliff. They had pirates there, because it's a hidden harbor. Go to the restaurant called Chez Jules, where the food is typical Corsican: Try the aubergines bonifaciennes. It's like eggplant parmigiana, but with Corsican cheese, brocciu. The other place I love is Domaine de Murtoli. It's a huge estate on the water, where you eat by the sea - a mama wild boar might come visit you while you eat.