Two Things You Should Always Pack on Every International Trip
(Bloomberg) -- At Bloomberg Pursuits, we love to travel. And when we can again, we 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 hacks, time-saving tips, and off-the-wall experiences. These are the Distinguished Travel Hackers.
Luigi Tadini is co-founder of Party by Numbers, a new turnkey service aimed at helping anyone throw a glamorous bash with minimal effort. The startup rents out all-in-one carts that it delivers fully stocked with food, beverage, and table settings. Various themes and menus are available, from Mexico-riffing Condesa to Hokusai, which draws inspiration from Tokyo.
The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based fashion editor segued into consulting when he co-founded design agency Gathery, working with clients including Moncler and Lanvin. A confirmed bon vivant and traveler—in pre-pandemic times, he logged around 200,000 miles in the air every year—Tadini makes Delta his carrier of choice, “only because it goes to the destinations I visit often,” such as Brazil, where he grew up.
“Working remotely has allowed people to stay longer, wherever they go,” he says of an extended visit over the holidays, “and I think that one of the things that I tried to avoid during Covid was to hop around as much as I do on a regular year.” Here are some of his travel tips.
Take your headphones off whenever you’re in a new country.
I like to carry a portable radio, an indestructible little Lexon Tykho, when I travel abroad. It’s an idea that actually started out of staying at Soho House properties. When you walk into any of them, there’s always a Marshall radio of some sort, and it’s playing the local radio from wherever you are in the world. Music, to me, has always been a way to get kind of to the core of a place, or at least certainly, the pulse of a place. Radio captures the cultural mindset of a place, from the bad local, Top 40 pop music to things that are a bit more hidden and unexpected. I have Shazamed a bunch of artists that perhaps, I would never have found.
Fittingly, Tadini’s bucket list trip was inspired by Death on the Nile.
We’ve been grounded for 14 months, and I’ve never been to Egypt, so my bucket list trip is with this beautiful company, Nour el Nil, that does these sailing tours down the Nile. They’re classic sailboats, like the ones that you’d find in an Agatha Christie book; they've refurbished with, like, six rooms per boat, so you can rent the entire boat or you can just rent a room. They start in Esna and then go all the way down through the Valley of the Kings into Aswan.
Pack this one item, no matter where or when you go, and you’ll be ready for anything.
If you’re open to adventures, make sure you keep an open mind—and a steamed suit. My parents taught me to always take a navy suit everywhere. It’s like making sure you always travel with all your [different] passports. If you’re lucky enough to get lost in a city and meet new people, you might end up at a dinner party, and you might need a suit, so better one tailored to yourself than having to scramble to find one in a new city.
I am a big fan of Lanvin, especially during the Albert [Elbaz] years. One Fashion Week in Paris, for example, I ended up at a very intimate dinner party that was obviously kind of last minute hosted by Purple magazine at Hotel Particulier—a little, hidden townhouse you have to find through an iron gate. I’m very glad I had my navy suit ready to go.
The easiest way to live “la dolce vita” in Italy.
I stayed in Civita di Bagnoregio a few summers ago for an extended amount of time. We stayed with an American architect who lives there and runs a program for U.S. students to come in and study architecture. It was essentially the life that you want to live. He was probably in his late 70s and had lived in this tiny little town for 30 years, helping to restore and maintain the beautiful Etruscan [art and architecture]. The program is still going. [Note: outside of getting into the program, any tourist can book stays at Corte Della Maestà, an alberghi diffusi, which is an entire village-turned-hotel.]
When Tadini thinks of how to travel, two words—one French, the other Portuguese—come to mind.
I like the French word flânerie [aimless, idle behavior], and I take the art of that to heart when I travel. I think there’s no better way to discover a destination than literally just strolling and allowing yourself to get lost.
There’s another word, in Portuguese, for which there’s really no direct translation in any language: madrugada. It essentially means the magical time between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. There’s a romance to it—madrugada has that bit of mystical energy, of mischief and Bohemia. It’s that very specific type of night when, if you’re a debutante, you probably already went home. But if you’re out, you're enjoying the madrugada like a true Brazilian.
How to sneak a cigarette in a hotel room and (maybe) get away with it.
Oh, my God. Whenever I travel, I always bring along a small candle from home to make the hotel room extra comforting. It’s good to create a sense of home, especially during an extended stay or if you need to hide the scent of that cheat in-room cigarette. I like to stay at hotel properties that sort of allow you to cheat like that: the Chateau [Marmont] in L.A. or Hotel Costes in Paris. I’ve been caught [smoking in my room] a couple of times, not charged the fee as often as they probably should. Sometimes the hotel even has its own scent, and the staff—kind of secretly—have serviced the room with additional candles because they knew I was smoking in the room.
Forget Amalfi, and take a ferry from Venice to this Croatian seaside town instead.
Rovinj, in Croatia, is a ferry ride away from Venice—there’s one that goes straight there. It feels like the Amalfi Coast before it was completely slammed with tourists: a gorgeous, tiny little town that’s a great place to go at the height of the summer season and still be isolated.
The original hotel in the center square is called the Adriatic, and it was recently remodeled. Like [in] any small port town, the square comes alive at night, so get a room with a balcony overlooking the square and you can just sit there, kind of sipping on an Aperol or a cocktail and watch. It’s pretty cinematic. And one of the nice things about finding a little piece of north Croatian beach is that you can be isolated enough to get lost and take your clothes off.
On minibars, martinis—and eye masks.
I always travel with an [ice pack] eye mask, one of those that you can throw in your freezer—just a cheap one, from Amazon, not a fancy label mask. But it’s old-school, so it has the Velcro at the back of the head. I think there's no better way to kind of cure the puffy eyes from traveling or jet lag. So the first thing I do when I walk into a hotel room is, I’ll throw my ice pack eye mask into the minibar. You might run into me [after check-in] in my robe and an eye mask. And I always liked a minibar that had pre-batched cocktails. Soho House has a great service of pre-batch. Chiltern Firehouse [in London] does a great, sort of, pre-batched service. There’s nothing better than getting home after a long day of exploring or something and mixing up a martini—quickly.
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