The truly experienced business travelers are always the first to board the plane. When they find their seat, usually 2A, they remove their blazer and fold it atop their carry-on in the overhead compartment with effortless efficiency.
Brian Kelly has been that guy sitting in the front of the plane since before TSA pre-check was the benchmark of entry level status. As a Wall Street road warrior, he found himself constantly traveling and with the years of hotels and airlines, he started noticing patterns to make the most of his time away for home (not to mention those lucrative air miles and credit card points).
In 2010, Kelly launched his blog, "The Points Guy," which quickly grew into a global travel empire, helping travelers like himself maximize their credit card rewards, redeem airline points and essentially "hack" traveling. What started as insider tips has grown to serve a dedicated fan base in search of curated travel guides, hotel reviews and news stories affecting everyone—not just the guy in 2A. So, we decided to chat up one of our favorite travel experts to find how he starts his day, no matter where he might be waking up.
Those moments between turning off the alarm and getting into our work routine can be the most defining 60 minutes of our day. Benjamin Franklin set a day's worth of plans by 5 am and Steve Jobs asked a simple question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Our rituals are a reflection of us. So we've ventured out to discover how some of our most influential and fruitful peers get started.
I usually get up at the same time everyday,
so my alarm is always set to 7:30 am.
I aim for at least seven hours of sleep.
But I know I really need eight.
The first thing I do when I wake up is grab my phone and check my email.
Then I go over the site stats from the day prior and current trends to see if we have any viral stories. Then I check the TPG slack newsroom for any trending events that might've happened while I was asleep. Then, like anyone, I scroll through Instagram and Twitter to see news.
I start on work the minute I wake up.
I'm working right from bed for the first 30 to 45 minutes of the day, which adds a quick sense of accomplishment before breakfast.
If I've got time for a good breakfast, it's avocado toast drizzled with Tabasco sauce.
And maybe a green smoothie with plenty of fresh ginger. When I'm on the road, my go-to is the spinach feta wrap from Starbucks.
No matter where I am, the coffee order is the same.
Cold brew with a light splash of almond milk, typically from Starbucks. If I wake up in a hotel without cold brew, then I down just enough regular coffee to get me up and out ... to get a proper cold brew.
Sometimes I'll hit up SoulCycle.
It gets my heart racing, helps me disconnect and lets my mind think about things. Though, more often, I like to go in the afternoon to wind down from a long day.
When it comes to grooming, I keep it simple but use the best quality products I can find.
My good friend Thuyen Nguyen is one of the top facialists in the world and I love his high-performance products. I always make sure to use an SPF lotion, in the morning. Clinique skincare for men is a really good one that I know I can always find in duty free shops.
Clockwise, from top left
Multi-vitamin nourishing serum, $180 by Thuyen Skincare
Organic micro-exfoliant facial polisher, $76 by Thuyen Skincare
Broad spectrum SPF 21 moisturizer, $26 by Clinique for Men
SoulCycle classes, find locations at SoulCycle
QuietComfort wireless noise-canceling headphones, $349 by Bose
Cold brew coffee
Anti-Fatigue eye gel, $32 by Clinique for Men
Clinique for Men
Clinique for Men
"I've tried several pairs over the years, and I just keep coming back to Bose."
When I leave the house, I travel light.
Wallet, iPhone, keys—that's pretty much it. When I'm in the office and not filming anything, I like to be as comfortable as possible. Jeans, sneakers and maybe a polo shirt. But I have a full closet of clothes in the office in case I get booked to go on TV or film video in the office. Plus, it's always smart to have a change of clothes at the office, right?
His Proven Jet Lag Fighters
“Start by choosing the right planes. The newer 787, A380, A350s are so much better for your body and sleep than the older, louder planes. Flying west, when possible, often helps too. And, of course, taking a late flight so you can sleep overnight.”