Jennifer Myers-Ward brings over 20 years of online marketing experience working with dozens of clients in a variety of industries where she has shown proven success in both the affiliate and email channels. As a result of her affiliate success, Jennifer was presented with the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for OPM/Agency of the Year in 2017, after also being a finalist in 2015.
Prior to starting ebove & beyond in 2003, Jennifer was responsible for building Palm Beach Jewelry’s online business. The website grew at an amazing rate boasting strong traffic numbers and record sales helping it to become an Internet Retailer Top 500 company in record time.
Before her time at Palm Beach Jewelry, Jennifer worked as an Associates Manager, Director of Email Marketing and eventually a Partnership Development Manager for Amazon.co.uk. In her role as Partnership Manager, she exceeded the program goal by 50% in the first 3 months alone and was presented with Amazon’s prestigious “Door Desk Award” in 2000. You can find her on Twitter at @jenmyersward , @eboveandbeyond.
Travel Products & Places mentioned:
- Southwest Airlines
- Affiliate Summit
- Orlando airport
- Luggage Pros custom logo medium size hardbound rolling suitcase four wheel roller
- Mesh Foldable Ballerina Flats
- floppy canvas shoulder bag
- Trtl neck support travel pillow
- Sony noise cancelling wireless headphones
Business Travel Hacks Episode 14 show transcript:
[00:00:01] I had this is a great, great story. It was two years ago in January. I was coming back from a trade show in Vegas. Affiliate Summit and I was actually flying back and it was my birthday. So I board the plane I’m on Southwest and I order a drink because it is my birthday after all and I’m getting to go home. So the lady the flight attendant asks me for my I.D. and I’m kind of thinking dude I’m 42 years old but okay sure. So I give her my I.D. She goes Oh well happy birthday Jennifer thanks. So the drink was on her and all was well when I started working on my follow up from the trade show. And all of a sudden the pilot comes on and or it’s actually it’s not the pilot it’s the guy in the front that’s the other flight attendant I didn’t know at the time who it was. And they just asked everyone if they would please turn off all the lights, their lamps and the lights above their seats for just a minute. I was like what in the world is going on like are we about to crash what is this. So people are turned off a little nervously and then he proceeds to say we would like to wish Jennifer a happy birthday. Can you please help us sing? And the entire plane saying happy birthday to me. Just like the lights on the aisle way on. And I guess I didn’t realize when she saw my ID and my name she actually took that to heart and they brought me, on Southwest they had these little drink stirrers they had like a heart at the top of them. They had sat there and bound a bunch of them together like with I guess straw wrappers or napkins or something paper. It made me a crown and brought it to me and the whole plane sang to me and I’m sitting there going I can’t believe that just happened. So that has definitely had been like my most perfect flight I guess. I mean I just was completely stunned to be honest.
[00:01:48] I mean it’s got to be truly unforgettable. It was. Absolutely. You know no matter what people say about Southwest and I’ve had some bad experiences but also some good experiences you probably wouldn’t see that in most other airlines.
[00:02:33] My name is Jennifer Myers Ward. I am the CEO of Ebove and Beyond and I travel so much for work between conferences, visiting clients, that kind of stuff mainly. Tell us a little bit about what you do for to come get an understanding of what kind of clients you’re looking at him.
[00:02:51] Where do you travel from and some particular cities that you travel to pretty often?
[00:02:56] Yes so I own it online. It’s an online marketing agency and we focus on working with retailers on customer acquisition and retention. I’d say places I travel most frequently whether it’s for clients or conferences tends to be New York, Chicago, Vegas. Believe it or not. And I travel from Orlando which is always a challenge in and of itself.
[00:03:24] Orlando could be a very tough airport.
[00:03:26] No no question especially during the tourist season it’s kind of like you almost as regularly as Austin is at South by Southwest or Orlando gets a lot of familiar tourists.
[00:03:39] What do you wish you knew when you first started traveling for business that you now know if you can come back the first business you ever did?
[00:03:48] What’s changed?
[00:03:50] OK so that would have been probably going on 15 plus years. So a lot of the things that we have now were not available back then but you know this is one of the things that I still stand behind and that is so flying out of Orlando, Florida especially in the summer we get these crazy afternoon showers and thunderstorms and what have you. That once they see lightning they take the entire ground crew away from suitcases. And if they’re out there on the carts they get left out there on the carts because they are to immediately go inside if lightning’s in a certain area. So I had a situation early on where I had a cloth, sort of in a suitcase as you did. And it got left out on the tarmac and it turned out to be we were delayed for quite a while with not only the lightning but just I mean like we call it in Florida sideways rain and if you’ve ever been here when it rains it’s really accurate statement. So my suitcase was out there. It must have been one of the top ones and so it gets loaded on I get off go into work conference, and my suitcase is completely saturated. I have clothes that have bled on other clothes. It’s just a complete mess for me. So I would say for me the biggest thing that I learned then and there is a hardbound suitcases are the way to go you never knowing what the weather is going to bring you.
[00:05:20] I just feel like everything is just a little bit more secure definitely a little bit drier. And you just got a new hardbound suitcase.
[00:05:29] I saw you posted that on on Facebook. Tell us a little bit about it.
[00:05:33] I did. I was super excited about it. I always had the hardbound but I usually get really bright colors like yellow and stuff like that because no one tries to take your bag because blatantly not their bag. It’s not black. But I found I was searching online just for something a little different and I found it’s a hard bound suitcase. I found it on LuggagePros just randomly looking around for something a little different to travel with. But then also sort of promoted my company and so I have a medium size hardbound rolling suitcase four wheel roller that has my Ebove and Beyond logo on it. It’s like safely under I mean it’s hardbound all the way around. And they even send it with like a personalized Ebove and Beyond logo luggage tag and everything with it. So that was fun for me because I know number one no one’s going to pick that up. But number two you know it starts conversation around you know the luggage carousel people around you that are you know something like that. So I felt like you know it’s a good place to market yourself at an airport or other business people are traveling but also make sure that no one takes your bag.
[00:06:39] Now do you travel with any special travel clothes or footwear. You know obviously you’re very much into fitness so that also obviously plays in what you are packing.
[00:06:51] Yeah I do always pack you know shoes and workout clothes.
[00:06:56] As far as just traveling kind of stuff other than obviously the things you need for a conference and again you know events or dinners in the evening I tend to to pack and travel, I travel and flip flops a lot of the time and I always pack up those foldable pair of kind of like not ballet slippers proper those kind of shoes just in case because I’ve had a flip flop blow out on me in the airport. That’s not fun. I take a little separate pair of shoes. But beyond that it is kind of conference clothes. But yes workout clothes is always sort of part of that.
[00:07:33] Now aren’t flip flops kind of like the boots of Canada. You know they’re just the standard wear for Floridians they are.
[00:07:39] I mean they really must be because that’s all. I mean I have tons of them have ones with little bling on them. I have colored ones I have brown ones with lots of them. So yeah and they are comfortable because and you could be an airplane and you know your feet are all bound like and they start to swell a little you can move them around. So yeah I like flip flops.
[00:08:00] What was your favorite travel hack?
[00:08:04] Home. Well we already talked about my hardbound suitcase because that’s my one of my big ones.
[00:08:10] I would say outside of the sort of the common water bottle which I always have you know empty water bottle in my bag so that I can fill up water on the other side and have water and stay hydrated and stuff like that. I’m going to pack dryer sheets in my suitcase. My husband is always like why do you do this again. Partially it is to keep my clothes fresh in my suitcase. I mean they’re clean when they go in there but you know they sit under the airplane and sometimes jet fuel and you never know and so I feel like it keeps my clothes feeling fresh. And this might be a woman hack but maybe you’ve had this Bryan but probably not. When I go to colder climates women’s hair gets static electricity and if you rub a dryer sheet over your hair it will get rid of the static electricity so it’s not sticking out all over the place. So it’s kind of a dual purpose for me.
[00:09:07] I’ve heard about that one before so I know plenty of people who carry them with them as well. When I heard about it hair part too So luckily my hair short no of the worry about it as much but I could I could definitely feel it. Yes.
[00:09:26] So I imagine since you check your bag you probably have some kind of carry on as well as a backpack is it a roller board or carry on what usually take my carry on is interesting.
[00:09:36] I’ve kind of struggled over the years with that.
[00:09:38] To your point what that carry on is and what am I going to need it for. So obviously my computer comes with me as does your normal things like snacks, hand wipes, headsets, and neck pillow and all that good stuff.
[00:09:52] So what I would do is I had like like a nice like leather where you slide your computer in and you know just normal sort of I call it like just a work bag. It looks very professional and I would find that especially when I went to conferences I was getting a lot of things given to me that I needed to cram in there or throw in there or I had something that I wanted to give to someone else and the bag was really restrictive and so just literally this year I finally found what I really like. It’s a big. Like a floppy canvas shoulder bag. I mean it’s something almost like you would expect to take to the beach with towels and it has no form to it whatsoever. And I’ve got a couple of pockets in the inside and outside it’s just a big floppy huge canvas bag. And then I had our local print shop put my here I go again with my logo my logo on it as well that way when I walk around trade shows it shows the logo but I can also pick up things that I need. Or you know those unnecessary things that one must pick up for their kids so they look like a great parent when they come home from a trade show. So yeah I carry it’s like a big floppy canvas bag and my computer gives in it. But that way I feel like a lot of stuff in there and not be bulging or uncomfortable to carry.
[00:11:06] Do you have any favorite travel gadgets you that you use when you’re on the road. So you mentioned your computer but is there anything else that you take along with you?
[00:11:17] Travel gadgets so.
[00:11:18] Yeah I do take my computer because like we mentioned generally I’m traveling for work I’m preparing or doing follow up plus my headsets. I do. I did get this like because sometimes I like to sleep especially when I’m coming back from like the West Coast I mentioned Vegas. And there is this neck pillow. This is a gadget so much of it is kind of crazy looking.
[00:11:41] That’s called Trtl. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it it’s T R T L so I’m not like turtle like you would expect but it is kind of just like this felt thing that goes around but it has like the neck support. So it folds up much flatter than like a whatever you call it is like C shaped neck pillow. And it’s not inflatable but it’s super comfortable so I mean that’s my if I need some sleep. That’s kind of one of my I guess we’d say travel gadget for lack of a better word. But I like it.
[00:12:11] No I would absolutely call that a travel gadget, you know you think about gadgets are meant to help us get the experience to be better in a day.
[00:12:20] You don’t travel is hard on us. Yes not always the easiest thing and so anything we can find to kind of make that experience better for ourselves because it’s not like the airlines doing a lot to improve the experience for the average traveler. So you know definitely anything like that you know I have I have an inflatable one I’ve had for years.
[00:12:43] I just again. I wouldn’t want to be bulk up the big C ones but I’ll definitely look at this Trtl one because. Yeah. You know I just know it’s like I got to the chiropractor regularly put my neck suffers when I’m you know if I don’t have one. Yes.
[00:12:56] And it’s because of the pitch of the seat, there is a bunch of reasons for it.
[00:13:00] So now you’re totally right. And I always like the aisle so there’s no laying on the side of the plane. For me it’s just like heads wobbling out there by itself. So definitely the neck rest and then I have like noise cancelling earphones because if I really do want to sleep or don’t want to have to hear the kids screaming behind me or the lady talk trying to talk or whatever.
[00:13:19] Do you have a favorite pair?
[00:13:21] Which one to use? I have a Sony pair right now. It’s just one that I picked up actually at the airport and I’ve just sort of never put a whole lot of emphasis on it.
[00:13:32] I mean they do what I need them to do at the end of the day and so it’s one of those things that you know they think that when I’m on the plane and my home wonder if I should look at some new ones that them when I get off I’m back in at home mode. And I don’t think about it again so they’re not anything I’m married to but they do the job.
[00:14:15] What’s the best lesson you’ve learned we’re all the years of business travel?
[00:14:21] Be prepared. And that could be anything from you know taking a picture of your driver’s license your I.D. in case you know God forbid you get robbed, get on a plane the next day.
[00:14:32] You know taking a picture of your boarding pass in case you lose Wi-Fi to being prepared with what we talked about earlier in terms of snacks in case you get stuck on the runway while your luggage is not getting wet outside because you have a heart bouncing case. But sitting there and then you’re suddenly starving and you’ve got nothing and they’re not really handing out anything.
[00:14:49] So I would say be prepared that that’s kind of my biggest lesson learned and several different ways. So I try to have all my bases covered.