Networking tips, hotel fails & my luggage lessons learned!

Podcast Episode 7

Ladies, I am back with episode number seven. This time, I am back from my trip. I’m back now in Switzerland. It’s the last day of Mercury retrograde today, actually, when I am recording this, so fingers crossed there won’t be any more technical issues.

Now, ladies, I want to talk to you about what has been going on for me in the last two weeks as this is my more personal podcast where I will be talking to you week by week of what’s current in my life, and also what’s current on top of my mind. I like this podcast to be a little bit more of an authentic form, a little bit of a longer format when you really get to know me, but also where we can just talk about all kinds of topics. Not necessarily only about elegance and affluence, which is what I usually specialize in, but I like to use my podcast as a forum to talk about literally anything and everything. For this reason, I am therefore going to deliver what’s currently fresh from the Anna Bey oven in terms of what’s on top of my mind, what has been going on in the recent few weeks for me, and what I want to share with you.

What I will be covering today, ladies, is going to be, of course, some of the details about my trip to Turkey. I’m also going to share my best travel and packing tips. I’m going to touch upon some very interesting insights like networking. Should you bother during peak season or is it better to go off-season? Do you have higher chances of meeting let’s say the affluent crowd if you go in low season or if you go to odd places? Do you have a chance to meet them there at all? Lastly, are all these hotels and these restaurants as advertised as on Instagram? I’m going to share all of that with you today, ladies. Let’s start this episode number four.

Let’s begin with Turkey. How come I went to Turkey from the beginning? First of all, I had to do a work trip, so that’s why I went there. I went there for work reasons. We moved around a little bit. We stayed in Bodrum and Marmaris. We stayed in total in three different resorts. We basically went there during low season.

The plan was not to go there for holiday or anything like that. We had other reasons to why we had to go. However, I thought it was quite interesting to go there actually during off-season. That’s something that I’m going to share with you. One of the other things that I thought was also quite interesting was to notice the clientele, because, first of all, for those of you who do not know, Turkey is very popular for Russian travelers, as well for Russian jet-setters or oligarchs to go travel there.

Somebody asked me if I considered let’s say Bodrum because that’s the area where we went to be a jet set destination. The truth is that to some degree, yes, but more of a low key jet set destination. I don’t know because I’m not from Turkey, but I do believe that Bodrum is probably one of the more higher-end destinations in Turkey. Definitely worth visiting if you are interested in more jet set locations.

But going back to the clientele, so we stayed at Mandarin Oriental, we stayed at the Bodrum Edition, and we stayed at D Maris. Of all these three hotels where we stayed at, Mandarin Oriental by far had probably the more high end, affluent clientele, then D Maris had it to some degree, but it was a little bit more mixed, and then the Bodrum Edition was more of a trendy crowd. Definitely, you had a lot of Russians there. During our stay in particular, there were at least 50% Russians in all the hotels where we stayed. But again, because we went to more affluent locations in terms of a hotel, et cetera, there will be more of an affluent crowd because of that, which is also why I always tell my students and the ladies who want to upgrade their life, that if you are looking to let’s say mingle with the affluent community, you have to go to the places where they go.

One point for discussion that has always been a little bit on the debate is whether you will have more success if you go to let’s say a jet set hotspot during peak season or off-season. When will it be more efficient or easy for you to network, especially if you really want to meet the creme de la creme? I personally do think that it’s really a mixture because both has good and the bad with it. In Turkey, however, I did come across the positives of traveling during off-season and also to less jet set hotspot that are advertised because, let’s put it this way, Turkey, even though it’s popular, it’s not as advertised as a jet set hotspot as let’s say South of France, or Monaco, or Palm Beach or Maldives, or something like that. However, I would say Bodrum would definitely be a little bit of a hidden gem in the sense. We met and we saw many affluent people. Trust me when I say that. If you want to meet some very interesting people, you can definitely meet them at these type of locations.

Just to mention one that I think many are well known with, when we stayed at D Maris Hotel, which was the last hotel where we went, and we went to La Guerite, which is a beach club also. Well, mostly known from Cannes, as an example, because you all probably know who I’m talking about, but the Russian billionaire, oligarch, Roman Abramovich, he was there at that time. Just as an example for you ladies, that you can truly meet these people, even in more low key, off-season type of places. If you are somebody who wants to be jet-setting and want to mingle with these type of people, then have an open mind. Don’t think that the only chance for you is to really go during summer to let’s say Saint Tropez. You can actually meet these type of people literally everywhere. But you, of course, have to know a little bit of where to go. That’s why I’m here for you ladies, to help guiding you forward when it comes to the best research and where to go.

But besides that, there was a lot of people to network with, and also, which is actually quite interesting, usually when… Because I travel a lot and especially I love staying in resorts, I’ve noticed from my experience, is that in resorts, you only find occasional that people are there either on a solo trip or as a friends trip. Most of the times in resorts, again, depends on the destination of course, but most of the times you will have couples and families in resorts. If you are let’s say single or you are somebody who’s really wanting to just go somewhere with your friend or friends, then maybe sometimes you have to think about what resorts you go to. But in this case, I would say all of the resorts that we went to were pretty much suitable for these type of trips.

In particular actually, Mandarin Oriental, I was quite surprised about that because usually that is a concept that is more for family and the couples, et cetera, but we actually saw many affluent men being on vacation there by themselves, which was quite interesting, because I only see that once in a while. That is not a common standard. But anyway, just wanted to share that with you.

Going back to the discussion about if it’s better or worse to go and try to network during peak season or off-season, I really think that both are good, like I said earlier, but you have to really take into account that when you go during peak season and to a very popular place, there’s always going to be more competition. I’m not saying necessarily that competition has to scare you off, not at all, but it all depends on where you are in your personal upgrade, both confidence-wise, both appearance-wise, and just generally speaking what you feel you are aligned with. Sometimes, ladies, I speak from experience, of course, especially in the beginning of our transformation in our journey, we might not feel very confident to jump straight into the deep ocean and go and dive with the supermodels and going to the really top, top places. Maybe that will only come once we have developed that in our confidence that can really make us climb mountains.

Until then, you perhaps can go to places that make you feel a little bit more comfortable, but also places that might still give you a return on your investment. I don’t want you to waste your time after all. Therefore, I do think it’s important to also take into account these more low key places, off-season, maybe not necessarily the biggest names, but still big enough for attracting the right crowd, because when you go to these places or during these type of off times, you will notice the competition will be quite less, because there will be let’s say less people around. For that reason, as a result, less competition. Like that, you will have the playing field more for yourself. Ladies, that’s just something that crossed my mind on this trip that I really wanted to share with you, as I know it can be quite useful for many of you.

But for those of you who are more keen on understanding when is it fine to go so it’s not becoming too cold, we went there in October more towards mid and the end of October. It definitely started to get a little bit cold in the last third or… Yeah, in week I would say number three or four of October. Not cold to the point that you cannot be there and swim and all of that. You can definitely do that because the sun is out, but you do need to be aware that the sun hours are shorter. The sun is definitely not as strong and you will most likely not get a very strong tan either. It’s definitely worthy to bring some longer sleeves and maybe even trousers for nights or maybe even a light jacket, just so that you know. However, Turkey is still doable throughout October. Like I mentioned in my previous episode about Greece, I really recommend going about September, October. It’s truly a nice time to go because it’s not too hot and there are less people.

One of the hotels that I was really excited to stay at was D Maris Bay. This hotel has really grown popular because of Instagram, especially this year. For those of you who do not know, Russians had a lot of travel restrictions because of COVID this year, but Turkey was one of the few sunny countries that accepted Russians. For this reason, most of the Russians did their holidays in Turkey this year. Of course, that was heavily documented on Instagram. Therefore, D Maris Bay popped up and was on many people’s Instagram. I love doing my research from Instagram, to tell you the truth, because I feel like it just gives you one of the best insights and you can have a peak in real life of how the place looks like without filters and Photoshop and flattering angles, talking now about the hotel or the destination. That, for me, has always been my go-to method for research.

This year, I saw there was many, many interesting influencers that I’ve been following for years and influencers that I also trust their judgment of recommendations and where they usually travel to. I was very excited of trying out this hotel because it looks beautiful. To tell you the truth, it was absolutely as it looks on Instagram. It was stunning. I would actually say that it was for sure one of the best resorts in terms of view that I’ve ever stayed at, because the scenery from the hotel was just spectacular. That’s also something that felt quite unique for this hotel, because the way the view was, it was like a bay. You have the mountains, you have the water there, you have the view of the sea. Truly, truly beautiful.

The hotel itself, by the way, it was actually quite nice. It was huge. They had about six different beaches. They had even famous names like Zuma, Nusr-Et restaurant, even La Guerite, like I mentioned that we know from Cannes, was there. I was really excited to try out this hotel. However, this is what I wanted to mention when it’s about thinking, well, is everything always as advertised on Instagram? Even though I think still that Instagram is for sure one of the best places to research for this destinations and trips and places, et cetera, but you can never actually get the full picture unless you there. One of the things that I felt was a little bit of a drawback and that I actually wanted to mention, not because to shame D Maris for this, although I must say I’ve spoken to the management and I’ve given them my feedback, and I really, really think that they should improve this, because it’s such a shame that such a beautiful hotel has a few drawbacks, because that’s going to ruin for them in the longterm.

What happened was basically that the premises, especially the rooms and some of the food and service in terms of… Well, service as a five-star just simply didn’t live up to the five-star expectation, but also to the prices that they charge. I am usually not very strict when it comes to flaws, because I know that you can’t have a perfect place. There’s always going to be some imperfections here and there, and I think that’s absolutely fine. But I personally think there comes a limit to sometimes what’s acceptable and what’s not. Here, we reached a point where it just was a little bit unacceptable, in my opinion. But why I wanted to talk about this, not because I don’t think anybody should visit D Maris or I think it’s a bad hotel, not at all, I actually do recommend going there because it’s just so beautiful and the entertainment is really good. If you have a beach club like La Guerite in the hotel where you have some pretty interesting people, it’s going to be fun to return to. I definitely think it’s still worth going.

However, just to set the record straight that sometimes these places are not exactly how you imagine them to be in real life. It was a little bit dirty, the breakfast food was quite inedible, and the cleaning of the rooms was really, really not good, plus, among other few bits and pieces of details. But I’m not going to give you the full list. That’s just where I want to leave it at. Be aware that this happens.

Now, ladies, I really want to share with you my best packing tips. This is definitely something that has taken me years and years of travel experience to actually gather. But the more you travel, the more you actually understand the value of your packing and how it really has to be not only organized but efficient and easy to maneuver.

First things first, let’s talk a little bit about luggage because I’ve spoken in the past many times how I have found the number one brand that I really trust, and love, and adore when it comes to traveling, and that’s Rimowa. Please, ladies, be aware that if I would be sponsored, I would be disclosing it, but I’m not sponsored for this. This is just me sharing a brand that I love. So, here we go.

Now, ladies, having the right luggage is not necessarily so much for the show of the luggage, meaning that, “Oh, what luggage brand is she using?” I don’t necessarily think that is top priority. I think it’s more important to think about the efficiency of the luggage. One of the things that I have definitely learned is that a luggage has to be easy to roll, it has to be durable, and it has to be somehow flexible when you’re packing, because you are going to over-pack many times and you want to be able to close that bag. Rimowa has definitely been the only luggage brand that I feel has ticked all my boxes. They are so easy to roll. Also, they’re just so good and everything. Okay. I just feel like this is going to sound like a commercial, infomercial almost, if I’m going to continue praising them. But this is so tough when you are an influencer, because when you find something that you just really believe in, and it just all sounds so cheesy and bought when you try and explain it, but this is really how I feel about this brand.

I know that there are lighter bags because I know for instance, Samsonite, I was actually talking to my friend about it the other day, Samsonite has a luggage that is even lighter than the lightest Rimowa bag that I use. I use the Rimowa Salsa model in the black matte color. Very discreet. Love it. But, unfortunately, it’s not the lightest suitcase out there. You have Samsonite, who actually does it even lighter. That’s very important for those who are very sensitive when it comes to excess weight, et cetera.

I have actually started to run into different problem myself, because now it happens from time to time, not often, but if especially I bring some of my work equipment with me when I travel, that luggage weighs more than the acceptance allowed in the luggage; meaning that the maximum is a 32 kilos, but sometimes I’ve had a luggage that weighs 36 kilos. Then it’s really horrible standing there because there is no way that you are going to be able to check that bag in. It doesn’t matter if you pay the excess weights or not, it’s forbidden to have such a heavy bag. I’ve actually had a situation this year when I was standing there at check-in and they had sent off my other bags. I had to literally pull out what I had inside my 36 kilo bag. Luckily, I had some garment bags, and I had to literally just check them in as they were. Very, very nerve-wracking because that can easily get lost or damaged, but what to do? I didn’t have a choice. Just be careful about that and make sure if you are somebody who easily can hit a weight like that, make sure you really invest in weighing scales for your luggage. That’s definitely something that I’ve done now. Learned from experience to never ever have that experience again.

Now, another thing that I also think is so important, and really take this into account as having as maybe a part of your little travel ritual, always take pictures of your luggages. Preferably, if you check them in and they look different from time to time, refresh, have the latest images of your luggage, because if it gets lost, then you’re going to get you bag faster and more efficient back if you actually have footage of it and can show how it looks.

Again, spoken from experience, because I had… Oh, I need to tell you, actually. I had a few times where my bag got lost, in particularly by me being really, really stupid once. You know when you can go and check in your bag by yourself? Like a bag drop. I remember another really stupid strategy that I have from time to time, because I don’t like flying so much, is that I don’t sleep for the last, I don’t know, 36 hours or 24 hours prior. Then I want to be really, really tired on the flight so that I just sleep through it. Yeah, that’s basically how I would fly. But it’s really a bad idea though if you do this strategy and then you have to go and drop off your bag by yourself without having anybody check it in for you, which I did once. It ended up me missing a flight and just having the worst day ever in an airport.

What happened was that I put my bag on the band and then I did everything in the wrong order that you should be doing it. I sent off my bag without a luggage tag. My bag got lost at the departure destination. I couldn’t board my flight. I missed my flight. It took so long to get my bag back. That’s why I thought about, I didn’t have pictures of my bag back then, but I knew that that process would have just gone so much faster if I at least had pictures of my bag to show them what bag to look for. But anyway, we live and learn.

Another thing, ladies, and this is also based on learning from a negative experience, mark your luggage, especially if you have a very common bag. I have a common bag. Most people have a common bag. You really need some mark your luggage somehow, preferably with a big luggage belt in a strong color. I had a friend this year who actually lost her bag because she was on a boat and they had all the bags there. The boat did multiple stops. There was one person who mistakenly took my friend’s bag instead of taking her bag because they looked pretty much the same. This can also happen in an airport. But I really want you to just think about the importance of marking your luggage because it’s really, really not fun when you lose your luggage because it’s just so similar to all the other bags.

Now, what about the actual packing? Because I do have my strategy that I’ve spoken about and also showed them on my YouTube channel that I love to pack with thin hangers and put my clothes in garment bags. This way, when I arrive to destination or when I come home, all I have to do is to just lift my clothes up from my luggage and they are already hanging on the hangers. This is truly a heavenly, heavenly tip, ladies, if you are somebody who don’t like the process of packing and unpacking, and also if you feel it’s always so annoying when you are in a hotel and there’s never enough hangers for you. Trust me, it’s also annoying having to reach out to housekeeping to ask them to bring more hangers. This is what I started doing. I just simply came with my own thin hangers and travel this way. This is probably my go-to method, actually, when I travel. The drawback for the strategy is that it takes more place and it becomes slightly more heavier. If you are very cautious of weights and space, then maybe this might not be the best for you.

But then probably packing cubes will be a better solution for you. I also use packing cubes to some degree, more towards items that are not suitable for a hanger. I pack them all in packing cubes. There are multiple reasons to why packing cubes are so efficient. That’s because, number one, you organize your things and it’s easier to fold things and keep everything neat and organized, and so on. You get the picture. But second of all, and I don’t know if you ladies have noticed, but I have ruined so many of my clothing when I just threw them as they are into the luggage. I also actually had one of my team members who had this experience now in Turkey. She came to me and she said, “I don’t understand. Where does this dirt come from? I had it only in my luggage, but I have this like black spot now.” I told her that I know exactly what she’s talking about because I had the exact dilemma for many, many years until I changed strategy and never put my clothes directly into the luggage ever again.

Again, ladies, this comes from me ruining so many garments because of this. I still do not know where these black marks or these discolorations come from, but they do. You really need to protect all of your things that you put into the luggage. Think about the luggage just being a shell. It’s not suitable as an actual bag. You see, you need to put in other bags to protect your items, but you need to have proper bags for that, like packing cubes, like toiletry bags, like let’s say shoe covers, etc, shoe bags, garment bags. I also use laundry bags, etc.

Lastly, ladies, really do invest in some really nice and sturdy toiletry bags that are easy to clean. I don’t know if you feel the same, but one of the things that I find so incredibly depressing when I travel is to have some really cheap looking toiletry bags or some that are just so dirty and you feel almost a little bit embarrassed by them. I am aware that it is quite difficult to find proper good toiletry bags. If any of you actually have recommendations, please, please, please do send them my way. I’m happy to share them with the others, too, if we find some good ones. I know that Louis Vuitton is the brand that most people use, but I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about whether to buy them or not. If I would buy them, to be honest with you, it would be only because I cannot find any other toiletry bags that are of high quality. Trust me, I have been looking. The reason why I’m trying to avoid Louis Vuitton is because I’m not very, very fond of their monogram style. That’s the only reason. But at the same time, sometimes you can’t have it all. You will just have to get on with it.

But preferably, I would actually like to find some really nice, high quality toiletry bags, but I’m talking something that maybe is of leather or some other high quality material that really lasts but that’s also very easy to clean, because that’s very important. Toiletry bags, they will get dirty. There will be cream spilling. There will be your makeup rubbing off, et cetera. You want to be able to clean them and keep them neat and nice. For this reason, they have to be easily wipeable. If anybody has any ideas, please do reach out. Perhaps I can also share what you ladies send me on my Instagram.

Now, ladies, that was my little episode about Turkey, about some of the things that were on top of my mind after this trip to Turkey, though I am aware that we are going into lockdown times and more COVID times. I know this whole year has been all about COVID, but somehow during summer, many of us got a little bit of a break from the heaviness of COVID. However, it seems like many countries are now going down into lockdown. As an example, I’m based in Geneva, in Switzerland. Although Switzerland is not in lockdown, Geneva is in lockdown as of today. Back to reality. Here we go. Lockdown number two.

One of the things that I did want to actually ask you is, how much COVID content do you want from me? Because the way I structure my content is that I just want things to try and continue as normal as possible, because having just COVID written in every single corner of the universe is not really going to help us with our mental health, with moving on, et cetera. That’s why I’ve been trying to keep my content as normal as possible. But at the same time, I do understand that we are in very specific times right now. Perhaps you want something specific about COVID. In that case, please do let me know and I will, of course, consider that.

My last YouTube video, by the way, 10 things cheap men love saying, if you haven’t watched that video, I really think you should do it, because that video was definitely a good continuation of the conversation that we started to hear on the podcast of Why Men Should Pay – Part One episode. Don’t worry, ladies, there will be a part two and maybe a part three, who knows. Now, ladies, that was it for this week. I will, of course, be back next Wednesday. I look really forward to seeing you there. Meanwhile, don’t forget to watch my YouTube videos on Anna Bey Official YouTube channel. Of course, follow me on Instagram, @annabey Now, everybody, have a lovely week ahead and I look forward to our next chit chat. Bye for now.

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Anna Bey is an educator in the elegant feminine empowerment space and the founder of an online finishing school for women. She can confidently call herself a pioneer in this genre because she was the first to be sharing content in this niche since 2012.

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Anna Bey is an expert on Modern Elegance™, upscale transformations, and leveling up, with over 150 million channel views. Since 2012, she has taught women how to develop a more refined personal presence and lifestyle inside the Anna Bey Academy, where she hosts her various classes and courses. Her publication features include The Times UK, Newsweek, New York Post, Cosmopolitan, and many more.


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