In my recent travels, and as I plan upcoming trips I have noticed a growing trend that I think deserves acknowledgement. It’s the idea that I can have the conveniences of home with me (almost) wherever I go. I absolutely love franchises and it’s for this exact reason. 3 companies that I show extreme loyalty to both home and abroad have allowed me the comforts and conveniences of home wherever I go. The key however is to not just offer the same service or brand in another country or city but to have a shared information system that provides the same ease wherever I am. This way I can buy my annual gym pass, then when I show up at any location I just have to write my name down and I am in. I love knowing that not only will I get the same service but I don’t have to give my phone number to yet another hair salon.
Here are three brands that make my travel that much more comfortable:
Blo– my best kept secret! As someone who thinks a great hair day can make or break me, I sure got stuck with the worst possible match. Curls and frizz like you wouldn’t believe. In fact, you wouldn’t believe it because you will never see it! I always say that I could be in my pj’s with no make up on, but if my hair is done, I could go to the Oscars! It’s the one thing I am happy to spend my time and money on- even more so than any clothing. In comes Blo. The greatest concept going. When I look back on memories of my Grandma I will always remember her sitting in rollers under her hair dryer. Well this is just the modern gals version! It’s a hair salon, but they don’t cut, and they don’t colour. In fact I am pretty sure they don’t even have scissors. All they do is blow dry. Now that is my perfect match. I can straighten and I can curl at home, but I think most women can sympathize that the hardest thing is to get a perfectly smooth blowdry. They are magicians. I love that I can bulk purchase a tab when they have a sale, have them on my account, and then use the tab at any of the locations worldwide. Whether I have a gala dinner, a birthday party, a work trip, or a vacation with my hunny- my last stop is always a Blo. Exciting news for them is they just recently launch Body by Blo so now they can, as they say, take care of all your business.
Uber– the luxury car service that will save you from hailing a cab in the rain, and make you feel like a celeb, all at the same time! This is definitely not a new industry. Limo and town car rentals have always been available, but what I have learned is that most people think “oh that’s too expensive”, or “it’s just as easy to get a cab”. Well now it’s not- it’s actually easier to get a luxury vehicle from Uber than it is to get a cab. Pull up the app, GPS will auto locate you or you can set your pickup location, pick your car from one of three levels and voila- there it is! The best part? No cash exchanged. When you install the app you enter your credit card info in and you get automatically billed for your trip. All from the touch of your phone. Now it is slightly more expensive than a cab, so if you are just going from point a to point b not far away and you see a cab, you may want to go that route. But when we are in a city all dressed up for a fancy dinner, you bet I am getting a town car. Or going from your hotel to the airport with 4 bags and a set of golf clubs? An SUV it is! I love the ease and comfort of knowing they handle everything, I don’t have to dig my Amex out of my wallet, and I especially love that I don’t have to stand on a street trying to hail a cab. This is a very new company but the rate in which they have expanded has been fascinating. You can view the complete list of cities available here . They are everywhere from Dubai to Palm Springs, and constantly expanding.
30 Minute Hit will forever be known as my life saver. The one thing that actually got me exercising again! My whole life I was incredibly athletic. I played softball competitively, volleyball semi competitively, and exercised like crazy. My routine was pretty much this: get off school, walk 2 km to the gym, work out for 2 1/2 hours, swim for 45 minutes, sit in the sauna and sweat anything left in me out, shower, go home have a quick bite and go to bed. It was incredibly time consuming, but it was all I did. As the years have gone on I not only don’t have that kind of time, but I lost interest in going from machine to machine.
Enter 30 Minute Hit. The name says it all ladies- 30 Minutes of the hardest workout you will ever do, and you’re done! My Mom and Sister started going to the location near them about two years ago and it was only a matter of weeks before I saw a drastic change. Eventually my Sister started working there and just watching their transformation I was sold. The model in which they operate is not only very interesting, but also very unique. It is circuit training with a boxing base. Here is how they describe it “Each of 13 stations lasts for a 2 minute interval and when the ladies are not hitting the bags, they are working hard with the swiss balls and medicine balls. Interval training is an excellent way to burn fat as well! Don’t worry if you have never boxed before or if you are new to core work. Come on in, put on your gloves, and experience the 30 Minute Hit”. There is always one trainer on the floor who encourages you and keeps you motivated. It really feels like you have your own personal trainer, but you aren’t paying personal trainer prices! The other main thing I love about this gym is the structure. I found towards the end of my going to the gym phase that I was wondering around, chatting, and making excuses not to continue. With the Hit I know where I start and where I finish. I move from station 1 to station 2 when the buzzer sounds. All the decisions are made for me which allows me just to power through and get it done. If anyone finds they are really lacking motivation, then this is definitely the exercise for you! I also love that when I visit my Mom I can go to her location, or when I am traveling, I can pick my closest location.
What brands do you love to make life a little easier? Would love to hear your thoughts!