Posted February 23, 2015

Top 10 CEO Travel Tips

Travel Tips

Mike DeFrino

Kimpton CEO Mike DeFrino, center, with the team from our Grand Cayman hotel, scheduled to open along Seven Mile Beach in 2016.

In his nearly 20-year career with Kimpton, Mike DeFrino has acquired nearly an entire alphabet’s worth of job titles: GM, SVP, EVP, COO (that would be general manager, senior vice president, executive vice president, and chief operating officer). And as of January, Mike is now our new CEO … chief executive officer. As CEO, he oversees Kimpton’s 60-plus hotels and more than 70 restaurants (not to mention the 16 hotels in the pipeline) around the country. As you can imagine, over the years his positions have taken him on the road … a lot. So as someone who knows a thing or two about travel, here are Mike’s Top 10 CEO Travel Tips.

  1. Give yourself enough time so you get on the plane stress-free and not drenched in sweat.
  2. Eat before you board — devouring a burrito on the plane is smelly and intrusive.
  3. Use plane time for clearing out your in-box and sending thank-you notes.
  4. Make dinner plans with others before your trip — take the team out.
  5. Never eat alone on the road — share your time liberally and show some love.
  6. Travel only when you have to. Time at home and at the office is really valuable.
  7. Don’t overstay your welcome — short trips count and time is valuable.
  8. Tip generously — it feels good and it’s the best form of wealth distribution.
  9. Resist being “handled,” and go with the flow sometimes (take a cab not a limo).
  10. Have some fun, crack a few jokes, show your human side … pet a bison.
Mike DeFrino


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One Comment

  1. Lauren Woodley says:

    Thank you for all of these useful travel tips! I really appreciated the suggestion you give to make dinner plans with other before your trip, specifically, taking the team out. Making these plans ahead of time will help ensure that they will happen. Additionally, though, I think taking the team out will help you as the CEO connect with your employees and facilitate good relationships in the workplace. Thank you for your insight!