Discover David Watkins and Soo Joo Park's hotel shortlist

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The Checklist

The Checklist

What are your favorite "smug offices”?
David: You can find me at Lou’s Kitchen at Ludlow House eating panna cotta all day, in the comfort of my New York apartment or upstairs on Soo Joo’s balcony.
Soo Joo: My bed and my balcony on a nice sunny day.

What's the most off-the-grid travel experience you've had lately?
David: I have been so busy I've been mostly on the grid, but took a quick weekend trip upstate to Storm King and Hudson New York.  Being upstate reminded me I need to take some more time to rock climb in New Paltz.
Soo Joo: I don't do well without being connected to the world beyond via my iPhone, but when I go for weekend trips to my friend's houses in Garrison or East Hampton I tend to turn my phone on don't get much reception anyway.

Akin to the Super Bowl players always saying "I'm going to Disneyland!" when they win...After a big launch or product release, what’s the 1 place you always immediately go to reward yourself?
David: Barneys New York or if things are really good, Carl Hansen.

Finish this sentence: I would switch to a middle seat for _____________.
Soo Joo: A chance to sit between two hot guys. Yes, I'll gladly sit in the middle!

Do you have any favorite travel hacks?
David: I like seats 16A on United and 74A on Delta.  They’re upper deck window seats where you can reach the snack basket without having to get up. A cellular plan that has unlimited global roaming data saves you from switching SIM cards all the time. Global Entry in the USA and the Fast Track eChannel in Hong Kong are key in larger airports at busy times. And of course Caeden,  in ear headphones for bad turbulence and crying babies. Plus maybe a strong drink.
Soo Joo: I have everything in different pouches in my carryon, including a pouch that has everything I need during a flight (sleeping pills, face mist, chapstick, iphone charger, pen, makeup wipes, contact lenses, and a snack). I check in online before flights and save my e-boarding pass in my Wallet app on my iPhone, which is great because it keeps track of your travel record in tabs.

Soo Joo Park

What are your thoughts on out-of-office messages? Leave one? Don't leave one? Keep it simple? Make it poetic?
David: I tend to be traveling a lot, but with modern communication methods I’m usually reachable which allows me a ton of flexibility in where I work from.
Soo Joo: I always love an opportunity to share a good sense of humor, out-of-office messages being one of them.

What's typically in your carry-on?
David: My travel wallet with my passport, currency and foreign bank cards, Caeden Linea 02 earbuds, charging cables, sunglasses, glasses and contact lens case.
Soo Joo: Leather pouch carrying my SIM cards, passports, and foreign currency, pouch of toiletries, pouch of chargers and cords, my Caeden wireless headphones, and Re-Fa face massager.

What songs are always on your vacation playlist?
David: A mix of relaxing songs from Chet Faker, Flume, and The National.
Soo Joo: Old school reggae and R&B albums from Alton Ellis, The Drifters, King Tubby... some psychedelic pop from Ariel Pink and Brightblack Morning Light... and for more upbeat times, Drake and Rihanna's latest albums are also on repeat.

Can the Sona bracelet and its stress-fighting Resonance feature take on travel woes, such as security lines and lost luggage? Is it a match for missed/canceled flights?
David: While canceled flights and lost luggage are always a hassle, Resonance is great for conditioning your body to deal with it and also is a great calming activity to engage in while you’re waiting to resolve whatever stressful situation you might find yourself in.
Soo Joo: Resonance has definitely helped with unexpected travel hiccups.  Not only has it helped build my resilience to stress, but it’s also a breathing technique that I find myself turning to during stressful or annoying moments.  It comes in pretty handy in TSA lines or quickly figuring out clever ways to deal with lost luggage.

See more tips from all 15 founders in this series