We caught up with Danielle Copperman a wellness advocate and entrepreneur, for a peek inside her suitcase. As the founder of Qnola, a range of quinoa-based breakfast foods, we were anxious to pick her brain about airport guilty pleasures, room-service dining and snacking on the go…
Most recent trip?
Sweden to see my boyfriend (he lives there). My parents also joined us for part of the trip; it was so nice to show them around the cities and the archipelago.
South of France for a close friend’s wedding!
Luggage of choice?
For short trips I always cram into a handheld suitcase (I’m a fan of Away), as I hate the fuss of checking baggage, the threat of misplaced bags, and the hassle of waiting to claim my luggage after a flight. If I’m travelling for a long period of time and moving around a lot, I love a large camper backpack. It’s nice to be hands free, plus the bag keeps you fit and strong.
Your packing style in three words?
Organised, simple and unrestrained
The first thing you do after checking into a hotel room?
Test the bed, change my clothes, wash my face, take in the view and then explore the local area. If I arrive late, I’ll head to the hotel gym and sauna to use up any excess energy after the journey.
An ideal hotel must have…
Character and unique interiors whilst also feeling like home. Also, a really good restaurant never hurts.
One of my favourites would have to be Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii purely for the fond family memories – I was about 10 or 12 when we visited. More recently, I fell in love with Ca Na Xica in Ibiza and Grand Pigalle Hotel in Paris. I’ve been lucky to stay in so many incredible places – I can’t possibly choose one.
Any destinations you’re obsessed with at the moment?
Sri Lanka and Bali. I’ve never been to that part of the world and I’m obsessed with their traditions and well-being practices as well as the weather, nature and food. I’m planning to visit soon.
The best inflight reading you’ve done lately?
I’m currently reading Anatomy of the Spirit. In fact, the title caught my neighbour’s eye on a recent trip and we spent most of the journey connecting and chatting as a result. So this book is not only a good read, it also prompted a lovely discussion with a new friend.
Your all-time favourite souvenir?
I get t-shirts every new place I visit, and love them all. I also always seek out the best flea markets wherever I go, and everything I’ve purchased from these markets is really special and unique.
What’s typically in your carry-on?
My laptop, phone, passport, headphones, essential oils to calm my flight nerves, and, if I’m on a long-haul flight, liquid melatonin plus earplugs and an eye mask. I’m also big on healthy snacks, like fresh fruit, raw chocolate, nuts and loads of water.
What’s your go-to emoji while on holiday?
At the moment, it’s the sun, but any other time of year it’s usually the peace or perfect hand signs.
How many times per day is appropriate to post to Instagram while on holiday?
There are really no rules whilst you’re on holiday. I still love to do stories so I can share a place with others, but I’ll usually capture and record and then upload later when I’m, for example, back in my hotel or apartment and eating or getting changed. I’ll take advantage of multitasking during the mundane moments so I can really, truly enjoy the exciting and special moments whilst they happen. There is nothing worse than seeing someone who is living life through their phone, especially whilst on holiday.
The mini shampoo bottles in hotels – keep ’em or leave ’em?
Keep ’em. Since I travel so often they always come in handy for shorter trips with carry-on baggage limits.
Your ideal room-service meal?
A large salad with local produce. I also love room service for breakfast more than dinner. breakfast room service more than a dinnertime one. It’s so nice to enjoy fresh fruits and baked goods from the comfort of your room – especially if the bed is comfy and the view is beautiful.
Any airport guilty pleasures?
I always tend to grab a magazine, which is funny as I never feel drawn to them the rest of the time. I also always get snacks, even if I’m not hungry. I can’t bear the thought of being stuck without a bite to eat.
Can you tell us how Qnola came about?
I started making quinoa-based snacks for myself as a healthier alternative to shop-bought granolas and as something quick and easy to take to shoots with me. It was then really popular as a recipe on my blog, and after direct bespoke orders with followers and readers, it quickly developed into a worldwide brand, one department store and health food shop at a time. I really wanted to create a more honest and reliable breakfast option that was ready to eat so people could have a more functional morning, plus get some sustainable energy to set the tone for the rest of the day.
Should we all be travelling with more granola in our carry-ons?
Absolutely! It makes a great snack in transit as well as when you get to your destination. It’s also really light and takes up hardly any space. Plus it means you can have a healthy breakfast every day even if you can’t or aren’t too bothered about controlling the rest of your meals while travelling
Any unexpected places where you’ve found yourself tearing into a bag of Qnola?
Sat on the decking that surrounded our yurt on Obonjan Island, Croatia. And on a less exotic note, sat on the floor of an airport waiting out a delay.
You’ve written a book called Well Being. Any advice for improving our well being while on the road?
I think people are quite disconnected when it comes to travelling, and since its so easy these days, it seems like no big deal. However, travelling through time zones and into different cultures and climates is quite a big deal. It’s stressful on the body and can be exhausting, so having healthy ingredients with you is always a good idea. For people who don’t like flying, I’d also recommend essential oils and pranayama breathing rituals, which are both really calming. On my most recent flight, I also meditated before we took off, whilst in the air and before we landed. It not only made the journey feel much shorter, but also helped to relax and energise me – it was like having a power nap.
Any tips for jet lag?
Loads of water and melatonin to help you sleep, probiotics to keep your internal systems live and kicking, and re-mineralisation supplements to hydrate and balance the minerals in the body (I tried some amazing ocean minerals on a recent trip to LA). Beyond that, go to the gym. I always hated people on Instagram who posted gym photos and said it helped beat their jet lag – I mean, if I need my sleep, I need my sleep. However, in LA I was up at 5am every morning going to the gym and I honestly felt amazing. If you have energy, use it. And when your energy gets naturally depleted, you’ll know and then it’s fine to nap it out. But over sleeping to try to prevent jet lag is a big no. You’ll feel lethargic and groggy, so you’ll waste the time you could be using to explore a place much more interesting than your bed.
Is there a cure for crying during sappy movies on flights?
Let it out!
The best career advice you’ve heard?
Oh, so much! The chats I have constantly with friends and industry connections are always helpful and inspiring. I do business in a very different way to most people, I think. Recently, the best advice I received was to determine what you really want and go for it. In business, you can easily compare yourself to others (usually much bigger corporations) and it’s scary and daunting, so the advice to really find something you love doing and that has a purpose is the best advice for a successful and fully driven career. On a more pragmatic level, don’t rush. These things take time. I’m always wanting to do everything all at once, so I need these kind of reminders quite regularly.
The best travel advice?
Go off the beaten path. Don’t just stick to the guides. Explore more authentically and see where it takes you. Sometimes you end up somewhere completely bizarre, but you’ll likely have a great memory or stories to tell for it.