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Influencers + Tastemakers

Introducing Our Tastemakers: Michelle Halpern

Here at Jetsetter, we’re always on the lookout for hot new hotels, buzzy new restaurants and bars, and off-the-beaten-path destinations to share with you. While we have a crew of dedicated writers and editors doing just that, we’ve now also tapped some tuned-in tastemakers—so be on the lookout for their contributions to our magazine, Instagram, and more. Below, we hear from Michelle Halpern, a travel blogger and social media/branding consultant who left a corporate job in fashion to explore the world full time.

A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Chelsea's work has appeared in Matador Network, The Huffington Post, the TripAdvisor blog, and more. When not planning her next trip, you'll usually find her drinking way too much iced coffee (always iced—she’s from New England) or bingeing a Netflix original series.

See recent posts by Chelsea Stuart

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What are your favorite places in the world?

This is the hardest question for me to answer, but Peru, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Mexico rank pretty high. If I could teleport anywhere tomorrow though, it would be Byron Bay, Australia.  

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What’s your favorite hotel?

I fell head over heels for El Fenn, which is a boutique riad in Marrakech, Morocco owned by Richard Branson’s sister.

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What are your carry-on essentials?

My laptop and external hard drive for photo editing, ear plugs and a sleep mask for zoning out and Young Living Essential Oils’ lavender lip balm which is literally a life saver. 

What’s the one fashion item you always travel with?

My von Holzhausen Shopper tote bag to carry all of my in-flight essentials. It’s 100% animal cruelty free and made from a super durable performance fabric that is great for withstanding the stress of travel!

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Where are you going next?

Puerto Rico! I’m looking forward to supporting tourism there in the wake of Hurricane Maria and hopefully doing some volunteering

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The biggest travel blunder you’ve faced?

I’ve been blessed to not have too many blunders in my travel days, but probably the worst was back in 2014 during a vacation to Thailand. My girlfriends and I were nearing the last day of our trip and booked an extremely cheap "airport hotel" for our last night in Bangkok—admittedly after a few Chang beers—and with the idea that we would drop our bags in the hotel and spend the night celebrating in the city. Well, the hotel turned out to be very far outside of BKK, and after a very terrifying ride through dark alleys that had us envisioning we were living out a scene from Taken, we arrived at the hotel to find a security guard sleeping outside on a lawn chair and no other guests in sight. It continued to go downhill from there and our entire group felt extremely unsafe. Needless to say, we immediately checked out and headed straight back to the airport and gave up all hopes of sleep, or one last night in Bangkok. Lesson learned: it pays to do your research, or at least read the reviews!

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