Travel Style: Karen Murphy O’Brien

Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.

Karen Murphy O'Brien

Karen Murphy O’Brien

Name: Karen Murphy O’Brien

Occupation: Chairman & CEO, Murphy O’Brien Public Relations

College major: Music

Websitemurphyobrien.com

Twitter: @MurphyOBrienPR

Facebook: Murphy O’Brien Public Relations

Instagram: Karenmurphyobrien & murphyobrien

Short bio: Karen Murphy O’Brien co-founded Murphy O’Brien, now celebrating in its 25th anniversary, with partner, Brett O’Brien, in 1989, following a successful career in luxury, hospitality and entertainment public relations.

She has cultivated relationships with top national media decision makers and has managed award-winning campaigns for an impressive collection of companies, many of whom have been loyal clients since the founding of the agency. Karen has carefully assembled a team of the most talented industry professionals, and the agency is consistently rated among the top 10 places in Los Angeles to work by the Los Angeles Business Journal. In addition, Karen is deeply committed to her work with several charitable and philanthropic organizations, and serves as an active board member of Chrysalis, an organization dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for the economically disadvantaged.

How often do you fly? Within the first few months of 2014, I will have flown to Florida (also visiting Cozumel, Jamaica and Haiti via a cruise) and Arizona twice, Nicaragua, the Maldives and Singapore. And that’s just what I know at this moment.

Earliest travel memory: When I was 8, my parents dropped me off at the bus heading to Camp Kent in upstate Connecticut. They proceeded to go on a vacation to Niagara Falls without me.

Favorite American city: Los Angeles because it’s home and New York because, well, it’s New York!

Favorite international city: Right now, it’s a three-way tie between Paris, Rome and Shanghai.

Favorite cruise line: Crystal Cruises…because that’s where my husband proposed to me nearly 19 years ago. Our accompanying excitement caused us to actually miss the ship along the way.

Favorite hotel: That’s a tough question since Murphy O’Brien represents some of the most fabulous hotels in the world. Among my client favorites are all of the Peninsula Hotels, Shutters on the Beach, Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Auberge Resort’s Esperanza and Auberge du Soleil and Le Sereno in St. Bart’s. For non-clients, it’s hands down the San Pietro in Positano.

Favorite international airport: The old airport in Hong Kong because you could watch people make breakfast as you took that 45-degree sharp turn down to the runway and St. Bart’s because it’s like landing on a post card.

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): In the air, it has to be H2O and, on the ground, it’s one of the great Super Tuscans.

Right now I am reading: “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

Top 3 favorite travel magazines: Another unfair question; however, I would have to say Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Departures and Town & Country (Okay that’s four)…not necessarily in that order but according to how many clients are in each during any given month!

Favorite island: Parrot Cay…I will never forget the boat transfer in the middle of the night and waking up in the most wonderful paradise on Earth.

What do you always seem to forget? I pack way too much to forget anything!

Worst travel moment: On my honeymoon, when my new Louis Vuitton bag went missing for three days. We were staying at Cap Juluca in Anguilla and American Airlines showed no sign of the bag anywhere in their system. My brilliant husband suggested that perhaps it went to Antigua since it sounded a lot liked Anguilla. Sure enough, it was in the bell closet there with my trousseau intact.

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