Jazmine Sullivan is a singer, songwriter and hotel expert. The two-time Grammy award-winning singer is currently on tour to support her Heaux Tales album and recently announced a partnership with IHG Hotels & Resorts to create a personalized hotel stay for fans at the Kimpton Gray Chicago that coincided with her Lollapalooza debut.
The custom experience included a five-night stay and some of Sullivan’s travel must-haves like calming scents and a mini fridge stocked with some of her favorite snacks.
“My favorite part of being on the road is the hotel stay,” Sullivan tells ESSENCE. “When you get to your room, you want to lay back and enjoy yourself and be in a beautiful space where people care about your stay.
“When I was designing the hotel experience, I wanted my guests to feel at peace. There’s a lot going on outside in the world and when you’re staying at a hotel, you want to be comfortable and relaxed.”
With so much time spent on the road, Sullivan also says she likes to find ways to bring a piece of home with her when she’s on the go, and she makes sure to prioritize her comfort.
To travel like Jasmine Sullivan, check out her personal travel tips below during this current busy and chaotic summer travel season:
Get Comfortable for Your Flight
While there are travelers who love to wear their Sunday best on a flight, Sullivan likes to keep it low-key and comfortable. In fact, you may have seen her in an airport and not even known it.
“When I travel, I get comfy. Too comfy,” she laughs. “As a matter of fact, you might not even recognize me. I have a hoodie on, a hat on, some big glasses, and some sweats. I don’t like a big fuss. It’s all about comfort for me.”
Bring Your Own Speakers to Power Down – Or Turn Up
Sullivan says one of her biggest travel must-haves is a bluetooth speaker, which helps her in two ways. It aids her in being able to sleep and to provide a soundtrack when she’s getting ready for performances.
“I like to fall asleep to rain sounds – anything with water helps me to fall asleep. As I’m getting older, I am looking for things that are going to help me to relax,” she says. “That’s what a lot of my life is about now, just making sure I’m at peace and I’m relaxed.”
And when it’s time for the singer to get ready for a performance or an event, she has an eclectic playlist she listens to.
“I like to put on a shuffle,” she says. “Whoever puts the music on and whatever vibe they’re on, I kind of go with it. My makeup artist loves drill music. She loves to turn up so she’ll put that on. Or sometimes we’ll be more relaxed and listen to Solange.”
Pack Healthy Snacks
It’s easy to go on vacation and forget all healthy eating habits, which is why Sullivan says likes to travel with her own vegan snacks and fresh pressed juices. While she admits it’s hard to stay healthy on the road all the time, she says she makes an effort to plan ahead.
“I like to travel with natural juices. Any kind of fresh juice, I try to bring that,” she explains. “I’m vegan so I try to keep it a little healthy, but it’s hard because a lot of places don’t necessarily have a lot of vegan options so you have to look a little harder. But I’m keeping up with my health when I travel by leading a vegan lifestyle.”
Bring Your Own Scents
A well-scented room is an instant gamechanger, and Sullivan reaches for certain calming scents when she travels, which creates a cozy and inviting environment.
“I love the smell of eucalyptus, especially in the bathroom,” she says. “It just opens you up. It really just depends on my mood, but I definitely like to bring candles when I travel. It just relaxes me and it just makes the room smell so delicious.”
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
While travel is also about getting away and seeing new things, getting a good night’s sleep is essential, which is one of the reasons why Sullivan said she partnered with IHG Hotels & Resorts. They have 17 different brands of stylish resorts and hotels, and the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand offers perks like high-end Italian Frette bedding at every property.
Sullivan says, “IHG Hotels & Resorts have amazing bedding, and that’s really important to me because whenever you go you want to make sure you have a good sleep. When you get back to your room you want to be comfortable and you want to be at peace. But you also want an elevated stay and you also want to feel like you’re being taken care of, which is what IHG does best.”