Travel has become a very important theme for my blog within the last 18 months. I have racked up on those air miles real quick. When I travel I try to not visit the same city twice because I feel that there’s so many new places I need to explore. Such was the case on my most recent trip to New Orleans or NOLA because I had never visited so I took this as an opportunity to do some serious discovering.

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If you’ve been following my wife Carmen and I for some time you should know that we are fitness fanatics. We’ve been named by various publications as the Los Angeles #FitCouple or in Spanish “Pareja Saludable de Los Angeles”. We do not take that title lightly and every year we go on a different trip to a new city to become more equipped and knowledgeable on what we do, which is to help people live healthier. Every year we participate in a summit that prepares us with new tools and resources to help people reach their physical, mental and even emotional transformational goals. While this annual summit is used as a platform to grow and develop our businesses it is also an event where thousands of health activists come together to celebrate their success and are recognized.

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Since this was an exclusive trip to celebrate success we could not think of a better airline that United to get us to our destination with a lot of style. They really gave us their VIP treatment and I’ll tell you how you can be a part of it too. Before we partnered up with United we had briefly heard about their Global Service Program (GSP), but not to the extent for which we experienced it on our way to NOLA. For those that are not familiar with GSP it is an invitation-only and the most exclusive service by United. It takes some serious spending to qualify; according to one of the team members from the United Club, that means at least $50,000 in a calendar year to be considered for Global Services.

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As a matter of fact we learned that the GSP/United Club recently opened its doors in December for its members, a $573 million project to refresh spaces in Terminal 7 and Concourse 8 at LAX.

We all know that traveling can be the most tedious and overwhelming experience when you visit the normal gate areas. There’s always something that goes wrong, something smells funky, people can give you attitude or simply the seats in the waiting area are very uncomfortable.

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None of the above is true when you visit the GSP reception area or United Club. You are treated like royalty as soon as you enter the desk area and all of their personnel are extremely helpful and attentive to your needs. The LAX United Club is one of United’s largest and most stylish (20,000 Sq Ft) – it even has an outdoor terrace with Los Angeles skyline in the background and you’ll catch planes taking off or landing.

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My favorite part of the United Club was by far the gourmet kitchen (complimentary snacks too) because they have very healthy options and a lot of times you won’t find this in the economy gate areas. The bar area is fully loaded and you’ll have a drink to sit back and relax at the palm of your hands. After every check-in procedure at any airport you usually find yourself short of breath and as if you’re forgetting something, but thanks to the GSP program that is not the case because they make sure you are well taken care of during your check-in process. So when you arrive to the United Club you are at so much peace. It’s unbelievable that you can feel this way at an airport, but it’s true only at the United Club. To find out how you can join the United Club check out this link.

With a United Club membership, you’ll have access to more than 45 United Club locations worldwide. You’ll also be able to visit select other partner lounges around the world, providing even more opportunities to relax between flights, wherever your travels take you.

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You’ll also want to know that Global Services members are invited to board before all other United customers, with the possible exception of military. What does this mean for some? It can be a head start to drinking on board.

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IMG_8285By far one of the moments that made me feel as I was part of a movie scene or even an A-list celebrity was when Carmen and I were transported by the Mercedes-Benz Tarmac Transfer to hop on our flight. I mention this because this is the kind of treatment a United Global Services member will receive if they have an extremely tight connection. Now this is the definition of VIP services. I will always remember that moment as one of my favorite traveling experiences.

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Before we arrived to New Orleans Carmen and I had a short layover in SFO and we were also invited by United to participate in their United Club experience there as well. It was fascinating to be able to go in there to relax, eat and re-fuel for our last leg of our travels. The United Club area here was also one of my favorites here because it was very comfortable, spacious and quiet. You can join to be a United Club member starting at $550 a month or 70,000 miles.

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So we arrived to the city of beads, beignets, jazz, Creole and soul food and Bourbon Street and as much as we explored we also learned how to move our business forward as I mentioned earlier in my post. There’s so much to do in this Southern city that it was a bit hard to know where to begin, but with my 8 highlights you’ll have a solid understanding of what you can also do when you visit.

Before I begin get mentally prepared for the humidity if you are not used to those extreme weather conditions. If you get past that you’ll be fine.

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Things you Must do in NOLA:

  1. Go on a walk to Jackson Square. The historic park is located in the French Quarter and it was named the National Historic Landmark in 1960, and today boasts some of the best local art and food you’ll find in New Orleans.
  2. Eat at Café du Monde, home of the world-famous beignets. There’s one of these famous locations that sits in the easternmost tip of Jackson Square, near the water. Their beignets are to die for and you cannot leave NOLA without having one or maybe two or three. They are small.
  3. Visit Laura’s Candies since it is the oldest candy shop in the city and it is known for its pralines – a New Orleans staple. Enjoy a sample there or buy enough to bring some home with you.
  4. Visit Johnny Sanchez for dinner you won’t regret it. Its inventive twist on Mexican eats & drinks has made the restaurant a popular place for locals and tourist. It’s an original venue with high ceilings & a tattoo-art wall. The chef is world-renowned Aaron Sanchez.
  5. Visit Bourbon Street at day and night, but don’t stay there too long and leave that for the amateurs and instead go to Frenchmen Street. Here you’ll find some of the best local entertainment playing jazz and blues bands. New Orleans is all about the music so you’re bound to have a great time anywhere you go.
  6. Have brunch at Petit Lion and go to their rooftop for one of the best views of the city. It is breathtaking up above.
  7. Visit Mardi Gras World. It is a tourist attraction where people can go in and see floats that are made for Mardi Gras parades in the city.
  8. Explore the Riverfront/Mississippi River next to the French Quarter. Walking along this river will certainly make you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time.

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Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the city and take it all in because it’s rich with history and a culture that you won’t find anywhere else. The architecture is so colorful too.

 

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Thanks to my friends from United for sponsoring this roundtrip. If you’d like to become a member and travel with a lot more relaxation and to have moments like the ones we had before arriving to NOLA check out their United Club program.

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Please note that this was a compensated campaign, but all opinions are my very own.

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