Travel tips from entrepreneur mom with four kids

March 18, 2013: 11:51 AM ET
kara goldin hint
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Kara Goldin's battle is one of balance. She's a mother with four young kids in San Francisco. But she didn't give up career for family. She's also the CEO of Hint, a beverage company that sells naturally-flavored water.

The company's growing quickly. That means she's traveling 10 days a month, often to opposite ends of the country. She began a trip in January with Sundance in Park City, Utah. She then dashed off to meet clients in Orlando. Then came Austin. It ended with a board meeting in New York.

Goldin justifies the pace because she thinks the nation is addicted to sugary drinks and artificial sweeteners. She's on a quest against the likes of Coca-Cola (CCE), Pepsi (PEP) and other major distributors.

"Our mission is to get people to live a healthier lifestyle," she said. "America's hooked on sugars and diet sweeteners. I felt like it was my job to go out and do this."

Goldin can't waste time -- or energy -- while traveling. These are the strategies she's developed to stay on her A-game. Her responses have been edited.

Simplify the wardrobe

"I am the best packer on the planet. My secret? My entire wardrobe is navy blue and black, so I mix and match things, and it doesn't look like I'm wearing the same thing every day.

"I don't have a ton of clothes. I have five nice work shirts, three nice sweaters, a couple of pants and skirts. That's it. It's so much easier for me to live that way, especially when I'm traveling."

Calling home? Stay consistent

"I take breaks to talk to my kids at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. their time. They text me before heading to school in the morning, and I call them back.

"At night we talk again. It's very rare that they go to sleep without my husband and I both talking to them."

Local time is real time

"I pay more attention to the external clock than my internal one. I abide by whatever time zone I'm in.

"Wherever I am, I wake up at 6 a.m., even if my body thinks it's much earlier than that. Many people will say they won't get up that early. But I think the key is, your brain psychs you into thinking that you're tired."

Fly with Wi-Fi

"Being able to connect while I travel is super important for me. I get over 1,000 emails a day, and I go through each one.

"To do that while I travel, I only take with flights with Wi-Fi. Otherwise, I lose six hours with coast-to-coast flights. I typically have something to do when I get to my destination. And if I'm coming home, I actually want to be present with my family."

Fly early or very late

"I usually take the first flight in the morning, so I'm able to plan afternoon meetings at my destination.

"On my way back, I prefer to take a red-eye flight instead of losing an entire day en route. That way I'm back home in time to see my kids wake up.

"My favorite airline is Virgin America. I love their schedule, and they always offer Wi-Fi connection."

Avoid energy drinks

"I have one cup of coffee in the morning. People who drink a lot of stimulants during the day tend to have a harder time getting to sleep."

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