Between her work as president of the Black Travel Alliance and a full client roster as a consultant on diversity in travel, two-time Blueground guest Martinique Lewis spends a lot of time traveling! Whether she’s exploring a new destination, speaking on a panel, or catching up with family, she’s most likely on the road.
Blueprint sat down with Martinique to get her take on the digital nomad lifestyle and how short-term furnished rentals are breaking down barriers for global travelers. She has stayed with Blueground in Hoboken and Vienna, and can speak first-hand as to why a furnished apartment is better than a hotel.
“Since I travel so much, the consistency of Blueground apartments lets me experience a sense of normalcy,” Martinique said.
When you have visited hundreds of destinations it can be hard to predict exactly what you’ll find behind the doors of your lodgings, whether that’s a last-minute Airbnb or a five-star hotel.
“Staying in a Blueground gives me a better sense of security than an Airbnb, since I know that the company vets all of the spaces. I know that I will experience a certain level of safety and cleanliness. A Blueground apartment has more space than a hotel, plus you can cook and entertain.”
Breaking down barriers
In addition to being an advocate for inclusivity, Martinique curates her own annual Diversity in Travel scorecard. Last year’s report covered 276 travel brands, organizations, and tourism boards in more than 116 countries on 7 continents.
“We’re seeing progress, but there is also a lot that needs to improve. Awareness around this issue has increased dramatically since 2020, but there’s still a lack of real diversity in some organizations. Some companies are setting tangible goals. But things are changing slowly.”
Reinventing the family trip
Staying in a Blueground apartment makes it so easy to connect with family from out of town. There are a number of reasons that it’s better to stay in a short term rental than a hotel when visiting with loved ones.
For one thing, you can feel free to be yourself! “In a hotel you can’t move around as freely as you can in your own apartment. There’s a greater sense of freedom staying in a Blueground,” Martinique said.
She was also a fan of the wide range of accommodation options. “When you stay with family in a Blueground, everyone can share one space rather than being in separate hotel rooms. In addition to having some common space to socialize, it’s also great to be able to cook instead of having to eat in restaurants all the time.”
Staying connected on the road
The most successful digital nomads feel truly at home no matter where they are. But is this easier said than done?
Martinique shared her advice for staying in touch with a long-distance partner while traveling. “Open communication is really important. You want to share with your partner as much as possible – you can send daily updates, or share your itinerary so they feel connected to what you’re doing.”
She sends her own partner three pictures a day so that he gets a true glimpse into her lifestyle that’s personal, rather than curated for public consumption.
Of course, it’s just as important to stay connected to yourself and your values when you travel almost constantly.
“I have a rock that says ‘I believe in you’ that I take with me wherever I go,” Martinique told Blueprint. “It was a gift from my mother. It’s actually part of a whole nighttime ritual that is laid out in the book The Magic.”
She also brings along a portable speaker so that she can listen to music when she first wakes up. Of course, if you’re staying in a Blueground apartment you can leave that item out of the suitcase. Most of our move-in ready homes are equipped with wireless Bluetooth speakers.
Making the most of the digital nomad lifestyle
When you’re a professional traveler, you quickly learn to pack light and squeeze in activities that are meaningful to you between work obligations.
Staying in a furnished apartment rather than a hotel makes this a lot easier. “So many hotels are located in the touristy part of town, but with Blueground you feel like a local. When we stayed in Vienna, we could walk to absolutely everything we wanted to do.”
Are you convinced yet? Blueground has move-in ready apartments in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the US.