women who travel for work

To travel with your work is the dream, but when the reality is a different time zone and hotel room every night, few can hack it. One lady that can is Elena Ora: sister and manager to Rita.

At just 18 years old, Elena became the manager of then 16-year-old Rita after firing her original manager. Her parents thought she would be more suited to the role than them, as they had grown up in Kosovo and she had been to school in the UK. Almost 10 years and Elena is still running things as manager to Rita but also Director of ORA LTD and creative director and brand advisor to RED ORA.

Her work and personal life have become intrinsically linked: “It’s harder as it’s not just a job and it’s difficult for people to understand that. This is my life, passion and work and the legacy we want to leave together.” She lives by the Rita Ora timezone – if you’re singing for Obama one night, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to be at a show in China the next. She lives in planes (“no they’re not always private”) buses and hotel rooms and sleeps where she can. And she doesn’t seem to mind one bit.

“I’ve got on the back of an old moped in Vietnam to get where I’m going. I’ve done LA to Kosovo to London in three days to do a TV show, music video and festival. I once had to get a motorbike from the Eurostar in Paris to make a Chanel fitting in time…Karl Lagerfeld does not do waiting…” Here Elena gives her tips for working women that travel:

Tips for getting over jetlag

Always try to sleep on the plane. Once you travel constantly you learn to get sleep where you can.

Try and stay on the time of the city you’re in.

Go to the gym to get your blood pumping. Even a 15-minute run is better than nothing.

Set out your goals in the AM for the day so you subconsciously tell your mind not to be tired until your mission is complete!

Flying outfit

Leggings and a warm jacket

The best airlines to travel with

Emirates – has wifi on most planes

Cathay Pacific – for Asian flights these are my favourite

Virgin – best lounge, treatment, and upgrades

Air New Zealand

All these airlines have the best seating arrangements.

Best airports for layovers

Dubai and Hong Kong

3 books for travel

Currently reading the four part series by Elena Ferrante about two best friends and their friendship over 66 years. It’s really gripping.

Anything by Oliver James. They Fuck you Up, Office Politics, The Selfish Capitalist. Most of his books are about how you relate to situations in everyday life.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. It’s a good one for understanding creatives and I found it very useful in my line of work.

Your travel playlist consists of

Nao, Zayn, Rita’s new album, Drake, Jamie XX, Future, James Blake

Favourite form of in-flight entertainment

Sleeping! I also write on planes. I have a secret book that I’ve been writing for the past five years on my life and experiences.

Favourite travel apps

WayGo for translation

Hotel Tonight if you need a hotel to stay in last minute.

Where should everyone go this year?

Cuba before everyone goes! I went four years ago and it was a life changing experience. Albania is stunning and basically untouched. Iceland is also on my list.

Packing list

Big jacket if it’s cold

Little leather jacket

Little black dress

A blazer

A shirt

A pair of jeans

A pair of high heels

A pair of everyday boots/shoes

A pair of running shoes

Three pieces of jewellery

Little scarves

3 Fail-safe outfits for any trip

  1. Jeans, a shirt, heeled ankle boots and a leather jacket
  2. A vintage t-shirt from a tour of your favourite artist, black trousers, jacket, scarf and punk jewellery
  3. A black dress, choker, heels and a cool long coat.

Don’t leave home without these beauty essentials

Great perfume, red lipstick, nude ipstick

How to deal with hair on the road

Nail your key hair looks beforehand that you know you can pull off in a rush

Things you always pack in your suitcase

A converter plug, JBL beats Flip 3, Dr Bagi Marine Enzyme for my face, Rita Ora for Rimmel foundation, Oh My Gloss by Rimmel, an Adidas hoodie from our collection to keep me warm.

Dita Von Teese

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