My Glamorous Celebrity Lifestyle & Appearance on Better TV

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Last week I jetted off to New York City to give travel tips during a segment on the nationally syndicated Better TV Show. The focus? Packing like a pro. Here are my thoughts on my glamorous celebrity lifestyle.

The Travel Mama Colleen Lanin giving travel tips on the Better TV Show with hosts JD Roberto and Rebecca Budig

The Travel Mama Colleen Lanin giving travel tips on the Better TV Show with hosts JD Roberto and Rebecca Budig (Photo from the Better TV website)

My Better TV Segment

I gave tips on when to start packing, what to bring for a summer vacation, how to keep kids entertained on the go, how to avoid motion sickness and which snacks to pack for the journey. The hosts of the show, Rebecca Budig (who happens to be expecting!) and JD Roberto, were both so genuine and welcoming, they put me right at ease.

As a spokesperson for Dramamine®, I was happy to share my thoughts on preventing motion sickness. Both my daughter and I sometimes suffer from the headache and queasiness caused by movement. Truly, I never leave home without Dramamine in my purse or day bag.

Why you should never travel without Dramamine!Green room

I have made numerous television appearances since I launched in 2009. I still get nervous, but not nearly as nervous as I was for my first appearance. To quote one of my dad’s executive consultation clients, “I still get butterflies, but now they fly in formation.” It continues to feels otherworldly when I show up at a television studio and sit in the green room for my turn to go in front of the camera.

The Travel Mama Colleen Lanin getting all dolled up for Better TV

Getting all dolled up for Better TV (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

I was called into hair and makeup and suddenly one person was blowing out my hair while another beautified my face with liquids and powders galore. While these two beauty wizards buzzed about me, the segment’s producer sat down in a chair next to me and began to run through my segment’s questions, none of which were what I had practiced and prepared. (Thankfully, they changed the questions!) It felt like I’d stepped into someone else’s fabulous life; it was so surreal and not “normal” to me, that all of the swirling energy gave me a strange sense of calm.

The Travel Mama Colleen Lanin with Vikki Zieglar, host of Bravo's "Untying the Knot"

Hangin’ with Vikki Zieglar, host of Bravo’s “Untying the Knot”

Hangin’ with the stars

La Toya Jackson and her entourage peeked their heads into the hair and makeup room. When I returned to the green room, I whispered to the other guest that Ms. Jackson was in the vicinity. Turns out, I was sitting next to Vikki Zieglar, star of the new Bravo TV show, “Untying the Knot.”

La Toya came back to the green room for just a moment to film a teaser for her segment. I wanted to snap a photo of her with my phone, but I didn’t want to look like a cheesy fan. I think it’s fun meeting celebrities, but I’m not super into fame. It looks like a lot of hassle to me. Still, when I walked right past her on my way into the studio, I couldn’t help but turn to shake her tiny, little hand and say, “La Toya, I just want to say I love your show.” She thanked me in her bubblegum voice.

I have watched her reality show, “Life with La Toya” on the OWN Network a few times. It’s fun to get a glimpse into this music royalty’s family and La Toya seems like such a sweet, fragile soul. I love the Jackson family’s music, so much that I recommend the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson AND Janet Jackson as music the whole family will enjoy in the “Go by Car!” chapter about road trips in my book, The Travel Mamas’ Guide. I’m not gonna lie; it was pretty fabulous to meet a real-live Jackson in-person!

View of the Chrysler Building from the Millennium One UN Hotel

The incredible view from my suite at the Millennium One UN Hotel (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Swanky hotel

When I say that I’m a travel writer, people often exclaim that I have their dream job. I tell them, “It’s a job with little pay but great perks.” When I checked in to the Millennium One UN Hotel in Manhattan, I was informed that I’d been upgraded since it was a slow week. Before leaving home I *may* have mentioned to the hotel that I’m a travel writer who would be in town to film a travel tips TV segment. Well, my friends, my two-bedroom suite with a massive family/dining room and a view of the Chrysler Building was one of the awesome perks of my job.

Two-bedroom suite at Millennium One UN Hotel in Manhattan

My two-bedroom suite was bigger than many apartments in Manhattan! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Home again

Before I knew it, I was on a plane headed back to California. I caught the premiere episode of “Untying the Knot” while in the air and thought how bizarre it was that I had just met Vikki that morning.

The next day I sat in my vanity chair in my bathroom waiting for someone to arrive and make me Hollywood beautiful again. Since no one showed up, I threw on my regular work uniform (yoga pants, t-shirt, no makeup) and drove the kids to school. Just another glamorous day in the life of The Travel Mama!

Have you ever had an experience that seemed so foreign, that you felt like you were living someone else’s life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: I am a spokesperson for Dramamine® and received compensation related to my appearance on Better TV. I did not receive any money or other perks for this post. All opinions are mine, as always. I am not a medical professional. For medical advice, please contact your physician.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show,, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Great perks indeed! You look great, Colleen!

  2. How fun! You did a great job and I’m so glad you had a great experience.

  3. You looked fab! If only I packed that far in advance. I’m lucky if I pack prior to the day before. The end result is that I usually leave something in the hotel because I have no idea what I packed or I forget something and then have to spend unnecessary $ to purchase a replacement. 🙁

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Thanks, Katie! Next trip you need to print out one of my packing lists so you don’t forget anything! 🙂

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