As Visa’s chief marketing officer and chief communications officer, Lynne Biggar flies around the world overseeing all of Visa’s branding, sponsorship, communications, and marketing activities. As a veteran traveler who spent years on the road with Time Inc. and American Express before joining Visa, she seems even busier when she’s off the clock–spending her free time climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, for example.
Here the executive reveals her tips and tools for getting the most out of every day.
Where do you go to relax and recharge?
I recharge not by a place per se, but by giving myself a physical challenge. I’ve climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, walked (part of) the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and this summer I hiked through the Dolomites in Italy. I recharge by getting out into nature, going somewhere remote, and ideally, somewhere I’ve never been before.
What travel tips do you swear by?
I travel nearly every week for work, so I have a well-honed regimen I go by:
- The minute I get on the plane, I set my watch to the time where I am going and act accordingly.
- I rarely watch the movies and instead pop in my earbuds and use the time to work.
- I always try to pay only digitally (with Visa, of course). I find that I can travel to nearly any country in the world and, except for tips, rarely need to take out local currency. That way, I’m not left holding unused money that I won’t ever spend again.
- I often buy flowers to make myself feel more at home in a hotel.
- No matter how long I will be gone, I will only carry-on.
What’s a product that you are currently in love with?
My Fitbit Ionic. It’s truly an all-purpose device that keeps me honest with my fitness routine while having to maintain a very heavy travel schedule, tells me how much sleep I get (or don’t get), and perhaps most importantly, let’s me make payments without carrying my Visa card—including my morning Starbucks!
What classic product do you believe nobody’s ever improved upon?
While my daily calendar is organized digitally on my phone/computer, I like to keep a long-term view organized on an old-school, paper, month-by-month calendar. I travel with it and refer to it often when having to schedule things that are further afield, as it’s tough to see the big picture on your phone.
What’s your on switch?
The second my feet touch the ground, my mind starts running and I start naturally trying to find solutions for the unsolved problems from the days before and cycling through my to-do list. I feel fortunate that it has always been this simple for me to get going in the morning.
What’s your off switch?
Whether it’s going to the gym or a long walk, I always end the day with some kind of exercise that takes me physically away from my work space.