We love working with passionate patient educators from all around the
country, and an important piece of VPR POP’s support is making sure our
patient speakers are able to travel as efficiently and comfortably as
possible. VPR’s coordination team schedules more than 4,000 trips a year, so it’s safe
to say that our five program coordinators are travel experts! We asked
one of our coordinators, Jasmine Large, to share her best tips for both business travel
and for vacationing.
Above: photo taken by Jasmine in Clearwater, Florida.
Tell us about your role at VPR.
As a Program Coordinator, my job is to get our patient speakers to events all across
the country by booking their travel, answering any questions they may have, handling
issues that may arise during the process. It’s a turnkey process that starts with me
working with the person requesting the program to make sure we find the perfect fit for
their educational needs, and doesn’t end until I get them home safe and sound with the
satisfaction that comes from delivering important education to their peers and having a
Can you give us a few travel trips from the pro’s?
Always be patient and prepared. Travelling is already stressful, so when a flight
gets delayed, take a step back, take a deep breath, and regroup. Maybe read a
book, or watch some Netflix if you have the time. Also, check into your flight as
soon as possible. If you’re flying Southwest, buy early bird check-in.
Do you have any packing tips?
Buy a good carry-on bag and travel sized toiletries. If possible, try packing
everything in your carry-on and personal item to avoid lines!
What else do you consider when planning a trip, whether it be long or short?
Weather at my destination. I usually try to bring a poncho or umbrella to be prepared for
any rain. If the weather isn’t definite, I pack an extra outfit or two to take that into
account. And when I’m travelling for pleasure, I research when the rainy season is at my
destination, because no one likes being rained out of a vacation!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love working with our patient advocates. They do great work in the community
raising awareness of different diseases. It’s nice knowing that you can help take
some weight off their shoulders by handling the logistics of getting them to and
from patient education events.
What is your favorite trip you’ve ever taken?
That’s a tough one! It’s hard to pick just one. Mexico was fabulous, and Florida is
always a blast. I can definitely tell you my least favorite trip was when I fell and
almost broke my nose running and trying to catch a plane at Chicago O’Hare.
Looking back, I laugh, but that wasn’t one of my better days!