Dayo Olopade, Content Partnerships at YouTube & Author
Author and all-around media maven, Dayo Olopade, currently leads content licensing and engagement strategy for sports, news, and entertainment partners at YouTube. She is also a reporter in Washington and in Nairobi, a Yale Law School Knight Law & Media scholar, and a council member at Reuters…plus, she’s helped build and launch consumer products at the New York Times and Facebook. Also- she’s a blast to have a margarita with.
Though Dayo was raised in Chicago, her parents immigrated to the US from Nigeria in the 80s. Maintaining a deep connection with Africa, Dayo moved back to Nairobi for 2 years, and traveled through 17 countries on the continent. The cumulation of her experience became her book, The Bright Continent, which outlines the new narrative surrounding modern Africa.
Between her job at YouTube, speaking about the future of media to world class institutions like the London School of Economics and Google, and writing for a number of top publications- we classify Dayo as a certified boss.
What hotel room design element can you not live without?
Rooms with wall sockets designed with different voltages in mind. I constantly toggle between European, American, and South African hardware. We have to respect diversity in devices.
What is/are your favorite “offices” while traveling?
I am an airport lounge lizard and proud of it.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get into the travel industry, or have travel as a critical part of their job?
Invest in functional luggage, and noise cancelling headphones.
What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?
Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones
Too Much Informatio – Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra
What is your most used travel emoji?
Probably the smiley with sunglasses.
If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?
Whomever was styling Kerry Washington on Scandal.
If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?
I will always have a soft spot for the New York Times’ 36 Hours series, and if it’s been updated within the past two years, Wallpaper guides usually offer a welcome focus on architecture and design. I run some 40 miles a month, so on the road I will also check out Strava, the fitness app, for any well-loved routes in a new city.
Best Travel advise you’ve ever received?
Don’t drink on the plane – and always take the trip!
Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?
Once in a while I will tack a Friday night onto a work trip, and spend it in a hotel bathrobe catching up on TV, email, and beauty rest. And if you can fly business, you should!
Do you have any favorite travel hacks (ways to score an upgrade, methods of getting your meal first on a flight, etc)?
I’m someone who always boards last – just in case there’s an open seat in a comfier class, or closer to the front of the plane.
On any flight over 6 hours, I am doing active leg stretches and hydrating in the galley mid-way.
What’s the craziest & unpredicted travel experience you’ve had?
I received a mysterious upgrade to Air France Premiere, and was whisked directly from plane to connection in a posh Jaguar sedan. No idea why!
What is your favorite travel book – for at home, or abroad- and why?
I’ll name my own book, The Bright Continent, which is an investigation of technology and development in Africa. I reported it across 17 countries in two years, and while it covers meaty issues like education, health care, and finance in Africa, it’s also a contemporary travelogue that brings back memories of some of the most unusual and fascinating places I’ve been.
What’s your favorite room service experience ever?
I tend not to order in!
Beach, city, or mountain?
Alone or with someone else?
Favorite travel app?
Google maps is best in class.
Fantasy mini bar/fridge items?
In flight WiFi – Y/N?