February 25 2008: 2:46 PM EST
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Travelocity's class act

Michelle Peluso, 36, president and CEO, Travelocity; EVP, Sabre Holdings

By Eugenia Levenson, Fortune reporter

(Fortune Magazine) -- When she was 15, Michelle Peluso talked her way onto a media tour to the Soviet Union and launched a jet-setting career. She became such an avid traveler that she made it her business. In 2000 she founded site59.com, a portal for last-second trip deals, with seed money from former employer Boston Consulting Group.

Within two years Travelocity bought the startup; within four, Peluso had the online travel agency's top job. Now Peluso is taking Travelocity global. Acquisitions of travel sites in Europe and Asia helped push last year's revenues to $1.1 billion, a 30% year-over-year increase, and she set up operations in Mexico and India earlier this year. (Private equity shops Texas Pacific Group and Silver Lake Partners snapped up Travelocity's parent company, Sabre Holdings, for $5 billion in March.) We caught up with Peluso in New York City, her home base, to get some travel tips from a pro.

ON THE RUN My Saucony Triumphs (1) live in my suitcase. I've seen countless cities by waking up at six in the morning and going for a long run.

DAYS ON THE ROAD Probably around 150.

MIND THE LUGGAGE I love my Swiss Army Victorinox suitcase (2) because it holds up well and has great compartments. I have the 22-inch, which I carry on in the U.S., but the European standards for carryon size are much lower, so I do have to check it occasionally.

TRIP TIP On a connecting flight be wary of using two different carriers. People don't realize that if you miss the connection because the first flight is delayed, the second airline may not have to accommodate you.

TRAVEL GUIDE Travelocity's customer reviews are very handy. I was reading about a hotel recently where half of it had been renovated and the other hadn't yet, and it reminded me to ask for a room in the new part.

HOTEL CONFIDENTIAL In London, I've been staying at the Radisson Edwardian Mayfair. It has just been renovated, and it's a lot more affordable than some of the other luxury properties along Green Park. Plus it has wireless in every room and a great gym.

SPACE SAVER My all-time favorite packing tip for women is wrap dresses. They don't get wrinkled, and they fold into virtually nothing. They look professional during the day and then you can take the jacket off for dinner. Elie Tahari makes great ones (3).

ART TROVE If you go to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and branch out in any direction for ten blocks, you'll stumble across terrific galleries.  To top of page

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