Our water cooler conversations tend to revolve around — surprise! — travel, and all the details that go into making the process more efficient, streamlined, spontaneous, and fun. We thought it would be nice to call on our favorite high-caliber travelers to find out about their black-diamond packing techniques, trip-planning epiphanies, revelations on the road, and valuable tricks of the trade. (Sure, these kinds of queries may reveal compulsive behaviors and travel neuroses. But everybody has a little baggage.)
The first question in our new question-and-answer series probes road warriors about pre-travel rituals: It's the night before your trip. What are you doing?
The Indie Hotelier
Who: Kelly Sawdon, partner and chief branding officer
Departure Airport: LAX
Miles Logged in 2016: 59,000; 14 trips
Procrastinating on packing. But pre-mediating what I want to bring and making sure I have all my beauty stuff organized so that I can stay hydrated and moisturized for the plane. Then I'll gather reading material and download shows and music. This happens around 11 or midnight! I pack up in the morning.
Who: Josh Rubin, founder
Departure Airport: JFK
Miles Logged in 2016: 46,634; 11 trips
Likely still finishing dinner. Haven't packed yet. Have thought about it a lot, though. My ritual is: check weather and plan clothes. Once everything is ready, remove as much as possible, then pack the bag. Carry on, or die.
The Traveling Salesman
Who: Mickey Ashmore, founder (see on Gentedimontagna: The Turkish Slipper, Reinvented)
Departure Airport: JFK, but highly prefer LGA
Miles Logged in 2016: 21,596; 7 trips + a 14-city US road trip
Packing last minute. I don't plan outfits, but everything that goes into the duffle is blue or white. I'll buy a toothbrush whenever I get to the place. I always take a photo of my Sabahs in the security bin, so I like to think about what I'll put in there to show off the place I'm going — maybe a Cubs hat if I am going to Chicago.
The Social Director
Who: Fausto Zapata, founder and CEO
Departure Airport: LAX
Miles Logged in 2016: 42,343; 16 trips
Sending out a crazy amount of emails. I'm obsessive-compulsive about getting everything done! In the wee hours of the morning, I realize I haven't yet packed.
The High-Powered Publicist
Who: Melanie Brandman, founder and CEO of The Brandman Agency, and Departure Airport: JFK
Miles Logged in 2016: 34,626; 10 trips
Praying my upgrade came through and filling my cosmetic bag with lots of random samples (face masks, etc.) that I wouldn't have time to use when home. (And drinking. Probably.)
TEAM FATHOM: THE NIGHT BEFORE
In my experience, the night before a flight is the ideal time to sort through the expenses, paperwork, and unread magazines I've been ignoring for at least seven months. – Pavia, CEO
You'll find me cleaning house. Literally — doing all the laundry, the dishes, the dusting, the works. (Then I have a night cap!) It helps me mentally organize and clear my brain. Plus, it's very calming to return home to a spiffy apartment. – Jeralyn, editorial director
I second what Jeralyn said. As much as I love to travel, I also love to come home — but only if my apartment is clean. The night before a trip is spent tiding up. I vacuum, clean out the refrigerator, wash my Brita pitcher, pay my bills, and generally just organize my stuff. Pretty much anything I can do to avoid packing. – Berit, editor