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ROB MAGAZINE

Travel like a boss

Business trips don't have to be a drag. Here's how to pack, fly, dress, sleep, eat and cut loose like the big shot you are (or are destined to become)


Karim Rashid

Industrial designer and principal of Karim Rashid Inc. (New York)

Top destination The design process doesn't require as much travel as it used to, but I still fly every other week, frequently to Moscow—I'm designing products for Russian clients and lecturing around the country, including in Siberia.

Favourite hotel The Semiramis in Greece, which I designed in 2001, and Hotel Unique in São Paulo (1). I didn't design it, but the architecture and interior are one seamless project, with round windows, electric-blue hallways, a grandiose yet minimalist lobby and a rooftop pool with an amazing view.

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When I travel, I always… Use Apple Pay, never cash.

How I pack I haven't checked a bag in 10 years. In my carry-on—usually a white leather case and a white roller—you'll find Parrot noise-cancelling headphones and two iPods for deejaying, an iPad Pro for sketching, three pairs of eyeglasses (black, white and clear), a Harman Kardon Bluetooth speaker, a vitamin case for my 20 daily supplements, and my clothing. I only wear white or pink (sometimes lime and black), which means all of my clothes co-ordinate.

Pro tip On the plane, I wear clothes that are tight, have a little stretch and are made of technological fabrics so they don't wrinkle.

Beat jet lag I adopt the time of my destination immediately and avoid naps. I also change my eating schedule ahead of departure. It works.

Favourite souvenir Once a year, I try to get a tattoo in a city I'm busy in. I have 23 from different cities. The first is from Toronto. It's the symbol for Globalove [his personal emblem]. My latest is from Tel Aviv. They're like passport stamps.



Home sweet home-away-from-home

Sure, you're travelling on business—but that doesn't mean you can't indulge just a bit. These six hotels have something for every type of traveller

The rock 'n' roll: Westin Austin Downtown (Austin, Texas)

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The VIP Austin Music Scene Experience comes with an in-room guitar, exclusive access to famous venues and historic blues clubs, plus guitar lessons from local musicians on the rooftop.

The health-conscious: Loden Hotel (Vancouver)

Don't want to stop prepping for that Ironman? A local trainer will take you cycling on a Pinarello (a fixture of the Tour de France) along a route geared to your fitness level.

The wild: Hotel Erwin (Venice Beach, California)

As part of its Ink and Stay package, you'll get a $100 voucher to use at the hotel's on-site tattoo studio, plus lotion, an ice pack and tequila to soothe any soreness. Temporary tattoos also available.

The lonely: Fairmont (various locations)

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Missing your four-legged family member or simply want to feel safer while out for a run? Book a room at one of 11 paw-ticipating Fairmont hotels and make a date with the resident canine ambassador.

The sporty: Hotel Commonwealth (Boston)

Guests in the Fenway Park Suite—which is decked out with Red Sox memorabilia and has a balcony view of the fabled stadium—get some selfie time with the actual World Series trophy.

The luxe: Hotel Ritz (Madrid)

You'll find a plush, monogrammed bathrobe when you check into your room—and it's yours to keep.



Todd Saunders

Architect and principal of Saunders Architecture (Bergen, Norway)

Top destination My firm has projects in 10 countries, and I give lectures at Cornell University and MIT. But I travel most often to New York.

Favourite hotel The NoMad in New York (1). The whole place feels a bit like a house with an office. I love its training studio and healthful breakfast. The John Dory Oyster Bar is just a few doors down—the squid with white beans is the best food I've had in New York.

Pro tip Being based far from a major hub, I can't avoid connecting flights. To lessen the impact of time zones and the slow haul, I've built into my contracts that long-haul flights have to be in business class so I can rest.

On the plane When I have the chance to be offline, I stay offline. I bring a sketchbook for the flight or catch up on books and films.

How I pack If I'm going to be away for a week, I pack three suits—all handmade by the designer T-Michael, based in Bergen—and six shirts that mix-and-match.

When I travel, I always…Rent portable WiFi. I hate having to worry about not being connected. I can't do without TripIt—an app that tracks my e-tickets, reservations and car rentals—and the navigation app Waze. I no longer understand how I stayed organized before.



Fly Gear

Away wheelie bag Comes in a rainbow of polycarbonate shells, with a removable battery and two USB ports. ($345)awaytravel.com

Master & Dynamic headphones Foldable lambskin-covered memory-foam headphones produce high-frequency sound, and the Bluetooth has a range of 30 metres. ($600) masterdynamic.com

This Is Ground Venture backpack Leave your laptop inside this TSA-approved, made-to-order leather pack when going through security. Comes with built-in Wi-Fi that works in 450 U.S. cities. ($1,005) thisisground.com

OlloClip Lens Set Clip this onto your iPhone to shoot in fisheye, super-wide and macro 15x. Because every business trip includes a little leisure. ($140) olloclip.com

Würkin Stiffs RFID passport holder The Italian-leather case blocks the RFID chips embedded in your passport and credit cards, protecting your digital information. ($70) wurkinstiffs.com

Withings Steel HR Tracks heart rate, sleep, activity and calories burned, and sends smartphone alerts—without the bulkiness of a Fitbit. ($229) withings.com

UE Ultimate Ears Volcano This Bluetooth speaker—not much larger than a hockey puck, with a range of 30 metres—is waterproof and comes with a floatie, so you can sing along in the shower or groove in the pool. ($130) ultimateears.com

Muse meditation device Paired with the app, the headband helps you learn to meditate by giving you real-time feedback on your brain. ($299) choosemuse.com


Liz Rodbell

President of Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor department stores (New York)

Top destination Toronto. Our company is constantly connected via video conference, but I value the in-person face time.

Favourite hotel The Shangri-La Toronto (1)—the lobby bar is the perfect place to relax. I love to eat at Soho House—order the baby kale salad and flatiron chicken.

How I pack I do everything I can to do carry-on only, always keeping my iPhone and multiple chargers on hand. And I pack a Lord & Taylor cashmere sweater to keep warm inflight.

When I travel, I always… Find time to experience the city I'm in. Each city has its own style, and I learn so much about our customers by speaking with the people who interact with them daily.

Pro tip I have a separate travel cosmetics case ready to go, and I plan my wardrobe around a colour story—all the accessories work with multiple looks.



Best travel apps

Dayuse.com Book a room at one of 3,000 hotels worldwide for a few hours—at up to 75% off—to grab a post-red-eye nap or to kill a layover. (free)

mPassport This global database of 6,700 vetted doctors and 1,500 clinics also has translations for common symptoms, ailments and drugs. ($35/year)

LoungeBuddy Get directions to lounges at 200 airports worldwide, plus information on rates and amenities like free booze, showers and WiFi. (free)

Binaural This app promises to alleviate jet lag with repetitive sounds. The creators claim the beats help you sleep, reduce anxiety and improve focus. (free)

Memrise This communication and culture app offers classes in 200 languages and uses mnemonics to help you learn words and phrases. ($9/month)


Jennifer Maki

CEO of Vale Canada (Toronto)

Top destination Rio de Janeiro, where our parent company is based— I go seven or eight times a year.

Favourite hotel The Ritz-Carlton in Jakarta (1), where we have major operations. The staff makes a point of getting to know you. When I check into my room, I always find an extra couple of Diet Cokes, my favourite, in the mini-bar. And once, when a heel broke on my pumps, they had it fixed in an hour.

How I pack Being away 100 days out of 365, I'm an efficient packer. I do carry-on only—even for 14-day trips—by having a non-bulky travel wardrobe with a lot of black items that mix-and-match. I roll my clothes to fit more, which means fewer wrinkles. I can just hang up a blouse on arrival and it'll look fine.

Pro tip I'm one of those people who like to get to the airport and on the plane early—it takes the stress out of travel. And having a Nexus card is an incredible time saver. I see colleagues waiting at customs while I zoom through.

On the plane I do lots of work in the lounge, but once I board the plane, I try to get as much sleep as I can—I have a glass of wine, and don my sleep mask and noise-cancelling Bose earbuds. They are the most important item in my carry-on—I can sleep anywhere.

To beat jet lag, I… Get outside and move as much as I can. While I don't consider myself a passionate jogger, a run along the beach in Rio is always more enticing than on Yonge Street.



First-class swag bags

These five squee-worthy amenity kits will help you forget just how much you're paying to fly up front. But be kind and hide them from the suckers in coach

Delta Delta One passengers will receive a mini Tumi suitcase—hard-sided navy on flights out of the U.S., soft-sided black on inbound ones—stocked with lotions and potions from Kiehl's.

Cathay Pacific Get first-class shut-eye in organic-cotton PJs and slippers from Hong Kong's Pye. The zip-top kits (grey for men, camel for ladies) come with hydrating Aesop toiletries. And they're stackable, so you can build an ever-expanding toiletries trove.

Emirates Flying with the world's luxest airline is extra-smooth, thanks to loungewear that releases moisturizing sea kelp. Wrap up in the faux-sheepskin throw and dig into your leather kit, which holds sea-sourced skin-care products from Irish brand Voya.

Qatar Airways Drawing on its Bellagio line of travel bags, Bric's of Italy created a leather kit stuffed with night cream, lip balm and a facial mist made with olive oil from Italy's eco-friendly Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio.

Turkish Airlines Outbound flyers get a Jaguar bag that, like a cat, has nine lives: Use it to stow documents or your iPad, or unzip the bottom to create a larger sack for toiletries. Inbounders get a kit made by fashion house Cerruti, filled with shea-butter swag.

Pro tip

Never drink alcohol on airplanes, because it's dehydrating, and air travel is dehydrating enough as it is.


J. Allen Smith

President and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (Toronto)

Top destination London. It's a global capital, and many of the people interested in owning a Four Seasons property go through there.

Favourite hotel The Four Seasons London at Park Lane (1). There is a relaxation lounge that looks out over the rooftops and skyline. I go there after an early workout to enjoy the view, read news and collect my thoughts before the day starts.

How I pack I travel light, with a roller bag and backpack (both Tumi). I read news and books on my iPhone and laptop to keep weight down, and I use the hotel's laundry service so I can pack less clothing—just a few mix-and-match pieces that can go from formal meetings to casual social events.

When I travel, I always… Bring a universal adapter—while many hotels will lend you one, I like to be in control.

Favourite souvenir I have four children, and my youngest daughter loves snow globes. They're an idiosyncratic expression of each place, and we've all come to appreciate them.



Be a jetsetter (without buying a jet)

Air Charter Service Get access to more than 50,000 aircraft around the globe, from narrow-body jets to Twin Otters to helicopters. You can also book a flight for cargo. (aircharterservice.ca)

PrivateFly This brokerage has a network of 7,000 jets; cost is per flight, not per passenger. To save money, charter a flight on its return (i.e., empty) lag. (privatefly.com)

BlackJet Book seats on open destinations in three-hour slots. Fleet operators then bid on those trips, offering their planes at the lowest possible prices. (blackjet.com)



From business class to the boardroom


Part 1

The rumpled co-ed look might be fine for Mark Zuckerberg, but chances are you're an executive, not a billionaire boy savant. The key to stepping off the plane in style: a creaseproof suit and shirt, plus a pair of easy-to-slip-on oxfords that look slick (and, just as importantly, won't hold up the early-morning queue at security, either).

J.Crew Ludlow Traveler crease-proof jacket ($590) and pants ($328)
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Regent Fit Spread-Collar Stretch Dress Shirt ($125)
Kit and Ace Technical Cashmere Mayne Tee ($78)
Calvin Klein oxfords ($180)
Brooks Brothers cashmere scarf ($450)
Saxx underwear ($34)
Sockwell compression socks ($35)

Part 2

Dressing for a flight is all about layers. Start with a body-hugging, breathable base; a non-iron shirt that defies the dreaded back-wrinkle and a four-seasons merino wool suit with a hint of stretch. A funky cashmere scarf adds a little punch and makes for a cozier blanket than the
on-board handouts.

J.Crew Regent Blazer in Super 120S wool ($259), with matching pants ($194)
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Fitted Oxford Dress Shirt ($118)
Nicolas Kirkwood slip-ons ($640)
Kit and Ace cashmere scarf ($178)
Kit and Ace Straight Up V Tee ($68)
Knixwear Lace Boyshorts ($32)

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