Business? Pleasure? No matter where you’re off to, packing like a pro is the key to traveling like a boss. That’s why the founders at Away travel set out to design a suitcase that is fashionable, functional and (actually) affordable. Simple design, cool colors, and all the crucial pockets you need for separating your workwear from your “it’s 5 o’clock let’s party” gear. Plus, working-on-the-go features like a USB charger are a must for the calm, confident and extra chic traveler.
We caught up with Jen Rubio, co-founder, and creative director at Away, before hitting the skies for Marie Claire’s Power Trip, an in-air conference with some of the top women in business. From packing essentials to her unpacking persona, Jen gives us the inside info on how to nail the power trip.
You’re the co-founder and creative director of Away—how often does that have you on the road?
JR: More often than not! I’m on a plane almost every week, bouncing back and forth between time zones on what sometimes feels like a daily basis. We’re based in New York; frequent LA and SF; go to places like Nigeria and DR Congo to work with our non-profit partner; have done photo shoots in Tokyo, Stockholm, and Jaipur; visit our factories in Asia—and that’s just over the last few months.
Where do you hit most frequently for business?
JR: I’m constantly jetting back and forth from LA for quick trips. I’ll pack 2-3 days with meetings, shoots, and events before I head to my next destination.
When you’re not power-tripping around the world on business, where do you go to #hitESC?
JR: If I’m traveling for work during the week, I’ll always try—try—to tack a weekend leisure trip on the end. In June, I had a speaking engagement in Cannes during a conference, and went a couple of days early to spend some time on a boat with friends. We had a shoot in Stockholm and I spent an extra day there to recharge (and shop). It’s tougher for me to find long periods of time to escape, so I make the most of my work trips and always try to mix in a little pleasure.
What are the essential items that are always in your Away bag?
JR: Slip-on mules: They’re comfortable, versatile, and I can sprint through terminals or run into meetings in them. Robert Clergerie makes the best ones.
Vitamins and supplements: Necessary to keep my immune system strong.
Face serum: Vintner’s Daughter oil is the only thing I put on my face, and I never breakout even though I’m on a few planes and in different climates every week.
Noise-cancelling headphones: Drowning out the noise makes any seat on the plane more bearable.
What would you recommend for women on The Power Trip?
JR: I carry sachets (perfect for travel!) of Moon Juice’s Brain Dust and Power Dust. They’re herbal supplements that you mix into iced coffee or smoothies for clarity, memory, and energy.
When you get to your hotel room… what type of unpacker are you?
JR: Since I often go on multi-destination trips, I use packing cubes so I never have to fully unpack. I’ll split up outfits by destination/event/climate so I’m not tearing through everything and messing it all up in the first location. If I’m staying somewhere for more than two nights, I’ll unpack all of my outfits and toiletries. It makes a huge difference in feeling comfortable on the road.
Do you have any unpacking rituals?
JR: The first thing I do is lay my toiletries out. I only hang my coats and any outfits for special events. Everything else goes from the packing cube to a drawer.
You’ve just gotten off of a 6-hour cross-country flight. What are you drinking?
JR: I try to have one bottle of water for every hour on the plane and I never drink alcohol or coffee on board. By the time I land, I’m more than ready for an espresso. Or an Old Fashioned!