With Jen Rubio, Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, Away
Part 1 – Pro Travel Tips
What luggage and hand luggage do you travel with? Why do you like it?
“I’m usually reaching for Away’s Bigger Carry-On in Navy paired with The Everywhere Bag in Black Leather. I avoid checking my bags whenever possible, so this is the perfect duo. I’m able to pack for nearly two weeks of travel and comfortably carry everything I need.”
What’s your approach to skincare when travelling and flying? Which beauty products do you take?
“Packing the skin care products I love eliminates some of the stress that inevitably comes along with shaking up my routine while on the road, so I always pack travel-sized minis of my must-haves. My favorites are Aesop’s Fabulous Face Cleanser, Glycelene Seatox Face Mist, IGK Dry Shampoo, and Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum.
I also always have a reusable water bottle—hydration is always crucial, but even more so when you’re traveling.”
How do you approach your wardrobe on the road? For example do you have new outfits every day or organised mix ‘n’ match packing? Do you take jewellery? What do you wear to travel?
“I’m usually traveling for both business and fun out of one carry-on, so I tend to gravitate towards items that are comfortable and versatile, can easily be dressed up or down, and in neutral tones that I can easily mix and match. For me, that’s a black slip dress, my Chanel loafers, stretchy yet tailored trousers, woven tops and sweaters that won’t wrinkle in transit, and a vintage leather jacket. I keep accessories to a minimum so that they’re one less thing to think about, and only bring my most cherished jewellery.”
What’s in your carry-on / hand luggage that you never leave home without?
“I never fly without my noise-canceling headphones and a Slip silk eye mask. They’re the two things that guarantee I can comfortably get some rest on long flights.”
Do you have any in-flight routines? Are you a nervous flier?
“Luckily, I’ve never been a nervous flier. I actually enjoy my time in the air the most—it’s when I’m completely unplugged from the world that I’m able to do some of my most creative and concentrated thinking.”
What do you read, listen to and/or watch in flight?
“Usually I’ll use flights to catch up on my favorite podcasts or journal about some of the ideas my team and I have for Away.”
“I also love doing a mini inflight facial—I’ve gotten some strange looks while wearing a facial mask on the plane, but the air inside the cabin is so dehydrating so I’ll sacrifice some dignity if it means I can land with skin that’s glowing. Lately I’ve been loving the Estee Lauder Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask.”
What is your seat preference and why?
“I’m always in the aisle seat. I like to be able to get up and stretch my legs during a long flight to keep the circulation going without disturbing my seatmates, so you’ll rarely catch me with a window seat.”
Part 2 – Keeping up with life when travelling…
What is the best experience you have had travelling for work and where was it?
“We recently launched Away in Australia, and to introduce the brand, we hosted Origin: Away, a campaign and experiential pop-up in Sydney to celebrate the country’s love of travel and its entrepreneurial spirit. It was all about highlighting local entrepreneurs whose travels had led them to build successful businesses abroad, and we brought them back home to Sydney to share their stories with the local community. I always love hearing how travel has transformed the way people live their lives, so it was such an incredible and fulfilling experience.”
What was a terrible travel experience that wasn’t funny then, but is now?
“It’s so ironic because it was awful at the time but it’s also what sparked the genesis of Away—my suitcase broke at the airport while I was traveling, and I literally had to use duct tape to get it back together before my flight. My clothes were everywhere. It was so embarrassing. I was determined to find the perfect suitcase so that something like that would never happen again, but it turns out the perfect suitcase didn’t exist, so we created it.”
What do you do before a trip to ensure life at home runs smoothly whilst you are away?
“I’m on the road more often than I’m home these days, so I start by embracing that things won’t always run smoothly and I can’t control the inevitable bumps that will come up. Instead, I try to focus on the fact that everything will be okay.”
“I have a packing routine that makes last-minute trips feel less daunting, and an incredibly talented team that I trust to make great decisions for Away and our community while I’m not in the office. I know the company is in great hands even when I’m traveling or completely off the grid.”
How do you keep connected to loved ones whilst on the road?
“I make it a point to call at least one person I love before I go to bed. It’s a little routine I adapted years ago when I started traveling more often, and it’s something small that makes me feel grounded after a long day, and grateful for all the great people in my life.”
How do you make your hotel room feel like home?
“I travel with a few items from home that make any hotel or Airbnb instantly feel familiar and warm—that’s usually a sound machine to drown out any unfamiliar noises and help me fall (and stay!) asleep, and a travel-size candle in the same scent that I burn at home (Cire Trudon’s Balmoral is my favorite).”
How do you manage your wellbeing when away?
“I use apps like Glo so I can take a yoga class no matter where I am in the world, and I try to go for lots of walks to explore and unwind while I’m traveling rather than opting for a car. They’re small, easy ways for me to carve out time for myself that also keep me active and in the mindset for being truly present.”
“I’m also really mindful about eating nutritious meals when I’m travelling. Sometimes I find myself working straight through lunch, so I’ll make sure I have a big breakfast, like porridge with bananas and almonds, or eggs on avocado toast.”
“Being on-the-go can wreak havoc on your immune system, but staying active and eating well are things you can control.”
What are your tips for combating jet lag?
“Keep moving and eat breakfast. Once I arrive at my hotel, I’ll head outside for a walk or do a short yoga session at the hotel—something to keep my energy going before I can properly rest. And eating breakfast (or whatever meal is associated with the local time when you land) is a small but effective way to signal to your body that you’re shifting to a new time zone.”