Friday, May 14, 2010

Travel Kit...Again

My business travel generally averages two overnights per week. We all make choices and I’ve made one professionally that says I travel to my clients most times. We’ve attempted strategies to lure them into Old Town so that we don’t travel as much. Doesn’t work too often and I don’t blame our clients for not taking the bait.

Our pitch is usually something like…”Get off campus…leave your corporate environment so that we can do strategy work unimpeded…devoid of distraction etc.” We book folks into the 
Morrison House which is a posh little boutique hotel within walking distance of good food and fun. That strategy works about once a month. Otherwise, I’m on a train-plane or in the car.Business travel will wear you down my friends and international business travel is even more demanding. I don’t mind being jet lagged when travelling internationally for fun…jet lagged and standing in front of a group while tethered to a PowerPoint deck is not so fun. I’ve mitigated the travel drag by taking two months off each year. Ten months of my gig is enough.

I can’t walk away from my shop for more than two weeks at a time but I do take eight weeks off every year. And…I don’t do much work when I’m off. Four of the eight weeks include LFG. I’m an entrepreneur-a small business owner so I understand risk. I’m prepared to risk revenue generation by walking away from the business for eight weeks a year. Fancy way of saying that I willingly give up the personal income for two months of frolic.

So, I travel to see my clients….do some work with them-tolerate some of the politics associated with consulting relationships and then I get to blow out of there. Travel kit selection is important if you want to make business travel a bit less painful.
My choice….Orvis Battenkill luggage. I’ve had scores of travel bags over the years but these really do the trick. I used for years the Hartman Belting Leather garment bag and tennis bag. Incredibly sturdy stuff but tres heavy. I switched to the Orvis stuff years ago. I like the patina that it develops. It fades and gets appropriately knocked around with resultant patina….kinda like me.

I also have an Orvis rolling duffel not pictured here. I use it only when I have to check a bag. If I don’t have to wear suites, I can travel to Europe for five days with two carryon bags. The tennis bag and the back pack featured here accomplish that for me. I hate having to check luggage. I’ve had the Orvis tan leather portfolio-pouch for twenty years and it looks it. Ask me if I care!

The Orvis briefcase is my standard-everyday bag. Plenty of room for my laptop and documents. Also various pouches to accommodate things like Rolaids and Slim Jims.The backpack was my latest addition. Hold a bit more than the Orvis briefcase and is comfortable on one shoulder. I’ve NEVER actually worn it on both shoulders. Too granola for me…I’m not a Youth Hostel kind of a guy.

Ok gang. Time to finish my room service and the last sip of my Stoli. Back home tomorrow after lunch.




Gail, in northern California said...

Just don't tell me your sport coats are still getting steam cleaned/ironed in the hotel shower for hours on end.

I don't forget.

Be well. Safe journey, friend. Your little golden-haired girl is waiting

Main Line Sportsman said...

Ugh...that much travel for work would render me useless...
I do greatly admire your Orvis travel ensemble. I have 1 overnite piece and it is as sturdy and wear-worthy as it it comes.
I do envy the sack it takes to bug out for 8 weeks....good show!

Laguna Beach Trad said...

I meant to ask you over cocktails the other evening, what sort of briefcase you use. Now I see it's Orvis. That would be my choice as well. I understand some i-Gents are partial to Filson.

Suburban Princess said...

I remember weekend jaunts to London *sigh* It's amazing how long one can last with just a carry on! It was great for getting off the plane, dashing out to the Tube and getting to Covent Garden in time for lasties before the rest of the journey to my flat. Memories!

ADG said...

Gail...just mentioned the 4 hour coat steam the other day in a post. My little LFG is sitting right here beside me! She stayed over last night and we worked on a book report.'s all about trade offs...the travel is a bitch but the downtime compensates. No big sack to take 8 weeks off. I just don't get paid...that's all.

Filson...Hartmann...Vuitton...all lost on me. Tumi should be banned by the Feds.

Suburban...London...shut up.

James said...

I had a Abercrombie and Fitch green canvas and leather bag from the 60's, in other words from when they were an outdoor store.It's now in the back of my baby girl's CJ. So keep a sharp eye on LFG. I'm just sayin'. Although I know you would not deny her any thing she wants.

ADG said...

James...yep...I hear you re LFG. She's sitting right beside me as I type this. She's communing with Sponge Bob before we start work on her book report. Bliss.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking into the Jos A. Banks Madras sport coat. Am I correct in assuming you prefer the three button style over the two button? Thank you Sir.


Kathie Truitt said...

Hmmm...I'm going to need new luggage for my upcoming travels. Mr. T. says the Wal-Mart bag I normally carry doesn't suit the 'traveling author' image. I am thinking something Betsey Johnson-ish with rhinestones and bright, neon pink? What do you think? (don't answer)

CeceliaMc said...

I just hate that weird moon-launch material that they use for luggage now.

Yours looks so natural, masculine, and beautifully weathered.

ADG said...

Hilton...yes, I bought the 3 button.

Kathie...don't do it. Love, your Country Conscience.

CeceliaMc..."so natural, masculine, and beautifully weathered..." Just like me.

Scott said...

Mrs Scott and I have at least a dozen pieces of Battenkill from small to huge. Orvis used to rebrand JW Hulme bags, but now they have them made (ahem)...abroad. Still good stuff, and they fix 'em for free for life. (in the USA) I'm on my second Orvis briefcase (a model no longer made) since 1988.


heavy tweed jacket said...

Very cool bullet-proof travel rig.

ADG said...

Scott...damn you. Just ordered a tote from JW Hulme.

Heavy's sturdy enough to last a good while but not so nice that you worry when it gets dinged up.

Anonymous said...

Is that, per chance, a stray piece of nicely-patinated Timberland that I see among the three pieces of Battenkill in the group photo?

Anonymous said...

Battenkill luggage is for the sportsman. If you're not toting a double-gun or a fly rod with it then you're posing. And even then, you're missing the boat because Simms makes a better product for that purpose. For business travel, Tumi is the road warrior's choice because it's well designed and indestructible.