In this monthly Travel Checklist column, we ask entrepreneurs to open up their carry-ons and share the items they can't leave home without.

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Clint Greenleaf, founder of Greenleaf Book Group, logs 100,000 miles every year and shares his tricks for savvy packing. In the image, hover over each number for a description. | Image credit: Clint Greenleaf

 
Traveler Packs a Trillion
Clint Greenleaf
Image credit: Clint Greenleaf

Clint Greenleaf is a Ukrainian-American, Cleveland-born, Austin dweller who spends roughly 10 days out of every month zigzagging the country. As the founder and chairman of Greenleaf Book Group, a successful independent publishing company based in the Texas capital, and a prominent entrepreneurial speaker and conference-goer, he routinely travels to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and his Lone Star neighbor to the north, Dallas. That is, when he’s not jetting off to Turkey, South Africa, and Australia for business workshops and events. Like many past Travel Checklist subjects, he’s a proud member of the 100,000 mile club, every year.

“I hate to be away from my family,” Greenleaf says of his wife and three young children. “But it’s fun to see this great country and reconnect with scattered friends.”

Greenleaf, who is also the founder of Bambino Balls and author of the new children’s business book, Give, Save, and Spend with the Three Little Pigs, enjoys the creature comforts of home -- or at least as close as he can come to it on the road -- by sticking with one regular airline and hotel chain. “The benefits of status are amazing,” he advises other entrepreneurs.

As for his fantasy jaunt? “Fiji sounds nice,” he says. “Guess we’ll have to wait for the kids to get a little older.”

We recently caught up with Greenleaf during a few precious minutes back on the ground in Austin and asked him to share his prized travel possessions. (Hint: You can take the cowboy out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the cowboy.)

1. Bathroom bag
“I’m a creature of habit and like my same products. I always bring my own soap and shampoo. Note the extra collar stays as well. Nothing like pulling a dress shirt out of your suitcase and having a fly-away collar -- usually it’s a huge pain to fix in a hurry. This keeps me from looking bad when my wife isn’t around to help. I also like GoToob (great product, bad name) for carrying liquids.”

2. Bag of veggies
“I like to snack, but if I have healthy food around, I’ll eat that instead. This keeps me away from unhealthy fast food while I’m traveling.”

3. Presentation tools -- laser pointer, Apple monitor cable, spare batteries
“I give about 50 speeches a year and have learned the hard way that not every venue has a clicker/dongle for my computer. This eliminates the fear of new equipment. The spare batteries come in handy more often than I’d like to mention.”

4. 100 trillion “dollars
“This Zimbabwe dollar bill is real currency. They printed their way out of their financial woes and created a real crisis for their people. I like to carry it as a reminder that money is just paper -- and that chasing only money isn’t a goal. It’s also a great conversation piece.”

5. Power cords
“I like to carry my power cord even on day trips, as delays can often turn a same-day trip into a few days. Extra phone-charging cables and a mini-power splitter come in handy during long delays as well.”

6. Extra phone charger
“The EasyAcc Power Bank is a great way to keep the charge on your phone, even when you have an 18-hour day in New York without access to a plug.”

7. Workout bands
“I can’t always go for a run when I’m traveling, either because of weather, timing, or location. But it’s easy to knock out a quick workout with these bands if time is short. Yes, I have used them in airports -- and have gotten some strange looks.”

8. Eye drops
“A great way to keep from looking like you’ve had a few too many drinks on the plane. The extra-dry air at 35,000 feet makes these necessary on just about every flight I take.”

9. Marketing collateral
“I run several businesses and am on a few boards -- and I don’t like to miss an opportunity to spread the word about these great organizations. I can give a business card, but often like to give something more substantive, as it’s less and less common now.”

10. X-ray-safe laptop bag
“Reducing time spent in the security line is important, and if the airport doesn’t have TSA PreCheck, this saves time and the possibility of leaving your laptop at the checkpoint.”

11. Notes and envelopes
“I like to send personal, handwritten thank-you notes to people after we meet, and there’s no time like immediately after to do it. I like to mail them out the same day if I can.”

12. Sample books
“I carry copies of my books to give away as needed -- usually one or two for the average trip, but I'll ship a box in advance if I'm speaking about either of them. If I’m meeting with someone with kids, I like to give away a copy of my kids’ book, or my book on acting and dressing well in the office.”

13. Magazines
“I save all the magazines and catalogs that come in [the mail] during the week and then take them with me on planes. I rip out the articles I like and toss the rest. (Flight attendants seem to hate that.) I end up lightening my load and quickly scanning a wide variety of topics in a short period of time.”

14. Boots
“I’m relatively new to Texas, but saying ‘y’all’ and wearing boots comes naturally. Great for traveling -- you can go from super casual to business casual, they’re very comfortable for long trips, easy on/off at security, and a constant reminder of home make boots a necessity on all trips.”

15. Tipping money
“I like to keep some $1 coins and $5 bills to tip. Travel is much easier if you take care of the people who can really help. Remember the wisdom from My Blue Heaven – ‘It’s not tipping I believe in. It’s overtipping.’”