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.
Most entrepreneurs travel for business. But for Brad John, his business is travel. In 1998, while on a flight between New York and Paris, John and his friend and colleague John Sencion were commiserating about how difficult it was to prepare for an international trip -- a last-minute scramble from store to store for power converters, neck pillows, and guidebooks. “What if we brought all those categories under one roof, and made it really cool?” they asked themselves. Thus, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean aboard Air France 23, the idea for Flight 001, a chain of accessories stores invoking the golden age of travel, was born.
More than 15 years later, Flight 001 now has 23 colorful outposts across the globe, including cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Sydney, carrying everything from fashionable luggage to retro dopp kits. As such, John jets from place to place almost as much as his globetrotting customers. He tallies between 60,000 and 100,000 miles a year, primarily checking in with his stores or opening new ones in the United States and abroad, as well as meeting with partners in Asia.
So perhaps who better to ask for packing secrets than an entrepreneur who has literally invented better ways to pack? We recently asked John to open up his trusty carry-on and reveal some of the goodies inside.