Travel Tips from the Experts at Flight001

Flight001 Founders John Sencion and Brad John

Flight001 Founders John Sencion and Brad John

Flight001 Store

Flight001 Store

While the indian summer settles in for a few weeks in SoCal, the FTD team is already filing Polaroids of potential Fashion Week outfits and updating our designer dossiers. But one thing the team can never get a handle on? Packing for the weeklong fashion bonanza that happens outside of Lincoln Center. So we sat down with Brad John of Flight001, the travel boutique that has everyone from hostel-frequenting globetrotters to Travel + Leisure editors clamoring for its smart travel goods.

Flight001 was born out of necessity. When co-founders John Sencion and Brad John were flying over the Atlantic over a decade ago. Sick of all the hassle that went into pre-planning a trip — the packing, the re-packing, the rules and regulations — they wanted to actually enjoy their vacations and business trips without stressing out. Now, they’ve built their business into an international affair that outfits travelers with everything they need before, during and after their flights.

“Everyone at Flight001 is a traveler with a discerning eye for design and function. We are all on the lookout all the time for the best and most design forward, practical travel gear,” John said. “We started Flight001 13 years ago. It was our goal to bring some fashion into travel. It was not easy to find at that time and that is why we have been  producing our own brand since the beginning.”

Spacepak packing system

Spacepak packing system

Spacepak packing system

Spacepak packing system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most popular item in the stores is the Flight001 Spacepak system, a modular packing system that separates shoes, clothes and toiletries into compressible, zip-around packages that make packing easy and organized. The packing cubes even have a separator to keep dirty clothes away from clean ones (just flip the Spacepak over to find the laundry compartment). John says it’s a must-have item for anyone traveling, whether it’s on a quick weekend trip or a long-haul getaway. Spacepaks are available for shoes, ties, suits, underwear and more, meaning the process of packing becomes a fun puzzle instead of a struggle with your suitcase.

John’s number one travel tip? “Be organized and pack smart. Take items that can been worn in different combinations and colors that are easy to work with,” he said. “Wear or carry the bulky  sweater or sweatshirt that you are taking, don’t put in your luggage. Don’t throw stuff in your suitcase, it is like a puzzle, fit in all the pieces.”

Flight001 Seat Pak

Flight001 Seat Pak

Another popular item? The Flight001 Seat Pak, which is a zippered pouch that keeps all your in-flight comforts right at hand. “I never travel without F1 Seat Pak also,” John said. “Keeps all my personal stuff organized in flight. I actually travel with two!”

Flight001’s Web site also features John explaining every item in detail. He even demos his packing technique with the Spacepak and shows you how he keeps his essentials at hand with the Seat Pak (which happens to hang on the seat in front of you during a flight). In addition to the pop-art inspired primary colors, both the Spacepak and Seat Pak come in a more subdued grey. One step into a boutique, though, and you’ll see that just about everything else is as cheerful as the colorful packing cubes.Luggage tags, toiletry bags, totes and more come in patterns, vintage-inspired travel motifs and bright colors that will let you identify your luggage as soon as it slides down onto the airport carousel.

We particularly like the brand’s 001 Country Per Year initiative. It’s a challenge they have for all of their discerning customers: Take a trip once a year to a country you’ve never been to. John himself is a traveler and takes the initiative to heart. Though he can’t pinpoint exactly how many countries he’s visited, a few trips stand out to him. “We want to encourage world travel,” he said. ” I have traveled quite a lot but for me the most memorable is Beirut, Lebanon. The country, the culture, the people, the history. I was there last month actually. (And yes I am of Lebanese decent so maybe that is why I love it there.) It is difficult for me to say what the most memorable country is because I love to travel and find  something memorable about everywhere I go.”

Flight001 Store

Flight001 Store

The next stop for the brand? They’ve made a mark in America — the brand boasts stores up and down coasts as well as a spot in Chicago — and Flight001 has set roots down in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and more, but John wants to expand even further. Their ideal spot? Right where travelers need their goods the most: Airports.

“Right now we are considering opening airport stores domestically. Our first choice would be SFO,” John said. “We feel that the international market  is where we want to concentrate now. Flight001 is truly a global company.”

For more information, visit www.flight001.com

Photos courtesy Flight001

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.