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The Performance Life

4 Ways to Travel Light and Fit


Long before airlines began charging for checked bags, Mark Verstegen traveled solely with carry-on luggage. The founder of Core Performance was never one of those frequent flyers that wedged a stuffed roller board into the overhead bin. Instead, he discovered years ago that traveling with as little as possible enabled him to be more productive and efficient while on the road—to say nothing of saving time dealing with checked baggage. He keeps relentlessly honing his packing strategy to be even more efficient. Here are four of his top tips to lighten up:

1. Pick the right bag.

Verstegen travels with a Rimowa roller bag, which features a polycarbonate shell that expands slightly. Not only is it a durable, versatile piece of luggage, it can double as workout equipment. “If I’m running through O’Hare Airport I can use it like a kettlebell carry as I go up three flights of stairs, alternating right arm, left arm” he says. “It’s a great overhead, single-arm carry. Some days on the road are so busy, that might be your best workout.”

2. Pack light, but warm.

Verstegen gets away without a heavy coat, even in the winter, by packing a Gore-Tex shell and layering it with adidas Clima Cool shirt and long sleeve shirt. The Gore-Tex shell keeps core body heat in and prevents the wind from breaking through. The Clima Cool shirts, along with Clima Cool shorts and longer workout tights, dry quickly after being rinsed in a hotel room sink. “Not only does the Clima Cool not take up any volume in the luggage,” Verstegen says, “you don’t have to worry about carrying nasty, sweaty gear around.”

3. Pack a versatile wardrobe.

The key here, Verstegen says, is to pack clothes that can mix and match for any occasion: dressy, business casual, or casual. He’ll fold a business suit inside out into the roller bag and stick with two pairs of shoes. One is an adidas adiPure and the other either a dressier pair of shoes or a pair of black adidas that can almost pass for dress shoes. “In my line of work, I often can get away with another set of adidas,” he says.

4. Keep the briefcase brief.

Verstegen travels with a second smaller, briefcase-sized bag. It contains a laptop and tablet, along with a shaker bottle and post-workout recovery mixes, mixed greens powders, other healthy snacks, headset, notebooks, and pens. Like other iPhone users, he’s discovered that the smart phone replaces a travel alarm clock, tape recorder, and other devices. But what really makes it a handy travel device is a wallet/business card case that allows him to place his driver’s license and credit card with the phone and leave his wallet packed away. With a mobile boarding pass, he doesn’t need anything else. “That’s been the biggest game changer for me lately,” he says. “It’s simple and yet very convenient.”

For more healthy travel tips from Verstegen and the Core Performance team, visit CorePerformance.com/travel.

About The Author

Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

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Tags: Travel