Yves Béhar on Traveling 150,000 Miles a Year, Surfing, and Small Airports
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Yves Béhar on Traveling 150,000 Miles a Year, Surfing, and Small Airports

Drew Kelly

As founder of acclaimed industrial design firm Fuseproject, Swiss designer Yves Behar travels the world collaborating with brands as diverse as Herman Miller, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, and Birkenstock.

How, exactly, does a fabulously successful entrepreneur and sustainability advocate bounce from headquarters in New York and San Francisco to museums in Switzerland? Below, the quick download on his travel style, from the architecture of his favorite airport to his go to carry-on bag:

Miles traveled per year: 150,000 miles.

Best-designed livery: Swiss and Ohana—but really most of them lack a contemporary feel.

How do you stay busy on long-haul flights? I am very disciplined when I fly internationally, since I usually have to go straight to meetings. So no alcohol for me, and mostly I sleep.

Favorite airport: I love smaller airports that are efficient. Majorca’s has cool architecture and a Bottero sculpture.

Must-pack items: I am a careful packer: less is more, but most important is my eye mask and earplugs. Also, a portable phone battery, electric converter, and yoga pants.

Hotel chain or boutique properties? Boutique hotels seem more connected to the local culture. Airbnb is the ultimate from a cultural standpoint—hosts really know what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Favorite hotels: For business, The Opposite House in Beijing. For surfing vacations with my family, Nihiwatu on the Indonesian island of Sumba.

Point of service you appreciate as a business traveler: After a long trip, I appreciate the offer to press a shirt or jacket, plus up-to-date information on good restaurants and cultural spots.

Go-to carry-on: I use the INCASE series of travel roller bags. They are well-thought-out with designated space for my laptop and electronics, which means I can pack everything in one bag instead of schlepping two.

Favorite travel gadget: A Hasselblad point-and-shoot camera. And dare I say the Mini Jambox? Being able to get music everywhere from a product that’s less than an inch thick has always been a dream, so I had to design it with my friends at Jawbone.

Travel gadget you’d like to invent: A lighting product that alleviates jet lag would be cool.

Biggest travel mishap: There have been so many, not sure where to start. Recently, I left my luggage in the rental car transport bus at the airport.

Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure.

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