Welcome to Out of Office, a new series where we ask the experts about the items they never travel without. This time, we spoke with David Liu, luggage organization guru and co-founder of the leather goods company Leatherology.

By Madeline Diamond
January 29, 2020
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Courtesy of Retailers as Credited

From choosing the right luggage to remembering all your chargers and other tech accessories, packing for a trip isn't always an easy task. We decided to ask the experts about their travel must-haves in the hopes of making life a little easier for the rest of us. After all, who would know better than someone who travels for a living, or, in this case, makes travel bags and accessories?

Leatherology is known for its impressively soft, well-made leather goods, including many items that are perfect for travel, from tote bags to passport covers. David Liu, who founded the brand with his sister, Rae, values travel both in and outside of work, as evidenced by Leatherology's extensive collection of travel accessories and Liu's own Instagram documenting his travels. We asked Liu about his go-to travel items and favorite packing tips.

Related: More travel necessities

Rimowa Essential Sleeve Cabin Carry-on Suitcase

Courtesy of Nordstrom

"This is my go-to carry-on suitcase. It's lightweight yet durable. The front sleeve is perfect for my laptop, notebook, magazines, etc..."

To buy: nordstorm.com, $750

Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Vest

Courtesy of Uniqlo

"I like to pack layers that are good for a variety of weather conditions. This vest keeps me warm in-flight and upon landing. At the same time, it's super compact, lightweight, and easy to store away when not in use."

To buy: uniqlo.com, $40

Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol

Courtesy of Aesop

"My skin can get very dry, particularly during long-haul flights. I keep this facial spray on hand and use it before, during, and after long flights to stay refreshed."

To buy: revolve.com, $25

Leatherology Cord Wraps

Courtesy of Leatherology

"I love multi-purpose accessories when traveling. These cord wraps (which come in two sizes and multiple colors) are surprisingly multi-functional. They help to keep all my cords and tech accessories organized. I also use them as bookmarks when reading. However, one of my favorite travel hacks is using them to pull together and clamp shut hotel window shades. This helps keep the light out and give me a better night's rest."

To buy: leatherology.com, $33

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

Courtesy of Amazon

What's the one item Liu never travels without? a portable charger. "I travel with a bunch of devices (phone, watch, AirPods, tablet, etc...), so I always keep a portable battery pack on hand to stay powered up. Anker's chargers are by far the fastest charging and most reliable I've come across."

To buy: walmart.com, $30

Leatherology Parker Backpack

Courtesy of Leatherology

Liu says the Parker Backpack is his favorite Leatherology bag for travel, in part due to its impressive versatility. "This is my favorite bag for daily commutes, short weekend getaways, and extended work trips/vacations. It's an elevated take on the classic backpack. The Parker is constructed with full-grain leather and stylishly designed without sacrificing any functionality."

To buy: leatherology.com, $300

Leatherology Nested Travel Organizer Trio

Courtesy of Leatherology

As far as packing tips go, Liu believes in the power of compartmentalization. "I'm a big fan of packing cubes and organizers to help keep like items together. I love our Nested Travel Organizer Trio. I use one for toiletries, one for chargers, cords and small tech accessories, and one for other miscellaneous items."

To buy: leatherology.com, $260

In addition to Liu's favorite items, he also recommends avoiding over-packing at all costs and making the most of what's in your luggage. "As you can tell from my recommendations above, I like accessories, gadgets, and clothes that are lightweight and multi-purpose. There's no need to pack a specific pair of shoes or outfit for every single occasion. This also helps me avoid checking in luggage whenever possible," he said.

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