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How I Travel: Victor Sanz, Creative Director, Tumi

As the New York-based creative director of Tumi, Victor Sanz knows a thing or two about travelling. 

Victor Sanz (c) Tumi

Tumi is a brand synonymous with well-designed, lightweight, durable luggage and bags, aesthetically appropriate for both business and pleasure trips. On a recent trip to Hong Kong to open a new store in the K11 MUSEA mall, Sanz, a 16-year design veteran at Tumi, says he is constantly thinking up ways to make its products more user-friendly.

Some of Tumi's bags now feature a recent addition of a built-in power supply to recharge your phone. "The first thing that people do when they get to the airport is look for a power source to charge their phone or device," observes Sanz.  Tumi last year also launched a recycled capsule collection made from post-industrial fabric scraps collected from factory floors. The lining and webbing of the bags are made from post-consumer plastic bottles which are melted down and spun into yarn, so each bag saves up to 17 bottles from going to landfill.

Sanz, who travels almost every week of the year, tests out a prototype of every bag he creates on a few trips himself, to ensure it is "roadworthy".

Billionaire sat down with Sanz to hear his do-or-die travel tips. 

Where have you just come back from?

Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.

How many times a year do you travel?

I take about 40 flights a year.

Is it usually hand luggage only and how many days can you survive on hand luggage alone?

I can survive for about 2 weeks with a carry on + backpack without having to do any laundry. After so many trips, I have become very efficient with my packing methods. 

What are your tips for maximising space when packing?

  • Stick to a neutral color palette with pieces that can be mixed and matched.
  • Lay out everything you think you will need and cut that in half. We tend to overpack.
  • Be sure to utilize travel accessories as well, such as TUMI packing cubes and shoe bags. They help me stay super organized on both long and short trips.

What are your 5 can't live without travel essentials?

I always travel with my design kit, sunglasses, wireless ear buds, TUMI powerbanks and TUMI packing cubes.

On the flight, do you work or rest?

I spend the first part of my flight designing and working since it’s quiet and I have time to focus without distractions. Then I will usually watch a movie or documentary if there is something that I haven’t seen. If I sleep, it’s in 3 hour intervals and then I like to get up and walk around to stretch throughout the trip (it’s good to get up and move your body about every three hours). It definitely helps with jetlag and also puts less stress on the body.

How do you maximise productivity, rest and wellness?

I try to eat healthy when I travel and do my best to keep a normal sleep schedule.

What do you do to avoid jetlag and to feel meeting-ready when you arrive?

Hydration is key and acclimating as soon as possible. Keeping your mind and body active helps reset.

What is your favourite city to travel to and why? 

I have stayed in so many unique places, but my father’s home town in Spain, Cascajares, is a place that I have very fond memories of.

When you pick a hotel, what are the must-haves and turn-offs?

My must-haves are great service, and a steam room is always a plus. The most important aspect is a lot of light.