What are property’s globetrotters’ essentials? Victoria Ellaway finds out

Andrew Smith

I strive to elevate compact, systematic packing to an art form, focusing on essentials, to cut time at airports, avoid the need for checked-in baggage, and to minimise security hold-ups.

Music is a good, portable antidote to the pressures of frequent international travel, and I usually find room for a good but impossibly small iPod speaker, as well as the usual headphones.

As a performer as well as a listener, I sometimes take a clarinet with me, if an extended trip would otherwise prevent me from putting in the practice time to master difficult technical passages.

Andrew Smith, global head of property, Aberdeen Asset Management


Brett White

I always take pictures of my wife and kids with me.

There is no price on sanity when you’re travelling frequently, so I never go away without my Bose headphones and my iPad, which is well stocked with iBooks. These help to keep me entertained during waiting times.

But to minimise queuing at airports, I pack every immigration/security fast pass that money or influence can buy.

Years of flying have taught me that in-flight meals rarely impress, so I take my own meal with me to avoid disappointment. I also pack a mini-bar bottle of Scotch in my bag, just in case …

Brett White, chief executive officer, CBRE



James Darkins

I never leave without my travelling shaving brush and razor set from Taylor of Old Bond Street. The shaving brush is badger hair, and using it is so much more pleasant than conventional shaving foam.

The brush is protected by a chrome tube, which has something military about it that occasionally requires explanation at airport security. The best thing is that it was a present from my wife. It’s a touch of homeliness in otherwise impersonal hotels.

James Darkins, managing director of property, Henderson Global Investors


I never travel without a book — a real book rather than a Kindle. I have embraced almost all new technology, but there is something special about starting a new book.

I am reading The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal, which I highly recommend as a fascinating journey intertwining European history with the Ephrussi family and a collection of Japanese netsuke.

Rob Wilkinson, chief investment officer, AEW Europe



I learned the hard way never to travel without a visa. I flew to Mumbai, but had to return as I hadn’t requested a visa — an expensive mistake.

I always make sure I have a map of my destination before I travel. In some places, such as Marrakech, it is necessary as it is almost impossible to come across one locally. I never leave without at least one hat, and I’ve been known to take four.

When my wife and I travel together, we pack teabags. My wife loves tea, and it can be difficult to get a good cup of tea abroad.

Ken Shuttleworth, founder, Make Architects