How Jerome Griffith, CEO of Tumi, packs his own luggage

By Alex Konrad
February 5, 2013

FORTUNE — As CEO of a travel-bag company, Jerome Griffith field-tests his products all the time. He’s been loyal to the Tumi TUMI brand since 1991 — long before he joined the company, in 2009 — when he fell in love with a bag made of ballistic nylon, the same material Tumi employs, and began using it to carry his Kendo gear (Griffith, 55, is a second-degree black belt). Since taking the helm, Griffith has spent more than half the year in transit — 220 days, by his estimate. He keeps it simple but has his particulars: aisle seats on night flights, a gym and Wi-Fi in hotels. “I’m built for speed, not comfort,” he says.

My survival skills

Skip the security lines. I’m a Global Entry program member [through U.S. Customs and Border Protection], which is absolutely the best because you aren’t held up in customs. Another is called TSA Pre-Check, which has separate — and empty — security lines. Another, called CLEAR, works the same way. I keep all the ID cards clipped together with a simple, cheap binder clip.

Pick your bags I have different bags for different trips — overnight, three days, three weeks. I always use our little packing cubes. I got into them because someone here asked me to demonstrate how I packed. It was a mess. Since then I’ve become a total believer.

Carry-on, always. Fly direct and carry-on at all costs, or your luggage may not make it. Know your carry-on limits: I can make it for four days in a carry-on. Bring a “just-in-case” tote in your bag for once you get there and for bringing extra stuff back home.

Phablet habit. I bring my tablet and my phone — I won’t carry a computer. My favorite app to check the weather where I’m going is called Living Earth. On the iPad I have the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Huffington Post, and CNN. I’ll read those every day.

Minimal backups. I carry an electric grounded adapter with four different plug configurations, an extra cellphone charger, and a small toiletry kit. In the long run it makes things a lot easier: You never get stuck. I also bring a compact umbrella. When I pack an umbrella, it doesn’t rain.

This story is from the February 4, 2013 issue of Fortune.

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