Pizza to Pakistan: how to travel light as a middle-eastern businessman
I first met Tony Ozanne in 2012 when I engaged him as a business coach. Experienced, opinionated and helpful, Tony assisted many Canberrans kickstart their small business.
These days Tony has a big job as Chief Operating Officer of Pizza Hut, Pakistan. He's already a seasoned middle-east resident and traveller from the days when he was Yum Restaurants International Regional Manager - Operations - Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.
I usually track Tony's progress through his Facebook posts: 'Tony is currently at Dubai, flying to Lahore' - or somewhere even more exotic. I was lucky to get a few minutes of his time - in-between flights - to talk about light travel:
Q: Your job takes you all around the sub-continent. Are you a light traveller?
A: Depends on where and for how long I am travelling. For trips within Pakistan for 3-4 days I usually take carry on, and for short trips to Dubai definitely (much easier to get back into Pakistan airport vs. waiting for bags amongst the chaos at the arrivals hall). For longer trips, or trips home, I usually check in bags, either for the extra luggage or to bring stuff back and forth to home-Pakistan.
Q: By travelling light, do you mean flying and traveling with carry on luggage only? What's that in kilograms?
A: Yes, cary on…not sure in Kgs, but allowance is usually around 7kgs, so I guess thats around the limit.
Q: How do you decide what to take with you?
A: Just the basics….whatever clothes needed and that’s usually it…and toiletries.
Q: Are you willing to share with Planepack readers your packing list? Or at least what your essential items are?
A: Jocks, socks, 2 pairs pants and enough shirts for trip, and toiletries. For longer trips usually a change of clothes to grab a shower in the lounge at Dubai. Essential items include laptop (and bag for all the cables that are needed for devices these days).
Q: How long do you travel with only carry on luggage?
A: I can usually manage a 4 day trip easily with carry on…longer that that (or if I have to take a suit- which is rarely), then check in.
Q: What does your partner think? Does she travel equally lightly when the two of you travel together?
A: Doesn’t usually travel with me and she is back in OZ, but usually takes suitcases!
Q: You've travelled widely in the Middle East. Tell us a bit about that.
A: The Middle East region is amazing…great people, culture and scenery as well as heaps of history. It is such a shame that many places are torn with conflict that affects their image, safety and the destruction of history. The media really over reacts to the actaul safety and security in many of these counties.
Q: What's your favourite bag? Do you use a backpack? Or a roll-on cabin bag?
A: I have a small wheel pull bag I bought in Pakistan that is perfect for 1-2 days, then a larger carry on bag for longer trips, but it still fits in the cabin. For internal PIA flights I do need to join the fight to get on the plane early to ensure I get space (these guys bring on soooo much luggage).
Q: As such a regular traveller, how do you entertain yourself on the flight?
A: Domestically in Pakistan I usually close my eyes and hope the plane takes off and lands! Not a fan of PIA, and for trips to Dubai or long haul, I usually try to sleep as all flights leave at 3-4am….If longer flights its sleep, movies, a bit on board wifi, and often some laptop work.
Q: What advice do you have for other would-be light travellers?
A: Be organised, plan your trip based on agenda, and pack clothes accordingly. I'm a last minute packer and can do so in 5-10 minutes usually….haven't had too many issues of forgetting things, although I did have to go and buy shoes on one trip as I left them at home!