SimCorp Asia Managing Director Peter Hill is a seasoned traveller and has his travel routine down pat. He shares his tips on how to combat jetlag with prescription drugs, what devices to bring, and his experiences with Singapore Airlines.
What tech do you travel with and why?
I normally travel with a third-generation iPad, Apple Bluetooth keyboard, iPhone, pedometer, and sometimes, a Windows laptop. The iPad does it all except for the preparation of serious documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
I have a lot of fun with backgammon via iPhone on expert level. I'm trying to improve my win rate to at least 30 percent. I also have the Australian Financial Review on the iPad so that I can stay in touch with people in Australia.
I'm also a fan of Pulse for foreign news, ThinkBook for thoughts and notes, and the Roar application for sports articles.
Personal travel advice/tip?
Set your watch and phone onto the destination time zone, and then sleep accordingly and exercise relentlessly on the ground. Check your luggage in — it means that you can dress properly at the other end and reduces the risk of injury when lifting 20kg suitcases into the aircraft's overhead bins.
How do you deal with jet lag?
Drugs! Fiorinal — over the counter at any pharmacy. An occasional glass of red [wine] adds perspective. Sleeping in the destination time zone helps a lot, too.
What was your biggest travel disaster?
I almost missed Australia versus England in the quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup in Marseille in 2007 due to a Lufthansa connection delay from Frankfurt to Marseille. Unfortunately, we lost anyway, so two bad stories in one day. Fortunately, England lost in the final, so not too much harm done.
I have flown Singapore Airlines for 20 years, and their disasters happen very rarely. Any minor issues are anticipated and dealt with without any fuss. They have an unbelievable empathy for the business traveller, and I believe they are the benchmark for any service company.
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
Map out an activity plan for when you return home, so you can pretend you never went away. And, of course, set up your "Out of Office" email response so that people expect a slower response from you.
What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?
A wireless battery recharge for any or all devices would be great, and Wi-Fi that does not need a cable connection to get your Wi-Fi username and password. Still cannot find where to plug the cable into an iPad!
Favourite destination city to work or visit & why?
Paris — life before technology! The French understand quality of life. Technology is not quite there yet. When the French adopt technology, it will be elegant, unobtrusive, and just right.
Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?
Singapore Changi Airport, complete with the Singapore airlines lounges and excellent window shopping — the airport works and is close to the city. Hong Kong is not far behind in the "best airport" stakes either.