Travel tips from a CEO: Jason Held

Author: Jason Held
Photography: NASA JSC

We talk to Jason Held, CEO of Saber Astronautics, about his flying routine and his favourite hotels for business travel. 

Where do you travel to regularly for work?

We have labs in Chippendale, Sydney, and Boulder, Colorado, and I tend to bounce between the two. And San Francisco to see clients. Boulder is my favourite city - I love the mountain culture and laid-back, slightly eccentric attitude.

Suitcase of choice?

Anything with wheels.

Pre-flight routine?

It's mostly a process of packing everything the night before and panicking unnecessarily halfway to the airport because I can't find my passport. Which is always, every time, in my backpack where I left it in the first place.

Essential cabin baggage items?

In order of importance: a good book of any fantasy flavour; snacks; and a laptop. I rarely use the laptop on a flight but think of it as a security blanket for adults.

Onboard routine?

I rarely sleep on long-haul flights so I'm grateful for anything that occupies my mind.

Roll or fold?

I'm a roller, with many thanks to the US military for my élite roll training.

Window or aisle?

Window, if I want to lean against a non-hairy non-smelly, inanimate object. Aisle, if I want to be able to pee at 2am without dramas.

Favourite hotels for business?

B&Bs all the way. It's a bit of a risk but you can find some real gems. When staff can recommend good restaurants, for example, the business trip feels like an exploration and those are the best. Otherwise, anything with a hot tub and a nice bed will do.

How do hotels get it right for business travellers?

All I need is a decent internet connection and a good night's sleep. Poor sleep can affect your performance the next day, so that's critical. It doesn't matter how kind the staff is, if the bed's lumps are circa 1968, the hotel has lost the plot. The best hotel experience I had wasn't fancy but the mattress was like a cocoon.

Saber Astronautics is an R&D company building cutting-edge technology for satellites, space operations and flight software.

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