Deep Dish Note: We’re grateful to have Jeff, the founder of Jetpack, sharing with us on the blog today. He took some time to answer some of our questions about traveling in Chicago and how Jetpack is helping Airbnb guests everywhere.
My name is Jeff, and I’m the founder of Jetpack and a software engineer by trade. I founded Jetpack with two good friends of mine, Amelia and Maya, who both lend unique perspectives to the company. We all got together and shared stories about pieces of the travel process that were painful for us. We decided to start by tackling the “three ounce” TSA rule. Instead of using products you don’t love or trying to mash yours into unwieldy containers, why not send a box of great products straight to where folks are going? Ultimately our goal is to create a stress-free travel experience, and this is our first step towards that.
Q: What do you love about Chicago?
A: I think a lot of people say this, because it’s true: the neighborhood feel. There’s a totally different atmosphere available when I leave Lakeview to visit Logan Square, or Andersonville. Each neighborhood has its own distinct culture that permeates to the cuisine, the shopping, and the artwork. It often feels like you’re not in a big city.
Q: What is one thing you think everyone should do when they visit Chicago?
A: I’m a big fan of avoiding touristy areas entirely when traveling, and my wife and I make a point of staying in Airbnbs off the beaten path. I’d definitely suggest doing that in Chicago – stay in Andersonville, or Wicker Park – somewhere vibrant and fun with better shopping compared Mag Mile (Michigan Avenue). To actually answer the question though, I think they should eat. There are very few cities in the world better for food than Chicago. Head somewhere for a great breakfast, and then just start walking and pop into shops along the way. Rinse and repeat until you’re too tired to keep walking, then rest up and do it again.
Q: If you had to choose, where would you recommend everyone visit at least once in their life?
A: This is tough, because it’s so personal, but I loved being in Paris – it’s actually a lot like Chicago. The food is just absolutely phenomenal and it’s so surreal to see the architecture there. That said, I think it would be a toss-up between Paris and Florence for me. They both have great food (are you sensing a theme?) and plenty of history and culture.
A: I’m a terribly lazy traveler. I put everything off to the last minute, which means I’m totally unprepared when I get wherever I’m going. If I can solve that problem for a few people and reduce the stress around traveling for them, I’d be happy with that.
Q: It never fails, toothpaste is always the item that gets left behind for us. What is one item you always forget when you travel?
A: I’ve often run out of travel shampoo or conditioner without knowing it, so I think those are the most common. But I also often forget or neglect to bring lotion and lip balm, and I think lots of guys do – but when you’re traveling to a drier climate and forget lotion, lip balm, and conditioner, you’re just going to be really dry and unhappy!