Carry On: How your future business trips could have faster airport security times—and no gravity

Orbital Assembly is aiming for a 2025 launch of its Pioneer Station—a space business park with room for you and 27 colleagues.

With Orbital Assembly's latest launch, your next trip could be extraterrestrial

Credit: Orbital Assembly

Orbital Assembly’s latest launch is out of this world

In just a few years’ time you could be booking your next corporate retreat in… space. U.S. company Orbital Assembly is aiming for a 2025 launch of its Pioneer Station—a space business park with room for you and 27 colleagues. A rotating gravity ring will allow you to work in Earth-like conditions and play in zero gravity. The company also touts its orbiting labs as an ideal testing ground for innovative research or products.

Quickest Layover

Ireland’s Shannon Airport (SNN) has doubled passenger screening capacity with new scanning technology (called computed tomography, or CT) that not only eliminates the need to remove electronics and liquids and gels from carry-on bags, but also means departing passengers can carry on sizes larger than 100 millilitres.

Shannon Airport's new security scanning techShannon Airport’s new security scanning tech doesn’t require you to remove liquids and gels

Larger trays and an automated return system also up the efficiency. More than 20 tonnes of equipment were craned into the airport through a removed second-storey window to deliver the slick new system, which takes some of the weight off travellers to pack light.

Passport to Bargains

As Canadians contemplate long pandemic-related delays for passport renewals, perhaps we should consider how cheaply we’re getting off. CNN recently reported on the world’s most expensive passport fees, found in places like Lebanon (about $1,000 in Canadian dollars), Syria, Liechtenstein and Cuba (all around $350 in Canadian dollars) and Australia (about $270 Canadian). Those prices make our Canadian $120 to $160 seem like a bargain—even after waiting hours in line and weeks for it to arrive.

Procrastination and Caffeination 

The place to tackle looming deadlines is Tokyo’s Manuscript Writing Café, where creatives log in with name, deadline and the degree of gentle nagging they require to get the job done. As further incentive, the roughly dollar-a-minute rate (which includes unlimited self serve coffee and tea) doubles for every additional hour scribblers stay.

Dani Niven of STMNT groomingSTMNT

Jet Setter

Vancouver barber Dani Niven is the West Coast educator and stylist for new grooming brand STMNT, which includes several genderless, travel-friendly products. Travel haircare’s biggest challenger, she says, is “sourcing quality travel size products that are lightweight, multi-purpose and easy to apply on-the-go.”

Her advice: avoid “one-trick ponies” and pack multi-taskers, like the STMNT Hair & Body Cleansing Bar (which, bonus: “will never leak in your bag!”). Couples travelling together can pack lighter with versatile, neutral-fragrance products to share.

A barber in the era of pandemic beards and sometimes limited salon visits, she advises that “long hair doesn’t mean messy hair. There is a proper way to grow it out and keep it looking clean.” Likewise, she says, “Guys, if you don’t understand how to properly shape your beard, ask your barber for tips. We always love to share our knowledge.”

If you need a quick cut in a new city, ask your barber or stylist at home for a recommendation, as they may have far-flung contacts. Or search a destination’s top talent on social media for evidence of their style and expertise.

Good hair creates self-assurance, Niven says. “When you have a big business meeting…no one wants to be worrying about their hair. Your hair is your statement: show people how you want to be perceived.