TRAVERSE 19 Speaker Profile: letgo’s David Wieseneck
TripActions is kicking off TRAVERSE 19 — a first-of-its-kind travel and tech festival — this October in San Francisco. We’re bringing together business travel managers, along with finance, HR, and procurement leaders to network, learn, and discuss the latest in corporate travel management.
In addition to speakers Captain Sully, Slack’s Frankie Rodriguez, and a16z’s Ben Horowitz, we’re hosting several other champions of business travel on panels and workshops throughout the two-day event, including David Wieseneck, VP of Finance at letgo. TripActions took time with David to chat corporate travel management, leisure travel, and recommendations for San Francisco during TRAVERSE 19.
TripActions: What is your favorite business travel destination?
David Wieseneck: Amsterdam. I really enjoy going there because it has a good mix of people, it’s a walkable city, and very serene. I have to travel to Barcelona a lot for work, but I’ve been there so many times. Over the past four or five years, I’ve been to Barcelona at least once a year. One of the reasons I like Amsterdam more for leisure travel because there are a lot less cars in the center of the city since most people bike or walk.
TA: What is your favorite leisure travel destination?
DW: Because I have to travel to cities a lot for work, when I travel for leisure I tend to travel to the beach. Maui is beautiful — not for surfing, but for just vegging out on the beach.
TA: What is your choice of beverage in-flight?
DW: Ginger ale. I drink it at home too, but I’ve noticed it gets ordered a lot on the plane.
TA: What is your best road warrior travel trip?
DW: Always wear lightweight shoes on the plane to make travel easier. I also like to switch into fresh comfy socks. I don’t want to be that person that goes barefoot on the plane. Allbirds are super light and you kind of forget they’re on versus big and heavy sneakers that get in the way no matter whether they’re on or off.
TA: Checked or carry-on luggage?
DW: I try to check bags on international flights so I’m free to walk around the airport without a suitcase. I want to be as light as possible. I personally think airlines should make it free to check your bag to make the boarding process easier for everyone. Charging for luggage creates an incentive for people to bring huge suitcases on the plane.
TA: What’s one thing you can’t travel without?
DW: My airpods so I can listen to podcasts. It helps me go to sleep, but that might be because I tend to listen to economics-focused podcasts. Planet Money is one of my favorites.
Americans refrigerate their eggs. Much of the rest of the world doesn’t. The reason is a chicken-or-the-egg, Salmonella problem. https://t.co/ROcajpsoLQ— NPR's Planet Money (@planetmoney) August 24, 2019
TA: What is the longest flight you’ve ever taken? Was it worth it?
DW: I flew to Johannesburg from New York — it was 15 hours nonstop. I went for a work training, which was boring, and by the time I got over the jetlag, I had to go home. I try to exercise at the hotel to get my body in a rhythm, but I also do it to help myself sleep.
TA: What will attendees gain from your session at TRAVERSE 19?
DW: I want to cover how to approach policy and process in a modern era of business travel. Sometimes it takes a lot for a company to change what’s worked previously. I want to bring a fresh perspective to how we approach travel — helping companies create a modern culture for newer business travelers. At letgo, we really try to use technology in our daily operations. I think employees really appreciate the approachable tech stack we use; it even helps with retention of our employees.
TA: What are you hoping to experience at TRAVERSE 19?
DW: I’m excited to learn new ideas from companies that are bigger than letgo is now, but where we plan to be in the future. We’re looking to make our travel scalable and not fall into traps that growing companies usually fall victim to.
TA: What's your can't-miss recommendation while in San Francisco for TRAVERSE?
DW: I grew up in New York, and I think that San Francisco is missing really good pizza. Because of that, when I come to San Francisco, I go to the Mission District to get a burrito instead.
David will be one of several industry leaders speaking at TRAVERSE 19 on October 2 and 3 in San Francisco. Registration is still open — don’t miss out!