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Matt Lauer: World Traveler, Purell Fanatic, Packing Genius

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Matt Lauer is flying around the world this week, as part of the Today show's tenth installment of "Where In The World Is Matt Lauer," the (soon to be jetlagged) Today host's five-day globetrotting odyssey.

Just before he skipped town, he answered a few questions for us about how he travels and what he takes. Turns out, those people on the JetBlue plane aren't the only ones who've suffered hours on a runway because of a storm.

What's your must-have traveling companion?


Matt Lauer: These days it's an iPad; I take it everywhere.

Do you have a packing strategy?


ML: In general on these trips I travel with five smaller gym-bag-sized bags. I label them for each day, literally: Day 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. This way I am not constantly packing and unpacking.

How do you avoid feeling like hell at the end of the week?

The most obvious thing I try and do is keep my body clock, and even my wrist watch, on New York time. I try to force myself to do things the same time of the day that I would in New York. If I'd be eating in New York, I try and sit down for a meal. When the normal time comes to sleep in NYC I try and get a few hours sleep. I found that over the years, by the time I get done and get back I am not so torn apart that I can't recover in a few days.

Related: The Best Spas in The World

Any close calls?

Back in 1999 we completely missed one location: We went to Mount Everest and needed to fly from Katmandu [in Nepal] to India and couldn't get clearance to take off because of bad weather. We sat on the runway for hours and hours in our plane, and when our window of opportunity to get to the next location closed we missed that destination.

Another time we were in a helicopter on our way to a natural gas platform in the middle of the North Atlantic off the coast of Scotland; fog came in and we could not land and we circled and circled, I think I landed on that platform 25 minutes before airtime.

How do you pass the time on all those long flights?


First of all I do a lot of work on the plane, but we also bring movies and music. I also try to sleep as much as I can. I am in a perpetual napping state. Whenever the opportunity arises I take a quick nap.

See more: Top 10 Apps for When You're Stuck in an Airport

What can't you leave home without?


In the time I've been doing this we've seen the advent of Purell hand sanitizer. I can't afford to get sick, so let me tell you that I am a Purell traveler: It's attached to my backpack, in my pocket and in my luggage.

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