While not most business travelers live out of suitcases George Clooney style, we still do have to travel several times a year when conference calls and Webex just don’t cut the mustard. Traveling around the clock, attending conferences, meeting clients, making presentations and closing deals are necessities and this kind of lifestyle, even if only for a week, can be incredibly exhausting.
Life can be hectic and stressful for workaholics and can drive us over the edge if we do not carefully organize our business trips. To help biz travelers make the most of your trip, cut down on exhaustion and get the most relaxation you can while on the road, we’ve listed out some things that we think can be very essential and should be compulsorily carried by all business people who travel. Again, this is not just to increase their productivity while traveling, but also to make traveling lives less stressful and more relaxing.
- Constant Connectivity : Businesses need constant connectivity these days. Any interruption in a business person access to the interne can affect his or her business negatively. Laptops, netbooks:, and smartphones are all standard accessories of a business person today, but what is the use of all of them if there isn’t a way to connect to the Internet when you are traveling? The MiFi is a small device that acts like a modem that can convert your cell phone into a secured Wi-Fi network.
This one item has to be part of a business traveler’s toolkit because with this, even a Blackberry can be transformed into an Internet workstation. Better yet, using the Mi-Fi can cut back on hotel Internet expenses and airport web expenses, and you never have to be dependent on Panera or Starbucks Wifi again.
- Battery Backup : Since most traveling business people live out of laptops & netbooks just as much as they live out of their suitcases, constant usage can drain the laptop batteries all the time. Most times, these people do not have access to an electrical outlet, or they simply don’t have the time to charge their laptop batteries. The same goes for mobile phones, and when they lose their battery charge on their net books and mobile phones, the whole world can look lost to them. This is why it is essential to carry battery backups in the form of extra batteries is important for any business traveler that does not want to get cut-off from the rest of the world while traveling.
- Save Time While Printing : Since you may be traveling and not have access to a vehicle (depending on where your conference is and how close by you need to be) you can save time by doing some online printing. This way, you won’t have to run out to a local office max and wait for them to have everything ready for pickup.
- Reading Material : Good business magazines are a business traveler’s best companion. Reading business magazines not only helps pass time when you are hopping airports and waiting for long hours at the gates, but they also keep your business knowledge updated and your creative mind constantly churning out new ideas. Most successful business travelers have regular magazine subscriptions to Fast Company, Fortune or Inc. anyways, so the mags will be the first things into the suitcase when packing for the trip.
- Do Not Iron : Wrinkle free clothes and comfortable shoes & slippers are definite musts in a biz traveler’s travel tool kit, and easy to pack into the carry on. Since the constant travel will leave no time to give your clothes for a laundry wash and iron, and since there’s no way you’re going to iron your clothes when you are traveling, it’s better to pack your suitcase with wrinkle free clothes if you don’t wish to attend your business meetings in shabby, wrinkled clothes. One suit, some wrinkle free khakis, a couple of shirts and a change into your t-shirt & shorts should be enough.
- Protect Your Feet : You’re also going to spend a lot of time in your shoes, so emphasis must be given to comfort as against style if you don’t want to end up with blisters and tired and painful feet at the end of the trip. Cole Haan and Rockport both make shoes that are comfortable and present well. When you get back to your hotel, always be sure to change into your slippers (or bare feet) whenever you don’t have to be in your shoes. This lets your feet breathe and you will find that it also takes a lot of stress off of you. Some hotels also rent sneakers to use in the gym. This may or may not be the most sanitary option, and may not be an option if your have size 16 feet, but bringing one less pair of shoes on a one week trip can really lighten the load, especially if you want to get in some exercise in between lunch at Chilis and steakhouse dinners.
- Lighten Your Load : Disposable underwear is very important to keep your personal hygiene on level with your outward appearance. Underwear can get pretty cheap and its better to pack a bunch of them if you want to avoid the wait for laundry service, or if you don’t want to spend time during your hectic schedule washing your underwear in the sink John Candy style.
- Pamper Yourself : Take advantage of hotel amenities like your robe, slippers & order extra pillows for your room. Use your hotel time as pampering time to relax and recharge, while even hitting the jacuzzi or grabbing a massage if you have a chance. If I’ve learned one thing from James Bond movies, it’s that when 007 checks into a hotel, one of the first things he’ll do is take a long bath, shave and order room service. If you can, take advantage of your stay and conserve your energy for your meetings and mad dashes to the airport.
- Bag it Up : A comfortable & nimble bag for your laptop is as essential as comfortable shoes for yourself. Since your laptop is going to get through all the grinds of travel just as yourself, protecting it by giving it a nice and comfortable laptop bag will only ensure that your sidekick does not conk of in the middle of your journey. Make sure that your iPod is loaded with your favorite music and videos if you don’t want to end bored on flights that don’t have the latest in music and video or in hotel rooms in far off lands that don’t provide any sort of entertainment.
- Stay Strong : Constant travel can upset your circadian rhythm and cause you severe jetlag, keep Melatonin at hand to set your sleep patterns right and to avoid jet lags. Also drink plenty of water, every chance you get. Though energy drinks are available almost everywhere nowadays, having several 5 hour energy drinks in your suitcase will ensure that you don’t feel tired or end up sleeping during an important biz meeting. I also eluded to exercise earlier. Sometimes on the road you just don’t have time to hit the hotel gym, nor do you have room for the gym shoes and extra clothes. To keep up your routine, here are some easy workouts to do while in your hotel room.
If you’re a biz traveler, and if you have a toolkit that has all the above items, rest assured, you’ll never miss an appointment, and feel tired or stressed making business on the go. What else do you take on the road?