When you travel for work the top priorities are having an organised schedule and being able to get to where you need to be without any hassles, so that you can get the job done.
You want to hit the ground running without worrying about whether or not you’ve packed what you need. So here are 12+ tips that will help get you away with less fuss and make a good impression in your first meeting.
1. Invest in the bag you need
Cheap bags might do the job for a short time, but struggling with a bung wheel or temperamental handle will only add to the frustration of being on the road. Paying extra for luggage that ticks all your boxes will pay off in the long run.
Top things to consider:
– Light weight, so you can use more of that all-important baggage allowance for the contents.
– Approved size for carry-on.
– Wheels, but 2 won’t do. We love 4-wheel spinners for zipping around airports!
– Would a backpack suit you better & save your back? There are great stylish corporate models now with features like USB charging ports.
Bonus tip: once you do have the ideal bag, make it your own with personalised luggage tags, ribbons or whatever it takes. Trust us, having someone take your bag off the baggage carousel by mistake is no fun!
2. Time to roll
Roll your cloths to fit in more and avoid wrinkles. Flatten you clothes carefully, fold in half in you like, and then roll them up. We’ve road-tested scrunching, folding and rolling and can confidently confirm that rolling is your best option!
The exception to the rule, suit jackets. Place these in a garment bag and fold into your case on their hanger, then whip out to hang on the flight or in the hotel wardrobe.
3. Layer upon layer
Pack what you will need last at the bottom of the bag. For example, if you are playing golf on the final day pack your plus fours first (at the bottom of your case) and if your arrive late on the first night, pyjamas go at the top. Simple.
If your schedule is a bit more complicated than that, then pack in groups ie. collar shirts in one section or layer, pants in another. Makes it easier to quickly get what you need without upsetting (and wrinkling) everything.
4. Pack Light!
We can’t stress enough the benefits of only packing the essentials. Easier to carry, you can take as hand luggage, no checked bags or lost luggage to contend with, no-fuss storage while you’re in meetings, quicker at airports… and the list goes on!
How to drop kilos:
– Check the weather forecast & pack accordingly.
– Have a colour scheme so everything is mix-n-match.
– Use accessories to change-up outfits, you’d be amazed what a different scarf or tie can do!
– Layer your clothes instead of taking bulky items.
– Mini travel containers for shampoo, moisturiser etc.
– Wear your jacket & heavy shoes on the plane.
5. A stitch in time
You know those little sewing kits that some hotels provide, well grab one to keep in your bag. It will save you a lot of trouble, and possibly embarrassment, if you have a small wardrobe malfunction.
6. Carry an extra card
You never know when a credit card will be declined for some mysterious reason. Carry a back-up card with you and a few extra dollars in your bag, just in case.
7. You’re in charge
Think about how you are going to charge your phone, laptop, toothbrush or whatever else you’ll need to plug in. Before you leave, check if your airline has in-seat power outlets and if your hotel has USB ports in the room. This could decide if you have to bring all your leads and chargers or if you need a multi-plug adapter for international trips.
Getting a portable power charger is a smart (professional) move – asking everyone at the board table if they have a spare charger is not the way to make a good impression!
8. Keep it clean
Not a nice topic, but you really can’t afford to get sick while you’re away. Bring wet wipes for the plane seat area, touch screen and fold out table (you don’t want to know the health reports on these!). Have hand sanitiser on hand to use regularly.
Hotel rooms can also be an ugly hot spot for festering diseases. Get out the antibacterial wipes again and go to town on the TV remote (a top offender), door handles, light switches or anything else that you might touch and that hotel staff will rarely clean.
9. Show me the money
Tracking your work trip expenses is essential but scrambling to find receipts later is no fun. These days there is thankfully an app (or 10+) that can make it much easier. Expensify, Zoho Expense or Foreceipt, just to name a few.
10. Don’t try to go it alone
There’s a lot to take into consideration when planning a business trip. Avoiding red-eye flights, not booking the last flight of the day (rookie mistake in case it’s cancelled), choosing airline routes with fewer stops and finding a hotel location that cuts down on Uber trips are all things that a professional agency like Complete Business Travel will do for you. We know how to look after your personal needs and put together a hassle-free itinerary so that you can perform at your best while you are away.
11. Allow time to de-stress
Jet lag, back-to-back meetings, junk food, cramped aircraft seats, uncomfortable hotel pillows – it can make you stressed just thinking about it, so plan time to chill out. That could mean packing your sneakers so you can squeeze in your normal morning walk, finding a yoga class, hitting the hotel gym or planning a night of nothing and catching up on Netflix. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll be more on top of your business game!
12. Know where you’re going
There is a lot to be gained by doing your research about the place you are visiting. History, culture, local language, famous sites, regional politics, sporting teams – whatever it takes to help you be better briefed. Not only could it add value to your visit, but knowing something about the area is a good way to impress your business associates.
13. Bonus tip – get good headphones!
It might sound unnecessary, but once you get more peace and quiet on a flight and block out the screaming kid two rows back, you’ll be very glad of this one. Noise cancelling headphones are a godsend. They range enormously in price and quality, but whichever you choose make sure they are comfortable and big enough to fully cover your ears.
Need more tips on how to make your business travel a success? Speak to our CBT team, who will be happy to share their best corporate travel advice.