Whether it takes you across the seas and to an exotic location or just a couple of hours away to the next city, taking a business trip means you’re out of the office. Exciting at first, until you realise that you need to somehow pack your office up into one tiny little bag.
When travelling on business, especially via plane, you can’t afford to pack heavy. Being able to pack a small, carry on bag means you can be on your way as soon as your plane arrives. Let’s face it – time is money when it comes to a business trip.
So where do you start?
Step 1: Organise the trip details
Before you even think about packing, work out exactly what it is you’ll be doing while you’re gone. Know your flight times, hotel address, important phone numbers, car rental information, and who you’ll be meeting. Using a handy travel folder, keep all documents together in the order that you’ll need them. In addition to this, download the Passbook app for your smartphone and compile all your important documents in one place.
Also determine whether or not you will have any downtime, as you will want to pack accordingly for this. Everyone deserves a little bit of R&R when working away so if possible, try to squeeze in a non-business activity.
Step 2: Pack the essentials
Pack versatile items that can be mixed and matched to allow for more space in your luggage. Consider accessories to change the look of an outfit rather than pack a series of outfits. Casual items should be smart enough that should you attend a non-business related event with a colleague you still look professional, but casual enough for you to realise that it’s not all work and no play. Also pack a water-tight plastic bag, which can be useful for wet/dirty clothes.
Toiletries should be kept to a minimum and reduced in size where possible. Consider using hotel shampoo and conditioner for a few days, and just pack deodorant and cologne. Makeup can be transported in smaller, perfume bottles or kept to just the essential items. Pack a pocket-sized toothbrush and facial wipes to use just before your arrival so that you feel refreshed and ready to take on the trip.
Other essentials include:
- Business cards
- USB memory stick
- Local currency
- Small first-aid kit
- Device chargers
Step 3: Consider the gadgets
Gadgets can make life on the road so much easier, and for every gadget that takes up space there’s another that takes space away. Some of the best gadgets for business travellers include:
If you’re sick of paying $10+ an hour for airport or hotel WiFi, or feel fed up at having to hunt around for an internet cafe, the MiFi will save you a ton of frustration. The slim, credit card-sized package gives you easy access to 4G networks and helps you stay connected wherever you are.
Your laptop is likely to get plenty of use during your trip, and you want to be sure you can plug it in. Look for a multifunctioning travel plug adapter, which can be found at most airports. If possible, pack two so you can charge your laptop and phone at the same time.
The pocket-sized Innergie power accessory is designed to give you power on hand when you need it, and is suitable for almost all USB-powered devices. Simply connect your device when it’s running out of charge and watch as the battery life is quickly transferred.
Tablet keyboard accessory
While a tablet can save you heaps on space and is easy to transport in and out of meetings, one disadvantage is its lack of keyboard. For those having to enter lots of information, a removable keyboard will make typing much easier.
The Brookstone HDMI pocket-sized projector is perfect for making a presentation wherever you go. Running up to two hours on a single charge, it includes built-in speakers, connects to all HDMI-based devices, and cranks out 1080p high definition video up to 60-inches digitally. All this from something that sits in the palm of your hand.
These in-ear headphones are great at blocking out outside noise, meaning you can take a phone call even at the busiest of events. The Sennheiser MM70s come with an inline remote for call controls, and are a universal 3.5mm fit so they will work with almost every smartphone, tablet and laptop.
Kensington Absolute Power
Power is one of the most important things when travelling long haul, and the Kensington Absolute Power keeps your devices charged with up to 100 watts of power. Coming with a range of detachable adapters, it can power a huge range of devices and virtually every laptop on the market.
Forget lonely nights in the hotel room watching drivel on TV. The Google Chromecast is a cheap, USB-based device that allows you to stream video content from your laptop or smartphone over Wi-Fi connections for quick and easy movie viewing.
Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is designed specifically for frequent travellers, and gives you access to hundreds of e-books while offering multi-day battery life. It’s considered one of the best e-readers around.
With all these gadgets to pack, you’ll need a handy way to store them without risk of something falling out or rolling around in your bag. Grid-it is an organisation system for your suitcase, and is made up of dozens of elastic bands that hold devices firmly in place.