In almost any line of work, travel is a necessity – we’re certainly on the move a lot. While the form and distance may vary, we’ve picked up some valuable lessons and experience along the way.
Bring earplugs. You may wind up in a hotel that, while comfortable, is not very sound proof. Your room may be near the lobby or elevator hub. Maybe you share a wall with some all-nighters. In these cases, you’ll want a good pair of earplugs. While white noise apps are available, you might prefer to save your phone’s battery, data, and minutes. Plus there’s nothing quite like the ever-golden silence.
Personal items in your carry-on. Consider including a personal item or two in your carry-on, in case your luggage takes its own trip somewhere else. Things like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, eye drops, lip balm, sunscreen, backup clothes (i.e. t-shirt, undergarments, socks), and medications, if you need them (i.e. Dramamine, pain reliever, etc). Additional Suggestion: for your carry-on, consider a backpack, rather than a small suitcase.
Pack something entertaining. On your person, stash a couple of movies, TV show episodes, or something to listen to, such as an audiobook or two. Or bring an e-reader with a few eBooks. Whichever media you prefer, be sure to download ahead of time, since you can’t always count on internet access. You may like to work and stay productive during trips, or enjoy doing some creative work when you’re on the go, so keep a journal or notepad on hand, along with a writing utensil. But traveling can be disorienting; even exhausting, so, if/when you find yourself struggling to focus, it’s always nice to have something entertaining on which to fall back. While traveling to Uganda, Karen finished her book on the flight over, and there were NO bookstores or places that sold magazines for the rest of the trip! Uganda isn’t big on bookstores, so she had nothing to read while overseas or on the long flight back.
Keep power on your person. Always pack your unique phone/tablet charging hub and cable, of course, but keep it in your carry-on. In addition, consider investing in a portable power bank; “a portable charger designed to recharge your electronic gadgets when you’re on the move” (source: Power Bank Expert). We recommend products from Mophie and Anker; both have served us very well on our travels. These also come in super handy during business events, such as expos, conventions, and fairs; basically, any time you’re out-and-about on a function that utilizes consistent or extended use of one or more device, having a backup power source provides a tremendous amount of freedom.
Bluetooth trackers for your luggage. This sounds expensive, but these actually run at very reasonable costs; Tile products start at $20, and TrackR (recommended by Dave Ramsey) offers a range of products, including the Pixel – their smallest and lightest tracker – which starts at $25. Both brands offer multi-packs of their products. If your luggage contains items more important than clothes, clocking in with multiple figures in its value, anything related to your business, really, it’s seriously worth keeping track of it.
Insure expensive luggage and gear. Even if you’re using a Bluetooth tracker, highly valuable items – products, acquisitions, contracts, capital or funds, equipment, etc. – should be insured. It offers you peace of mind during travel and a safety net in the event that the absolute worst happens. We speak from experience! When we traveled to France for the Cannes Film Festival, our camera was lost in transit. We managed to get it back, but having the insurance in place was a huge relief.
Stay hydrated! This is good advice all the time, but especially important when traveling. Bring your own portable water bottle; can be a huge money saver as well; buying bottles from hotels, airports, and corporate cafeterias or restaurants can get expensive – and quickly! – but water fountains are still free and filtered water filling stations are popping up all over the place. If you don’t have one, we recommend the Rubbermaid 20oz Chug Bottles. We’ve also had good success with the Brita Water Bottles that filter right in the bottle; you can have filtered water wherever you go!
*Though, in third world countries, drinking bottled water is still the best option.
Recognizable luggage tags. Save loads of time and frustration at the airport (train station, bus station, etc.) by giving your luggage an immediate identifier. Go for color! A sports team logo or your favorite super hero emblem. We’ve been known to tie bright-patterned ribbons and fandom-themed name tags around our suitcase handles. And why not? Unless you’re traveling with your client or boss (or colleagues with whom you’re not on a super familiar basis), chances are that you alone will ever see it. It distinguishes your mid-size duffel bag or rectangular suitcase from all the others, so you can be on your way to your next stop much faster.
However, wherever, and whenever you travel, remember to prepare, stay safe, and try to enjoy it!
Suggested further reading:
- FORBES: The 15 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Flying and Confessions Of A Packing Expert: 9 Business Travel Hacks
- Power Banks Expert: What Is A Power Bank?
- EagleCreek: 10 Items To Pack In Your Personal Item and 6 Items Not To Pack
- Travel Fashion Girl: Travel Products You Need (especially for overseas travel)