In theory, it’s all pretty glamorous.
Business travelers have it easy, they said. It will be fun, they said.
And sometimes it is. But most of the time it is more comparable to carefully planned out and hopefully well-executed game of Russian roulette.
There are connections to catch. There are lines to wait in. There is weather to consider and the delays that could happen. And there are other people who miraculously transform into human roadblocks at the least opportune moments.
Sure, there’s also room service and other perks, but making sure a business trip is as stress free as possible starts with one thing: being prepared.
Taking into consideration the input of seasoned business travelers across the country, here are the top 10 business traveler must have for 2017.
1) A Light Load
Don’t overpack. Less is more, particularly when you’re traveling only with a carry-on. Calling ahead to find out what the hotel provides (shampoo, in-room hair dryer, etc.) can save prime real estate for other things, like a spare business casual outfit in case your flight gets delayed.
2) Mobile Hotspot Devices
Stay connected. Why pay $12 for airport WiFi when you have your own, reliable way to connect? Mobile hotspot devices like MiFi are trusted by travelers as a fast and easy way to connect anytime from anywhere. Other smart technology tools to make sure to pack include spare chargers, adapters and batteries for any of your mobile devices.
3) A Mom’s Mindset
Think like a mom. Think of your carry-on like a mother would a diaper bag. That means packing the essentials (like an extra pair of shoes), the toiletries (that the hotel doesn’t offer), the emergency supplies (medicines and prescriptions) and the spare outfit in one, convenient little package.
4) Apps on Top of Apps
Use all the apps. Technology may cause some of the headaches, but it also is capable of relieving them. By utilizing the latest apps to help you do everything from track expenses to navigate a foreign city, you can save time and money. Mashable features a list of helpful apps, including Expensify to help keep track of expenses on the go and GateGuru to prepare for gate changes and last-minute flight delays. Finally, having your own GPS navigation you can use on your phone helps you avoid potential added fees on a rental vehicle.
5) The Little Things
Don’t forget the little things. The travel-size area at Target can be your best friend in more ways than you think. It’s a good place to find miniature sizes of almost anything, but can be particularly helpful in finding things you may have otherwise forgotten. Disposable toothbrushes, antibacterial wipes and facial wipes are among the hidden treasures that can keep you feeling (and smelling) fresh when you get to your destination.
Put comfort first. Just because you’re not alone on the flight doesn’t mean you can’t try your best to feel like you are. Noise cancelling headphones, an eye mask and an inflatable head rest are all among the most highly recommended “extras” that can add a bit of glamor back into the business travel experience.
7) Just in Case Items
Prepare for the unexpected. Just because you can expense it doesn’t make spending $5 on two Tylenol easy on the wallet. Consider packing an emergency supply of medications for nausea and pain, in addition to a couple for indigestion and allergies. Packing instant coffee packets is another money-saving tip, since you should be able to fill up a cup of hot water almost anywhere at the airport without needing to shell out $4.75 for a hot cup of caffeine.
Stay hydrated. Stress can take a toll on your body, making it that much more important to stay hydrated. Don’t break the bank buying water bottles on the go. Instead, bring your own water bottle, preferably a reusable filtration, and fill up regularly.
9) Networking Props
Pack networking props. This is more for the destination than for the journey, but remembering to pack the necessary networking tools is also important. Extra business cards, plenty of extra pens and paper, breath mints and even your own name tag are all smart things to have on hand.
10) Your Business Traveler Rewards
Become a trusted traveler. The Global Entry program through the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program allows travelers expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrive to the United States. Enrollment is currently $100 for five years, and can save a boatload of time waiting in lines for frequent global travelers. In addition, Econopark Express has customized programs for corporate travelers. Please visit our Corporate Accounts page for more information. Depending on your needs, we can tailor a parking program specifically for you and your business.