Last updated: 5/3/2019
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 a 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 potential delays. 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 stress-free 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 haves for 2019.
1) A Light Load
Don’t over-pack. When it comes to traveling for business, less is more — particularly when you’re traveling with just a carry-on.
Calling ahead to find out what your 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. Check out Lifewire’s top 6 best mobile WiFi hotspots to compare features and prices.
Other smart technology tools to make sure to pack include spare chargers, adapters and batteries for all 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 is also 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.
Founder’s Guide features a list of best apps, including Expensify to help keep track of expenses on the go and GateGuru to prepare you for gate changes and last-minute flight delays. Finally, having your own GPS navigation helps you avoid potential added fees on a rental vehicle.
5) The Little Things
Don’t forget these. The “travel-size” area in Target can be your best friend when you have a trip coming up. It’s a good place to find miniature sizes of almost anything, and it can be particularly helpful when you need to find things you may otherwise forget.
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. Check out these convenient travel kits that will make a long flight bearable.
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. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you stay comfortable during your flight:
- Noise cancelling headphones
- Sleeping mask
- Neck pillow / head rest
- Comfortable clothes
- Scarf / light blanket
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 destination 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. If possible, bring a reusable one and fill up regularly.
The Federal Aviation Administration instructs pilots to drink more water to avoid dehydration to account for changing climates. Keep safety first and follow that same advice. If you want to “go the extra mile” in avoiding dehydration, avoid diuretic drinks like coffee and caffeinated tea before your flight.
9) Networking Props
Pack networking props. This is more for the destination than for the journey, but remembering to pack the necessary networking tools can be just as important. The last thing you want is to get caught off-guard and be unprepared when a big opportunity presents itself. Here’s another checklist that will ensure you are prepared:
- Extra business cards
- Pens and extra paper
- Breath mints
- Name tag
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.