Here are some great packing tips for a business trip!
Packing for a Business Trip?
Some must-remember travel items.
I travel several months a year, speaking to business professionals about networking. When traveling (especially internationally) I try hard not to forget important items I need for meetings or speaking engagements ... but I am only human. As often as I try to get it perfect, I sometimes forget items. It’s hard to remember everything all the time.
A few months ago, I spoke with a reporter working on an article for an international magazine on this very topic. The reporter asked, “What should business people think about taking with them on business trips, specifically those things they might not normally think about?”
As I began forming the list, I found myself adding more and more items essential for a successful business trip. Because I thought this list would benefit many business travelers, I wanted to share them here.
Here are a few somewhat less obvious items that certainly come in handy:
- Plenty of business cards. It is never a good idea to run out of business cards while traveling. Tuck extras in your suit pockets, wallet/purse, briefcase, luggage, etc. I put stacks in many places to ensure I always have extra.
- A name badge. If you do any networking while traveling on business, have your own professional name badge. Don’t rely on the hosting organization to provide a name badge—and do it right.
- Extra pens. Make sure you have a pen with you while you are at meetings. I always find that I need to write some reminders down while I’m talking to people. It’s troublesome to track down a pen while you are busy networking.
- The contact information (or business cards) of all your referral partners. I sometimes find that having that information at my fingertips allows me to give referrals to people while I’m out networking.
- Hand sanitizer. I know I might seem a little bit like Mr. Monk, the germ-a-phobe title character of a television series. However, since I started using hand sanitizer—because I shake so many hands—I have been sick far less. Just be tactful about the way you use it. Don’t desperately and obviously spray your hands every time you shake someone’s hand.
- Breath mints. As obvious as it may sound, I can assure you from experience that many people have no idea they need them.
- A memory stick. Many times I have either needed to retrieve a file for personal purposes or for others while out networking. Having a memory stick handy has been very helpful on several occasions.
- A camera and/or video. A camera is great if you want to memorialize some occasion or a meeting with someone important to you. A video is important for anyone who blogs. It gives you a chance to interview someone during your travels. I do this almost every time I travel.
- Tools for your business. For me, that includes many copies of my bio for introductions whenever I speak. Despite the fact that my team sends the bio in advance, there are many times when I arrive and they don’t have the bio handy. Another tool is a PowerPoint remote clicker. This is really important, because I don’t want to rely on someone else to move the slides forward as I present. Also, you know that memory stick I mentioned earlier? I have copies of my talk(s) on there just in case the group I’m speaking to has misplaced my presentation material.
When I asked some colleagues and other business travelers what they would add to the list, they offered these trip-savvy suggestions:
- A phone charger. I agree, especially seeing how much these items cost in an airport or in another country. And you certainly won’t want to forget your laptop power cord; besides being expensive, it’s often impossible to be able to get the right one easily, if at all. Also, you should write a “note to self” to fully charge all of your electronic devices the night before you leave!
- Power adapter/converter. Though it’s usually easy to pick up a “universal” adapter at airports or stores in heavily populated areas, in this electronic age you would hate to need one and not be able to find one; it’s best to have one (or two) packed and ready when you need it!
- The right clothes. Most of you have experienced weather changes from one town to another; you can imagine how conditions can vary across the country and globe! It’s never been easier to plan what clothes to bring, thanks to online weather forecasts. (Of course, there are no guarantees where weather is concerned!)
- A good book. Oh yes – a most important item to include! Those airport layovers, delays, and long flights can seem even longer without something interesting to read. Here’s something to consider. If you are an avid reader who uses an e-reader or other mobile device to read books: You might want to also include a “paper” book and/or magazine for those take-offs and landings when all electronic devices must be turned off. And you never know when you’ll run out of battery power on a long trip!
There are certainly more items to include, but these items are enough to get you ready for lift-off. You definitely do not want to forget them!
What would you add to this list and why? We’d love to hear your comments. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!