In a previous article, we looked at what everyone needs to know when preparing for a business trip. In that article, we gave you a checklist of things to tick off when you’re getting ready to travel for work-related purposes. Things like booking travel and hotels, tips for when you’re at the airport and on the plane, and the advantages of booking with Up and Away as an American Express Corporate Travel Agency.
No matter how often people travel for business, one thing we hear a lot is “I forgot to pack my…”. So, as a follow-up to our previous article, we thought we’d put together this business trip packing list. You’ll also discover a few tips and tricks that will help you stay on top of your game, no matter what traveling for business throws at you.
The business essentials you must pack
You’re not Jack Reacher. You’ll need more than a toothbrush and cash when packing for a business trip. Of course, it’s tempting to think that if you’ve got your cash, credit/bank cards and passport with you, then you’ll be able to tackle any situation. But that’s not strictly true.
Let’s start with the business packing essentials, the tools you need to do your job:
- Business cards. Pack your own, but think about packing a few cards from key individuals who your customers may need to contact. This proves that you’re a close-knit team, and that your customers’ best interests are uppermost in your thoughts.
- Laptop/tablet and chargers. I’ve not heard of a laptop being inadvertently left behind, but when you think laptop, remember its charger. If the battery dies, you won’t look very professional.
- A notebook and pens. Keep a pen handy always. Make the ‘top pocket pat’ the last check you make before leaving your hotel room.
- Cell phone and charger. Your phone is your lifeline to the world. It’s the quickest way for you to get in touch with your customers and your boss (and for them to get hold of you). Again, don’t forget your charger. Charge your cell phone every night.
Here’s a great tip. Take high-resolution photos of your business cards, driver’s license, passport, credit and bank cards. If they get lost or stolen, you’ll have all the details to hand to cancel and order new.
Back to your business tools:
- Take a Wi-Fi card with you. Hotel Internet access can be hit and miss. A Wi-Fi card will eliminate any Internet access issues you may encounter.
- USB flash drive. One of the handiest of business tools, keep all your presentation in one place on a flash drive. Easy to access, and great for transferring files or other info when needed.
Clothes and personal accessories
There’s a few things you shouldn’t travel without. Some may seem obvious, others are less so:
- Breath mints. No one enjoys speaking with someone who has bad breath.
- Toiletries. Never travel without your toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo and hairbrush. Don’t forget your razor, either.
- Medications. If you’re on medication, put this in your bag before anything else. To do business, you have to stay healthy.
- Spare glasses or contact lenses. Need I say more?
- A spare pair of shoes. Keep these in a shower cap, so they don’t make your clothes dirty.
- Shirts, trousers, and a jacket. Think about how many meetings you’ll have, and pack enough for a change of clothes for every meeting. Don’t rely on hotel laundry services to launder your clothes in time.
Pack belts by rolling them and storing them inside your shirt collars. This saves space and keeps shirt collars in good condition.
When you’re packing, roll soft fabrics to reduce wrinkles. If your clothes do get wrinkled, hang them in the shower room to steam the wrinkles out.
Don’t forget your underwear and socks!
Carry on traveling light
The lighter you travel, the better it is. Try to take just a carry-on bag the next time you make a business trip. You’ll move through airports faster, and have all your belongings with you all the time. You’ll also save money by not having checked luggage. Pack heavier items at the bottom of your bag. This will make carrying it easier, and keeps the rest of your belongings in better condition.
Make yourself a personal business trip packing list, and tick off every item as you pack it. You’ll never be left with an embarrassing moment when your laptop dies, or you need to ask for a pen to take notes.
Contact us today to discover why American Express selected Up and Away as a corporate travel agency partner, and why so many business travelers trust us when it comes to making the most cost-effective business trips.