Whether your business trips are more reminiscent of Up in the Air or Airplane!, they have the potential to enhance your career and your life, or set you back and leave you sapped when you’re back in the office. We’ll have more to say on this important topic, but for today, we wanted to cover one tip for business travel.
In short, it comes down to one thing: energy. That applies in two contexts: your body and your electronics.
It can be hard to take care of yourself when you’re running between meetings, through airports, and trying to keep up with emails and phone calls from people who are sure they just can’t wait until you’re back in the office. On the other hand, the face time with the boss, clients, potential clients, and the chance to get out of the office can all make business travel a great professional and personal opportunity, if you’re prepared to make the most of it, which requires keeping your own energy up. Of course you should get a good night’s sleep, take time for exercise, etc. But if (when?) all else fails, the easiest way to keep your energy up is to make sure you have a snack. It sounds so obvious, but think about the last time you got off a plane in a new city, unsure where the ride share line was, stomach growling, and seeing your email alerts go crazy on your phone.
Whether you're on the road or in an airplane sitting in on the tarmac for an hour, it's more stressful if you (or your boss) are hungry. Take a snack that won't get you stopped by TSA, melt in a hot plane/car, and that won’t smell or require a lot of noisy chewing. That means no tuna sandwich, jalapeno-filled burritos, carrot sticks or chips, if you’re traveling with a coworker or want to avoid dirty looks from seatmates. Then pack more than you can imagine needing. No one has ever sat on a plane and thought, "I wish I hadn't packed an extra granola bar." (The same goes for water – buy a bottle at the airport and even if your upgrade clears, you’ll be glad to have something to drink when you land at your destination.)
Keeping your energy up doesn’t just apply to your stomach; your electronics are key for travel, whether you’re counting on the iPad to be able to review deposition transcripts on the plane, or need a car-sharing app to get you to the hotel. Keeping them charged is key to travel sanity. Buy, charge, and travel with a (fully charged!) charging stick, even if you think there will be outlets -- you never know when the last person in your seat will have spilled all over the outlet, had their cord break off in it, etc.
If you're driving to or at your destination, be sure to pack a car charging cord that allows you to charge multiple items at once. For airports, a small power strip adds almost no weight to your bag but can make you popular when there's a ground hold and everyone’s clamoring for the outlets. It will also be helpful when the travel department turns out to have booked you in a hotel with just one outlet per room.
This Belkin 3 outlet mini travel charger with dual USB ports has saved us more than once: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ATZJ5YS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For international travel, we like this power strip with surge/overload protection: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UHYDYO/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
Snacks, charging sticks, and a power strip. None take up much room or are a major investment, but all will keep you and your devices fueled on your next business trip.
What do you do to make sure your business trips are a success? Share in the comments.