When gearing up for business travel, your packing strategy needs a professional mindset. This isn’t going to be a duffel-bag kind of trip. Save your time and patience for the work waiting for you at your destination.
Below is a list of must-haves to help navigate the brutal obstacle course that is modern travel. This gear will get you through security, to your gate and to your destination worry- and frustration-free.
Let’s start with the no-brainer. For a relatively small fee and a bit of preparation, any U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident can breeze through security screenings. The online application and in-person Transportation Security Administration interview process are small hassles to achieve the long-lasting status of a trusted traveler. Imagine no need to submit shoes for inspection or remove your laptop from its case for the next five years. Priceless.
Nothing imparts seriousness like military terminology does. With the Alpha Bravo, the name says it all. Durable and streamlined on the outside, it’s virtually indestructible. On the inside, it’s a portable office with pockets for essential tech and job gear.
These ingenious essentials help compartmentalize your luggage, keeping your gym socks away from your lucky tie. If you’re doing “bleisure” travel — business and leisure combined — these will be your best friends.
Technology can also keep you connected to home. With Nest you can control your home’s heat and cooling from a distance via an app. Check in to make sure that while you’re away your pipes aren’t freezing and the heating bills aren’t eating up your paycheck.
On a work trip there’s no such thing as too connected. With this watch you can check on the office, check in with your colleagues and even check into your hotel room without breaking stride — which the watch will also be tracking.
Another way to keep up the pace is to have on-the-go hydration. Flights are notoriously dehydrating. Since airport security won’t allow you to carry that full Evian bottle, better to carry a sleek S’well that you can fill up after the pat-down. This one keeps hot drinks hot for all-day flights and cold drinks cold through red-eye flights. Side benefit: free refills.
Have you tasted airplane food lately? Enough said.
You’ve breezed through the airport, finished your presentation and are up to date on the office gossip. You deserve a break. But Chatty Charlie in the seat next to you isn’t on that same wavelength. Slip on these headphones and tune him out with your playlist or blissful silence. Twenty hours of listening time and battery-free: This is relaxation in wireless form.
One that fits and is comfortable is definitely worth the investment. There won’t be time to sleep off the jet lag. A good mask will let you rest so you’re fresh for the work ahead. Pro tip: Take it off before the meeting.