Over the years I have traveled all over the world on business and seen some great things. But I always remember that first trip, the fear of being late, missing a flight, what if I’m uncomfortable? What do I take with me? Well I want to make your first or next business trip that little bit easier.
This is also aimed at flying long distance rather than driving.
- What to take.
This might seem like a pretty easy question to answer. However on my first trip it definitely was not, I remember carrying two sets of clothes, iPad, laptop, headphones, books, and in 2 carry-on bags and god was it a nightmare.
I quickly learned that the best way to travel was as light as possible and just stick to what I would call the essentials.
Here’s what I take:
IPad – If you can get away without your laptop.
Pen and notebook – I love writing ideas down
Small hand Towel – this is great can double as a blindfold to block light as well as offering refreshment in times of need.
Chargers – for everything that may need charging
1 book- planes and airports are a great opportunity to read
Tooth bush + toothpaste – under 100ml
T- Shirt, shorts and a change of underwear – this is great for when you are flying over night.
And that is pretty much everything it all fits into one lightweight bag that is easy to carry. Trust me that is all you need.
If you travel light you can get around the airport a lot easier as well as on and off planes. This is especially important if you have a connecting flight.
- When to get there.
Now this is something some will say I over do but my track record so far backs me up. I have never missed a flight, bus, train or meeting. And this is how I do it
If you are flying abroad write that entire day or two of, make the whole thing about travelling. Don’t try and squeeze in a meeting. Allow yourself the time to get where you have to be. Make it your priority.
If your flight is at 5:30 pm be there at 1 pm. Be super early this way you know you have all the time to get where you need to be and not stress out. This will make your whole experience better and the way I think about it is that I would rather be sat in the airport waiting for my flight, reading a book or sending some emails than waiting at home to leave for the airport.
As soon as you see your flight details and that the gate has opened, go to the gate try and be ahead of yourself.
- What to wear.
You need to factor in a few things here. One you need to be comfortable as you have a long trip and two you never know who you could meet in an airport. I have met some great business people in airports that have led to some great opportunities and the conversations have started all from the way I was dressed.
So how can you make sure you cover all bases?
While in the airport I like to be business smart. Open neck shirt and a nice suit. It makes me feel ready for the next adventure. It also gives me the confidence to approach someone of interest and you always get that question waiting for your flight ‘’so on business?’’ this can be a great way to meet interesting people and could create all sort of interesting opportunities.
While on the plane for hours I slip into my shorts and T-shirt, this makes me more comfortable and also keeps my business attire sharp, clean and fresh for when I depart the plane.
- How to pack.
I remember my first trip The States, as you could imagine I was filled with excitement. I was so excited that I chucked all my shirts shoes and pretty much my entire wardrobe into my suitcase and shot out for my 4 am cab to Gatwick Airport.
(photo of neatly packed case)
I didn’t really think much of it until I got to my hotel totally drained from travelling and pulled out all my overly creased shirts and trousers. With a meeting the very next day the last thing I wanted to do was spend ages ironing. But I had to all because I didn’t pack properly.
Spend the time the night before you fly folding all you need properly. This doesn’t mean you won’t have creases but it will insure its minimal work later on.
Limit the amount to take with you, remember there is such thing as launderettes and dry cleaners in other places too. This will save you time and make your business trip much easier.
Charge your phone, laptop and tablet whenever you get the opportunity even if it’s nearly full as you don’t know when the next opportunity will come.
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