Even the most experienced road warrior could use a few extra ideas to improve the quality of their business trips. Solving problems before they happen is the essence of being the prepared traveler, and these ten ingenious “fixes” will literally be “trip savers” on those occasions when you really need them.
- Pack your clothing…then put back a third of what you included. It’s a certainty that we always pack too much. Just remember how many clean clothes you brought back from your last trip. Not over-packing makes for lighter luggage and less chance of getting add on baggage fees, plus there’s more room for unique items like the next hack…
- Get a Scrubba Laundry Bag. Light weight (5.3 oz.) and fold-able to pocket-size, this world’s smallest washing machine takes up no space and lets you wash socks, underwear, shirts and more, quickly, without electricity. It’s also great for camping, power outages and heading back doubles as a dirty clothes bag. (Don’t forget to bring along a small container of liquid laundry detergent!)
- As soon as you know a trip is coming up, make a list of things to do before you go. This gives you plenty of time to gather all the travel-sized toiletries, toiletry bags, snacks, water bottles and medicines you’ll need. Have the list include duties like calling your credit card company or bank to let them know you be charging from another country (so they don’t cut you off). Also make sure a friend or relative has a copy of your itinerary as a safety precaution.
- Bring along a first aid kit. It should include Band Aids, antibiotic, aspirin, cough drops and any other over the counter products you regularly use. Consider adding Mastic Gum if you get ulcers (they’ll clear up a sudden flare-up quick) and Digestive Enzymes (like Digest Gold) for travel into areas with potentially bad drinking water. Start with a small kit, commercially prepared and add items you want.
- Build in a Bleisure Day. Going someplace interesting? Traveling right before or after a weekend day? Give yourself an extra day at your destination where you do nothing but sight-see, shop and relax. Your body and soul will thank you.
- Roll It and Cube It. Combine two great packing hacks by first rolling your clothes and then putting them into compression packing cubes. You’ll have a better organized suitcase and fewer wrinkles to iron out in the hotel room. If these are new concepts, look them up on the internet, you’ll find dozens of helpful web pages and product listings.
- Pack your suitcase TWO days before you leave. Nothing is worse than having to do last-minute packing the night before departure. You invariably have to do some laundry, and pulling together all the right stuff can wear you out at a time when you should be resting instead.
- Get a refillable water bottle. Dehydration is one of the key issues you can face while flying. Take your empty, refillable water bottle through check-in, then fill it at the gate. Check out the S’well water bottle. It has a wide mouth which lets you add ice cubes. Cool!
- Get the travel insurance. Travel insurance policies are like travelers…they’re all different. Some policies cover Covid, others don’t, some cover trip delay and lost baggage, others don’t. Likewise, some travelers have adequate health coverage outside the country, either through their own insurance or coverage through their credit card; others would be in serious trouble if they got seriously sick abroad. Also note, some policies have a short time window if you expect to cover preexisting conditions, meaning you can only be covered if you get a policy right before you book. So a little research is required. We like Value Penguin’s report on travel insurance. You can start your research there.
- Plot out your ground transportation options before departure. Getting from the airport to your hotel, from your hotel to your meeting, and back to the airport again is, frankly, easier in some places than others. Knowing your options will tell you whether a bus, cab, Uber/Lyft or rental car is the best plan. You may have fellow travelers and the car looks better, or may have to take the client to dinner. Public transportation could work great in certain cities (Chicago, Atlanta, Paris, London) while being practically non-existent in others. Your hotel could have a shuttle, etc. Take a little time to determine what will work best in your destination, then book a rental car…or not.
There are going to be challenges on any trip. Just make sure you didn’t cause any of them by not planning ahead!