If you’re a modern businessman functioning in today’s ever-connected global society, there’s a good chance you’ll have to travel for business at some point or another.
In fact, thanks in part to the growing remote and multi-location workforce, business travel is steadily on the rise, with the average company’s travel spend growing over 217 percent between 2016 and 2019.
With all the pressure of making a good first impression and showing up looking polished and put-together—even after a long day of travel and the inevitable jetlag—a savvy modern businessman must know what and how to pack before a trip.
7 Travel Packing Tips & Essentials For Modern Businessman
Here are a few of the basics to ensure that you arrive fresh and in one piece.
1# Pre-Plan Every Outfit
Guys, we know it’s tempting, but don’t just throw stuff into your luggage willy-nilly before heading off to the airport.
Be strategic about what you pack, planning an outfit for each day and, if you’ve got evening plans, night. We always recommend choosing one color family—such as brown and navy or black and gray—so you only need to pack one pair of dress shoes and one belt.
Always choose wrinkle-resistant fabrics that emerge from your suitcase looking flawless.
2# Stock Your Toiletries Bag
Whatever you do, do not count on those free hotel toiletries, especially the shampoo and conditioner. They tend to leave your hair greasy, fluffy or dull.
Instead, pick out a large men’s toiletry bag with plenty of pockets for all the products you use at home.
Select travel-sized versions of your favorite men’s hair products so you look amazing and don’t have to spend time fixing an off look after relying on the free stuff.
And, don’t bring your bulky, expensive cologne bottle with you, instead grab a travel refillable sprayer that allows you to take your favorite fragrance with you on the road easily. Oh, and never leave home without a handy manicure kit!
3# Invest in Technology
Tech makes travel so much more enjoyable, does it not? We’re not bandwagoners, but we have to say there is something to be said about those new-fangled suitcases that have built-in power banks.
Ideal for your carry-on bag (according to TSA rules, you can’t check lithium batteries), these babies let you charge your phone, laptop, camera, Bluetooth headphones and more gadgets while you’re waiting for your flight or while you’re in the air.
Ear pods and wireless headphones that hang around your neck (preferably with magnetic buds so they stay in place) are absolute essentials for traveling, too, because they always stay on your body so you don’t constantly have to fiddle with taking them out and putting them away during long days of travel.
4# Load Your Phone or Laptop
If you’re dealing with long drives, layovers and flights longer than an hour or two, it’s well worth your while to make sure you have plenty of media and entertainment at your fingertips throughout your journey. Here are a few things you need on your devices before you take off:
- Entertainment, including downloaded episodes of your favorite TV shows, movies or podcasts to keep you busy while you’re offline in the air.
- Rideshare apps, especially Uber and Lyft, to get you from the airport to your hotel or the rental car office. If you’re staying close to your office, you can even use a rideshare app to score a scooter or bike that you can cruise when it’s too close to request a cab.
- Work apps, such as Slack, Google Calendar and email, if your phone is cleared by the company to be used for those purposes. This way, you can stay on top of any scheduling and correspondence before you arrive.
- Airline apps. We know, we know, another thing to download? Actually, if you regularly fly with the same airline, having their app can be a game-changer, as it allows you to see all relevant flight info right from your phone while also providing live-tracking of your luggage and more.
- Yelp and Google Maps, because you’re going to need to figure out where and how to best spend that per diem at lunch and dinner!
5# Sign Up for TSA PreCheck
Trust us—TSA PreCheck really is worth it if you’re traveling for work or pleasure more than a few times per year.
Here’s how it works: After applying online and completing an in-person background check with fingerprinting at a local office, you’re able to breeze through security in a separate, usually much shorter line without having to take off your shoes, belt or jacket or removing your laptop from your carry-on luggage. The cost is just $85 for a five-year membership—not bad at all for frequent travelers!
6# Join Every Frequent Flier and Rewards Program Possible
Just because your company is footing the bill doesn’t mean you can’t claim the miles you fly or the nights you stay at a certain hotel chain.
In fact, one of the biggest perks of work-related travel is that you can rack up rewards points throughout the year so your personal vacations wind up being deeply discounted or free. Make sure you’re a member through your preferred airlines, hotels and car rental companies.
7# Get a Good Night’s Rest
When you’re away from home for any reason, it can feel next to impossible to get a good night’s sleep, and yet it’s the thing you need the most to enjoy your trip and succeed at work.
Pack your favorite pajamas, sleep aids, headphones and a sleep mask so you get a good night’s rest before heading into the office, even if you’re jet-lagged and off your regular routine.
As with Anything, Preparation Is Key
It sounds corny, but in order for you to crush it on your next business trip, you have to spend time preparing. Make a list well in advance and keep an eye on it as you prep, pack and head out the door.
With enough pre-planning, you’ll feel relaxed every step of the way so you can focus on what matters the most—making a great impression and working your way up the ladder.
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Author Bio: Sarah Lamb