The perfect guide for those who spend a lot of their life on the road.
If life is a journey, then business travel is surely a metaphor for the rigours of running one’s own business. So much of our time is spent in what business coach Dan Sullivan calls “The Gap” — the space between where we started and our goal.
So I’ve come to realize that finding ways to enjoy the journey — both metaphorically and in real life during a business trip — is crucial to maintaining the stamina required for sustained success.
And while I’d rather spend the bulk of my money and energy on the experiences and relationships that travel brings, I’ve learned through experience that there are at least a few creature comforts well worth investing in.
Here are six things to help you look forward to business travel.
1. Spanx for your suitcase
One thing I love about German automobile engineering is how their cars somehow seem to be bigger on the insides than their outsides let on. So when an organizer friend of mine told me to get packing cubes, I was suddenly shocked at how much extra room opened up inside my previously too-cramped carry-on. And then, it got next level with Eagle Creek’s garment folders.
The folding board makes it easy to get a neat stack of clothes in minutes. Then the garment folder basically acts like control top pantyhose, compressing your clothes so they stay wrinkle-free but take up less room than seems physically possible!
Seriously, I once managed to pack four days’ worth of clothes for two adults into a carry on — with room to spare for our toiletries! After just a couple of trips, these well-made items will pay for themselves in what you save in checked luggage fees.
2. Non-90s convertible fanny pack
Air travel has become somewhat high drama. A speaker friend of mine could relate, sharing her story of running out of an airport in a rushed panic, and battling the crowds. After dropping her large purse and carry on in the melée, getting her passport, credit cards and other valuable documents back was a nightmare. It got me thinking that I needed a way to keep my valuables on my person in a way that was hands-free.
As a professional woman, I was desperate to find something that was classy, yet functional. So when I found Montreal-based Holdur, it was the answer to my prayers. The company makes chic-but-functional fanny packs that convert into clutches and cross-body bags — including options like passport holders for those looking for an even sleeker option.
These items are definitely an investment piece (you can find more inexpensive versions on Amazon), but they’re a great way to keep your ultra-valuables on your person, so you won’t be stranded in a foreign city without vital documentation or access to funds.
3. A battery pack that helps you make friends
One of my favourite ways to make friends on a long flight is to let them charge their devices on my monster charging pack. I did a bunch of research before settling on this model, but I’ve been happy with the MAXOAK 50000mAh 6 Port because it lets me simultaneously charge both my phone and laptop while still having room to share.
This device is compact, lightweight and lets you (and friends) charge devices multiple times before it needs charging itself.
4. Noise-cancelling headphones
On some flights, you want to share your charger and make friends. On others, you want to buckle down and focus (or sleep). I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks on flights, and after reading that cranking up the volume to drown out the roar of ambient noise can permanently damage my hearing, I decided to take the plunge on noise-cancelling headphones.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are certainly not the cheapest pair out there, but since preserving my hearing was my objective, I decided the splurge was worth it (and it has been). Even my music snob husband agrees they might be the best set he’s ever used — and now he's constantly trying to steal my pair.
5. A customizable pair of shoes that matches everything
It makes my image consultant girlfriends cringe, but I’d live in my minimalist Vibram toe-shoes if I could. The only thing I dislike more than shopping for shoes is how much room they take up in my bag.
So when I found ShoeCandy, a company that lets you pack one single pair of (comfy!) shoes that you can dress up to look like an entire wardrobe, I was immediately smitten. Adjust the heel, straps and accessories while on the go, and you can make one pair of shoes look like a closet of different options.
ShoeCandy has saved me money and space (both at home and in my suitcase) and interestingly, even my shoe shopping-obsessed girlfriends love them, since one pair is so versatile.
6. The perfect neck pillow
Okay, here’s where I need your help...
I confess I have an embarrassingly large collection of neck pillows taking up space in my closet. Try as I might, I can’t seem to find one that is actually comfortable, reasonably easy to pack and won’t leave my neck feeling like someone square danced on it for a week. I would love your suggestions, so please let me know which one has worked for you!
About the Author
Award-winning journalist, speaker and passionate entrepreneurship advocate Geeta Nadkarni has 20+ years of experience producing print, TV, radio and new media for outlets including the CBC, CNN, Global TV, Reader’s Digest and more and was voted “Best TV Personality” by the readers of the Montreal Mirror. She now blogs for Entrepreneur.com and Huffington Post and is always looking for business success stories to feature in her writing. Her online course, Baby Got Booked teaches entrepreneurs how to do their own PR and has landed students local, national and international coverage within weeks (sometimes even days) of starting. Find out more at geetanadkarni.com and grab some of her free resources or listen to her podcast where she interviews journalists who tell you EXACTLY what they want you to do to get their attention.More Content by Geeta Nadkarni