Traveling for work is a common requirement for those of us in the association world. Below are my top tips to utilize when traveling for work without losing your mind.
TripIt is by far one of the best resources for the constant traveler. It aggregates all your travel information and stores that information in an easy to use app. All you need to do is forward your confirmation emails to an easy to remember email and you are ready to go.
2. Dual level suitcase
When packing for work trips, I want to make sure to keep shoes separated from nicer work clothes. The dual level suitcase helps keep things clean and organized.
I like to keep my hands free when traveling, which is why I swear by my backpack. The many compartments make traveling with a laptop, iPad, and important conference materials easy and manageable.
4. Portable cell phone charger
The most likely thing to happen while traveling away from a home base is that your phone battery will die. When that happens, the last thing you want to be is tethered to a wall or, even worse, to have to walk away from your phone while it’s charging. That is why I use a portable phone charger. Once your phone battery is depleted, all you need to do is plug your phone into the portable light weight battery and you are ready to go. There are tons of options out there for the many devices in your life; this blog can help find the one that’s right for you.
5. Swapping time zones in Outlook
Setting up on-site meetings can be difficult, especially when time zones are involved. Outlook has a method for changing your time zones on specific meeting requests. Follow the directions here to avoid running late when you are on the go.
6. Binders with dividers (and pocket insert)
Organization is key to successful work travel. The best way I find to stay organized is with my event binder. The binder is broken up into sections dependent on the event. Additionally, I use a pocket insert to hold important “non-holepunchable” items such as room keys, cell phone(s), pens, post-it notes, and jump drives. All of this helps me to move about my day with as few items to remember as possible.
7. Facetime/Skype/Google Hangout
Being away from home is hard. Thank goodness it’s 2014 and we have come a huge way in technology. Facetime, Skype, Google Hangout all make it incredibly easy to see your friends and family in real time while on the road. Skype and Google Hangout require no software or expenses other than a computer with a camera and access to the internet.
8. Drop Box
Drop Box is a wonderful service that allows you to store data in a cloud for free or for a nominal fee. Drop Box is a great place to keep important documents that you want to access quickly from anywhere on any type of device.