11 Essentials for Business Travel


Did you know that Americans fly an average of 405 million business trips every year? Business travel is a huge part of the travel industry, which is why many planes and hotels offer special options for people who are traveling for work.

If you travel for business, you likely have a love/hate relationship with it. On one hand, you have the opportunity to see new things and go to new places on the company’s dime.

On the other hand, you don’t get to spend as much time at home as you’d like, and you have to deal with all of the annoyances that come alongside air travel and hotel stays.

There are a few items that can make your business trip less frustrating and more enjoyable. Next time you pack your bag of travel essentials, consider including several of these options in your packing list.

Read on to learn more.

1. Good Tech Devices

Having good tech devices is everything when it comes to business travel. If possible, see if your workplace will provide you with modern devices for your next business trip.

But what do you need?

First, make sure that you have a high-power reliable laptop. It’s best to keep your personal laptop and your work laptop separate. Your new work laptop needs to be able to maintain high speeds and hold onto a charge for as long as possible so you don’t have to disrupt your workday when you don’t have access to power (more on that later).

Regardless of what it is, it has to have great reviews and it has to be small enough that it comfortably fits into your carry-on bag.

If you have room, it’s also helpful to pack a large tablet. Tablets with styluses are great for taking notes on the go, doodling when you’re bored, and watching shows and movies while you’re on the plane.

Remember to keep your devices in a small laptop case so you can easily pull them out of your bag when you go through airport security.

2. Portable Battery Packs

Having a good portable battery pack can save your business trip.

Remember that you might not always have access to a power outlet. Even in airports with an abundance of outlets, you may find that they’re either in inconvenient locations or they’re already occupied by other travelers.

Rather than stressing about this and missing work, simply take out your own portable charger and continue working. Portable battery packs are affordable and small enough that it’s best to take two or three with you for long trips.

3. Mobile Hotspot

You may also want to consider a mobile hotspot.

While most airports and hotels have available wifi, it can be hard to access. In hotels, it may cost a lot of money that your business isn’t willing to give you for the trip.

A mobile hotspot is perfect for these situations. You’ll have access to high-speed internet no matter where you are. You no longer have to sit in a crowded café to get your work done while you’re traveling.

Many phones have mobile hotspot options, so before you buy a standalone one, see if that’s available to you.

4. Collapsible Water Bottle

Everyone knows that airport foods and drinks are overpriced. Businesses know that you can’t bring beverages in with you, and they take advantage of that by marking up water bottles. Airports offer water, but often in tiny bottles.

Remove your need to waste disposable plastic (and money) by bringing your own water bottle.

If you often run out of room in your carry-on, bring a collapsible water bottle. This way, you can bring it through security without taking up extra space and then fill it later on.

You can continue using the water bottle throughout your trip so you don’t have to buy one from the hotel later. Remember that it’s important to stay hydrated while you travel!

5. Travel Pillow

Let’s face it: airplanes are uncomfortable. Even if you’re lucky enough to fly first-class, small planes still only offer uncomfortable (or slightly more comfortable) seats. You know that you don’t want to recline too far so you don’t disrupt other passengers, so what do you do?

Get a soft microbead or memory foam travel pillow. You’ll be able to keep your neck comfortable and you might be lucky enough to even get some sleep while you’re on the plane so you can arrive at your destination feeling fresh and ready to greet the day.

Make sure to get a travel pillow that you can attach to your carry-on so you don’t have to try to cram it inside.

6. Outlet Adapters or Extension Cords

Have you ever been to a hotel that didn’t have anywhere near enough outlets (or where the outlets were almost inaccessible from where you wanted to sit)?

While most hotels will have outlets that are convenient, this isn’t always true. You may find yourself sitting on the floor or having to trade your bedside lamp for your computer charger.

An outlet adapter or an extension cord will fix this problem.

7. Coffee Packets and Teabags

If your hotel doesn’t offer complimentary coffee, you’re wasting your money. Sure, you can go to a local café or pay for the overpriced instant coffee packets or Keurig cups in your room, but why bother when you could bring your own morning beverages?

Instant coffee packets and teabags cost a few cents at grocery stores, and you can use them whenever you want while you’re on your trip. When you need a little caffeine boost, having these items on hand will be a life-saver.

8. Luggage Organization Tools

Do you always struggle to fit everything into your carry-on bag? It can be challenging when you have to bring documents, tech devices, clothing, toiletries, and everything else that you have to bring with you for your business trip.

It’s worse still if you need to bring a fancier outfit for an important conference, meeting, or dinner.

Luggage organization tools will save your trip. You’ll be able to pack more items in a small space so you don’t have to check a bag. The organizers also make it easier for you to find your items when you need them (which is great for airport security when you need to remove liquids and electronic devices).

Packing and unpacking will be a breeze when you keep yourself organized.

9. Emergen-C

Do you always get the sniffles after a long flight? There’s a reason for that! The lack of humidity in the air and your close contact with other people make you more susceptible to illnesses. Especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial that you do everything in your power to keep yourself healthy on your next business trip.

While you should follow all basic precautions, like avoiding touching surfaces, avoiding touching your face, and using hand sanitizer, you can also give yourself a boost by using Emergen-C or a similar product.

These products will fill your body with electrolytes and vitamins which may help you stay healthy after your flight. That said, it’s not a replacement for proper hydration and eating healthy food before your trip.

10. Good Noise-Canceling Headphones

There’s nothing worse than being on a plane and realizing that you forgot your headphones. Now you have to endure the entire flight without any entertainment (aside from a good book, which we also recommend).

You could buy headphones at the airport, but just like food, they’ll be marked up. Even mediocre headphones can cost upwards of $50 when you’re buying them from an airport kiosk.

Before your trip, get a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. You can use them when you’re trying to sleep and when you want to watch your in-flight movie without disrupting any other passengers.

11. A Notebook

While this low-tech essential might not seem important when you have a laptop, notebooks are actually great for traveling.

If you run out of power while you’re on the plane, a notebook provides somewhere to jot down your thoughts or even draw to entertain yourself. You can also bring it with you during meetings.

We recommend a pocket-sized notebook so you don’t take up too much room in your carry-on.

Don’t Forget These Business Travel Essentials

Business travel can be enjoyable (within reason) when you keep the right items in your carry-on bag. You can still travel light with all of these work travel essentials, so don’t leave anything behind.

Have fun on your next business trip!

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