Travel a Lot for Business? Here’s How to Pack for Quick Trips Around the Country.
If you’re anything like me, travelling for work is somewhat of a regular occurrence. In fact, local business trips have become such a standard criteria for most of us. That they start to become more of a nuisance after a while than a pleasure.
I’m actually one of those people who really enjoys travelling, no matter the reason. Some would say I was born into quite the nomadic family (there are a myriad of cultures that came together for the making of Marina Wildt), which is the reason travelling comes naturally to me. And given that I was first international trip was at the ripe age of 3 months, I must agree.
So having done numerous trips growing up. I’ve learnt some useful tips about how to travel tactfully and effectively, especially for the work related trips I do today. Here’s what I can share with you, that’s helped me tremendously.
1. Modern technology really is here to make your life easier
As South African’s we seem to be catching onto the digital trend more slowly than the rest of the world. There is honestly no need to have numerous documents or papers on hand anymore when travelling. Most cellphones can hold an e-ticket, and there’s likely to be an app for the airline you’re flying too. So I like to check in and keep tabs on my flight details remotely.
Another good tip I can suggest if it’s financially feasible for you or applicable to the type of work you do, is to invest in a light weight laptop or tablet. Hauling out your 12-year old 5kg laptop around is a dreadful feeling, especially when you’re trying to pack it away quickly after security and board on time.
2. Rather be safe than sorry
The most crucial things to have when travelling will always be ID, travel documents, cellphone and cash. The rest you can honestly make a plan for. So ensure you have a plan B if any of those go missing or are stolen. I strongly recommend keeping two pieces of hand luggage on you, whether it’s a handbag and backpack – or even a fanny pack if you feel like taking a nostalgic trip to the 90s. Just have a second place on hand where you can store a certified copy of your original ID and travel documents, some extra cash and a notebook with your emergency contacts. Remember the days where we used phone booths? Yeah, those still exist.
Another top tip I can recommend if you’re travelling alone is to place the initials “ICE” in front of your emergency contacts. Yes, it does stand for “in case of emergency’, so if you need help, a medic will be able to reach that special someone who you know will travel around the country to come help you.
3. Invest in a portable charger
Honestly, I cannot tell you how many times a portable phone charger has saved me when travelling. There’s nothing worse than getting on an early morning flight, spending the whole day in meetings only to find out that your phone is dead and you can’t call an Uber back to the hotel. Or better yet, forgetting to charge your phone the night before you leave to go home and you cannot access your digital flight documents.
I know a portable charger may seem expensive, but I have found it to be an investment. Even if I just have a busy day running around town without access to a plug point, it becomes your most reliable tool.
4. Carry snacks around (in zip lock bags)
Travelling isn’t an excuse to eat badly in my opinion. Foods available at airports and for economy fliers are notoriously rich in all the wrong carbs and fats. And if you want to keep alert, energised and ready to tackle your day, I would avoid eating them.
You really want foods that won’t go off in your bag and will provide a slow release of energy. Some of my favourite on-the-go snacks include game biltong, assorted nuts (namely almonds), dried fruit, stevia-based liquorice and natural energy bars made from dates.
5. Think before packing
You really wanted to minimise the amount of rubbish you end up packing for short trips that you don’t really need. For two reasons, firstly its easier to carry around and secondly, you risk losing less stuff. As a woman, here’s what I can suggest:
- Go bare with your nails or wear gel.
Nail polish is a nuisance and it chips, which means you’ll need to pack remover, more nail polish and more cotton wool in your bag. It’s honestly a waste of time and space. If you want your nails painted (which I do) just have a gel manicure done.
- Buy multi-purpose wipes.
Save yourself a lot of space by packing one set of wipes that can remove make-up, sanitize your hands or clean up some spilt coffee on your shirt that’s bound to happen at least once.
- Roll your clothes
Rolling your clothes is a great technique to help you keep more space available in your bag for an extra pair of shoes or portable hairdryer. The catch is you cannot pack clothes that will crease, which in all honesty I would avoid altogether for short trips. Let’s get real… you can’t pack a steamer.
There are lot’s of other nifty tricks and tips out there to make travelling easy. So if you’re a regular traveller, feel free to share your tips with me and I will try give them a go.
Ciao for now and travel safely.