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We hate to admit it but these days, there’s not a lot of glamour left in business travel, is there? No more cigars and champagne in the airport lounge, or unlimited expense accounts for entertaining clients. But with a little prep, it can at least be productive and hassle-free. You already know you need to drink plenty of water and pack some pain killers, but consider these essential items as new must-packs and you may actually enjoy your time on the road next time:
Before setting off:
Global Entry – If you’re going in and out of the U.S. it’s really worth signing up for Global Entry. You’ll be thankful when there’s an hour-long wait for customs and immigration and you’re just a fingerprint scan away from collecting your luggage and hailing a cab.
Lounge Pass – What’s not to love about a Lazyboy, free Wi-Fi, and a glass of beer to put you in a good mood before your flight. Check if you can buy a lounge pass for your airline, or whether your credit card or airline points card gets you free access.
Ziplock bags: Simple and effective. Use them to pack everything from your toiletries to your favourite ground coffee. Bring large ones to stash laundry on the road and small ones for snacks on the plane.
In the air:
Tablet: don’t pull out your 12 pound IBM laptop onto your airline dinner tray. Give yourself room by having a tablet to work on quickly and easily. Plus, when the in-flight entertainment system fails (as it is prone to do these days) you’ll have your favourite TV shows and a movie or two at your fingertips.
Moisturizer and eye drops: You already know that the air on a plane is drier than the Sahara, and those little bottles of alcohol just compound the problem. So put mini-versions of your favourite face cream or serum in your hand luggage, and get some quality eye drops to avoid redness and discomfort during the flight
Important docs: If you’ll be getting right down to business upon landing, then it pays to have all the documents you’ll need with you on the plane. And experts have found that we retain things better if we study them just before sleeping, so go over those important notes just before your in-flight nap.
At your destination:
Mini speakers: There’s nothing like your own playlist to help you wind down in a new place, so get a small, bluetooth-enabled speaker that you can take with you from room to room (it can also work well for amplification of conference calls)
Business cards: LinkedIn may be seen as the best place to make introductions and network, but business cards are still useful to have on you during corporate travel – especially in places like China and Japan, where it will be seen as disrespectful to not reciprocate when you receive one from a new connection.