Business travel only sounds glamorous to those left behind to answer the phone, open the mail, and ship out the samples you forgot. Sure there may be a few people for whom travel is glamorous, but for the other 99.9% of us who do not fly on the corporate jet traveling for work is, well….work.
Don’t get me wrong. Business travel can be tolerable and perhaps even enjoyable with a little forethought and a lot of organization.
I’m not eating that.
You hiked and biked all weekend and even passed up birthday cake at a party. If you’re going to blow it, it shouldn’t be on airplane food. There are some food items that travel well and won’t make you fat. You should pack: organic instant oatmeal packets, nuts, dried fruit, Starbucks Via instant coffee, Kashi dark chocolate coconut bars, and Justin’s Peanut Butter packets. You can always get hot water to make oatmeal. To turn oatmeal into a balanced meal simply mix the nuts and dried fruit in a baggie then use the back of a spoon to crush the mixture so you can add it to your oatmeal. Justin’s Peanut Butter packets are great on an apple. Even the worst hotels usually have apples and bananas for guests.
Climate controlled? Is the person controlling the climate actually in this climate? Whether it’s an airport, airplane or conference center chances are slim that you will enjoy a climate suited to you, especially if you’re in a suit. It was a warm day when I headed for the airport. I checked my bags and made it through security only to find out my flight would be delayed for 2 hours, then 4, then 6, then it was 11 pm, freezing cold and all the gift shops were closed. Never one to repeat my mistakes, I now travel with a pashmina shawl or wrap, a lightweight version in the summer and a thicker version for winter. It’s a great accessory that can also work as a lap blanket. Another trick is to dress in layers, which can sound good in theory, but can be problematic when you have to remove all the layers and carry them around with you.
The TSA agents have touched me in more places than my husband.
Getting felt up at the airport is not as fun as it sounds. The trick to staying calm with airport security is to stay calm with airport security. Attitude is everything. They’re just doing their job, so even if you don’t feel like smiling force yourself. Be nice and patient with security, your fellow travelers, and flight attendants, no matter how they treat you. People respond well to kindness and it makes the entire situation more comfortable for you and those around you.
Give me your tired poor huddled masses…is not a packing style.
There’s no magic suitcase, at least to my knowledge, that puts outfits together and cleans clothes during travel. It’s best to plan your outfits, travel lightly and organize your suitcase. Create a packing list and use it each time you travel. Use pouches to consolidate like items: a pouch for undergarments, a pouch for workout wear, etc. Include a water-resistant pouch for any wet items that will be returning with you. I like the Jane Marvel Pouch Set. Include travel size static and stain remover, I like the travel set from The Laundress.
Follow the rules please.
A close and humorous friend always reminds me during travel “follow the rules please.” It’s funny how everything really does come back to the first lessons learned in kindergarten. Please check the airline and TSA websites for any rules changes before traveling. Be prepared at TSA with your liquids in a clear pouch. Bring an empty KOR Water Bottle and fill it once you get past security. Organize your carry-on and travel documents so that you can access what you need when you need it.
Fashion and function can coexist.
I will occasionally sacrifice comfort for style, but never when traveling. A wheeled bag and good shoes can make running through an airport to catch a connecting flight relatively painless. There are a lot of great bags that have wheels, Jane Marvel and Orla Kiely to name a few. For a quick flight or if you travel light it may not be necessary, but better safe than sorry. With the popularity of ballet flats there is really no need to wear stilettos while traveling; that is unless you’re flying to meet a cute guy and you’re young enough to wear stilettos without pain. If that’s the case then by all means wear whatever you want.
My final parting words are these. Please do not board a plane in slippers and pajamas. Do your best to look civilized. I realize it’s not always possible to look your best, I too have traveled with children, but you can do better than the clothing you slept in. Your fellow travelers thank you in advance.
When you're feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty getting started, it helps to make a list. Get all that stuff in your mind down on paper. Limit yourself to one line per item, if you have a due date include that next to the item. Don't worry about priority or additional detail at this time, just get it on paper. Once you've finished, group items into categories by priority, then type, for example errands, calls, urgent, etc. Relief will come as you work through the list and cross things off. To read past Quick Tips click here