Oftentimes when we travel, we don’t want to have to bring the office (and work) with us, but we may have things going on that require us to stay connected and in touch. I always try to stay connected with the office when I am traveling. I use the continuation of business when I travel as a real-life laboratory for determining what equipment, etc. is most helpful for someone who wants to stay connected to their business life when they travel.
I have developed a list of items that I like to take with me to make sure that I can continue carrying-on business. Some of the items that I like to travel with are decidedly low-tech, and not surprisingly, a number of them are high-tech. My list is as follows:
- Pad – basically a throwback to the days before tablets but I am still a pad/paper person more so than a tablet note-taker;
- Highlighter – I find them helpful. Many people don’t use them. It is a personal preference;
- Charger for Electronics – I find the CallPod to be great. It is a single charging unit with different connectors for your different devices. With this, I bring one charger and I am covered for all of my devices and phones;
- Small Stapler;
- Post-it Notes;
- Paperclips (just a few);
- Overnight Delivery Labels and Envelopes;
- Standard Envelopes and some Stamps;
- Laptop Computer and/or tablet;
- Portable Printer – not a “must-have”, but a nice semi-luxury that is easy to take along if you are traveling by car, but perhaps too much of a headache if you are flying, but see below;
- Portable Scanner – again, not a “must- have”, but I have found it to be very helpful in getting certain documents to clients. They are now small enough that traveling with them is not an issue. I have a ScanSnap. It measures about 12″x1″x1″ and has an available travel case;
- Power Strip – it can be a big help if you are somewhere and you don’t have enough outlets available;
- Print Cartridges (if you are bringing a portable printer) – it is terrible to be in the situation where you are printing a document and running out of ink. In most cases, you aren’t too far from a stationery store where you can replace a faltering cartridge; however, carrying a spare cartridge(s) is not a big deal and can be a real timesaver when you really need it;
Transporting all of the above is not a big deal if you are traveling by car. It can all be thrown in your vehicle, and you can be on your merry way. Traveling by plane is a different story though. What I have done is purchased a product called the Benson Box. This is a foam-lined plastic corrugated box with different compartments that are custom-cut to hold and to cushion the items that you want to take. The box is shippable, and importantly, re-usable. You can contact this company online. Tell them the dimensions of the items that you want to include in the box. They will give you a quote and make the box for you all in a matter of a week or two. They include in the box a small area for what I will call sundry office items such as your stapler, pens and pencils, paper clips, Post-it notes, etc. I ship the box to my destination a few days before I leave, and it is on-site when I arrive. I then ship it back to the office when I am ready to return.
Have you found any items or equipment to be particularly useful in transacting business while you are on a trip? If yes, please let us know. We would love to learn about it and to consider adding it to our list.
Happy (and profitable) travels!!