Business travel – Enjoyable or pain?

OLAM SeychellesIn a previous role, I travelled long distance every 2 weeks and was very excited at my business travel at first. Isn’t this what everybody wanted? Seeing the world while working? Colleagues warned me that it’s physically and mentally exhausting. How can a trip to the Seychelles be tiring? Very as I quickly found out myself. Learning a lot about the different countries and cultures, I also became extremely efficient in packing. 15 minutes for a full suitcase! From choosing the outfit till closing the suitcase. How can you get ready for your business trip in no time?

Before you start packing, do these 5 things first:

  1. Check the weather forecast for your destination. BBC is my preferred forecaster.  Once you know the weather, you can prepare your outfits accordingly. Nothing is worse than travelling with light summer clothes only when it’s mere 7 C/44 F.
  2. What meetings do you have? Are they internal ones or with external clients or suppliers? This will determine your outfits.
  3. Will there be any evening activities with the team? If your business partner invites you out, is there a specific dress code?
  4. Will you continue to work out while travelling?
  5. Finally, how many days will you be gone? Unless you’re going to hot and humid locations, try to mix your clothes and create different outfits. That pair of trousers will be work with the white shirt and the shirt with flowers. It almost works like a capsule wardrobe. Click here to find out more about my latest blog entry on capsule wardrobes.

Now, you can create your packing list. Bare essentials are:

  • Jacket or cardigan. A scarf or pashmina can double function as a blanket on those cold flights.
  • Shirts or tops
  • Trousers or skirts
  • Dress
  • Underwear
  • Night wear
  • Jewellery (depending on your location you may want to be careful which ones you’ll pack)
  • Shoes (remember airports can make for long walks). Check out these cute velvety shoe bags from Mi Amica.
  • Toothbrush and paste, cosmetics, shower gel and hair wash (if you don’t want to rely on the hotel’s mini bottles), hair dryer and hair straightener (depending on your hair cut)
  • Work out gear
  • A multi-plug and an adapter, if needed, along. You can charge multiple appliances at the same time – fabulous!
  • Regardless of where you’re travelling to, use TSA approved locks rather than key locks.

On departure day:

  • Have you saved important documents on the cloud? So much better then worrying about a (potentially unsecured) memory stick getting lost. Evernote and OneDrive are just 2 ways to not losing anything.
  • On your departure date, check your passport and visa, if required (if you needed a visa in advance, you may as well stay home). Do you need to bring your driving licence?
  • Exchange some cash into your host country’s currency. Don’t forget your company’s credit card.
  • Have a folder with all travel documents (e.g. flight itinerary, boarding pass, airport pick up or car rental confirmation, hotel confirmation, agenda of your meetings) in separate clear plastic sleeves.
  • If not done yet, store phone numbers you’ll need during this trip: Your airline, shuttle service or rental car company, hotel, business partners, your company’s travel department/company and your embassy in your host country, if travelling abroad. Keep also a print out in the folder with all travel documents. If your phone is dead, you’ll be glad to have this information on paper.
  • If you’re changing planes, are you going to meet a friend in transit? Assembly Networking allows you find people in the vicinity. Tripstir shares your itinerary and notifies you of overlapping trips with people from your network. Coffee anyone?
  • When on the plane, do you need an eye mask or ear plugs switch off and fall asleep? Have you seen this noise reduction headset from Bose? Relax, if you don’t need to work.


At your destination:

  • Bring some hand sanitiser and some cleansing wipes. When arriving at your hotel, wipe down the shelves you’ll be using for your clothes, common items like door handles and the TV remote control as well as the toilet seat.
  • While travelling, put your dirty clothes in laundry meshbags. If you want to make it even easier on yourself, use separate bags according to your washes (e.g. one bag for white and one bag for dark clothes).
  • A lot of hotels are nowadays providing maps for runners. Varia from Walk Jog Run gives more tips on how to explore a new city while running. Sometimes, your hotel may not be in the most suitable (or safest) location for runners. Listen to the advice from the hotel staff.
  • It’s not always possible to speak the language of the country visiting and English may be just enough. Talk Different is an app which works with images of people, situations, emotions or ideas and combines them with colour, sound or text to create easy to understand messages or questions.

Are you ready for your next trip? Share where your business has taken you this week and what you’ve packed.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Until next time,

OLAM Moscow

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