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Business Travel: 5 Important Items to Pack


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Let’s face it, not all travel is for pleasure. When travelling for business, here are five essential items I always remember to pack in my carry-on:

In This Business Travel Article You Will Discover:

  • How to Look Your Best
  • The Key(s) to Health
  • Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
  • And more!

I  put quite a few air-hours in annually flying to places I don’t want to go, to do things I don’t want to do. Yes, I always glean some pleasure out of any type of travel — but for business travellers, some trips can be a burden. Here are five items to ease this burden, and to keep you healthy during business travel:

 1. Eye-Drops

Business travel often means quick trips to different time zones and varying climates, combined with late nights, early mornings and sometimes a couple of social drinks.

Come the early morning meeting, your suit might be pressed, your hair coiffed, your breath fresh — but if your eyes are bloodshot you’ll look like a vagrant crawling from the gutter.

It doesn’t matter if it’s due to lack of sleep, allergies, dry air or a bottle-and-a-half of malbec, Visine (or other eye-drops) will out you in business form ASAP. Trust me, you don’t have to be a boozehound to have bloodshot eyes — even travelling to a drier climate can put you on permanent red-eye. That’s why I never leave home without eye-drops.

2. Neck Pillow

I was a late adopter of the classic neck pillow. Those who have been using these ubiquitous devices for years are permitted to snicker here, but for any non-believers: try one out. They will change your life. I fall asleep very easily on airplanes, but my neck pillow keeps me there.

I’ve enjoyed multi-hour uninterrupted snoozes thanks to my $20 pillow.

Now that’s an investment! Just don’t be one of those weirdoes roaming the airport with his pillow still fastened around his neck. That is why these things got a bad name in the first place.

3. Antacid Tablets

In a sure sign that I’m in my 30s, I always travel with a bottle of Tums. Of course, everyone knows Tums or Rolaids, or the like, stop heartburn, but did you know they can facilitate a better night’s sleep?

Too often, during travel, what actually keeps you up past the witching hour is a bit of heartburn, nausea or mild indigestion. Sometimes it is so faint it manifests as simply as “feeling off.”

Crunch a couple of antacid tablets as you turn in and you’ll have one less thing keeping you up all night. (Now about that annoying streetlight…)

4. Water Bottle

First, let’s assume you’re travelling to somewhere you can drink the tap water. Yes? OK — pack a water bottle (an empty one, that is, to get through airport security). I love my stainless steel unit. Why? Simple — hydration is the key to health, and few things dehydrate you with such potency as travel.

It’s often difficult to get properly re-hydrated, though, as upon arriving in one’s hotel the choices are usually limited to $6 bottled water, of which there may be one or two and which may not get re-stocked, or making a dozen trips to the bathroom sink to sip from a shot-glass sized cup.

(Try getting your two-litres-plus daily quotient from doing that…) Filling up a one-litre bottle and guzzling it while you watch a bit of late-night TV as well as first thing in the morning will do wonders. No potable water? Hit up a local store and buy a case of bottled water for your room. My advice: when travelling, drink at least 50 per cent more water than you normally consume at home.

5. Antibacterial Hand Wipes

The world is a disgusting place. We all know about the usual germ-ridden suspects, but have you ever stopped to consider things like an in-flight magazine or television remote control as gruesome sources of bacteria? Also, how many hands do you usually shake on a business trip? I used to tout the benefits of liquid hand-sanitizer, but these days I prefer antibacterial wipes.

They are better at actually cleaning any grime off your hands, not just sanitizing them, plus they are unlikely to be snatched by airport security.

Further, they can be used to wipe down objects — like TV remotes. And finally, they don’t leave you smelling like you’re half-a-bottle-in to your stash of Grey Goose — which is helpful when travelling with your boss.

What are your essential items for business travel?

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Image Courtesy Atee83/Dreamstime.com

About the author: David Webb is a Vancouver, BC-based travel writer, photographer and magazine editor.

2 comments… add one
  • Kevin Nov 21, 2013 Link

    Great tips, travel for pleasure is very different from business trip.

  • Abby Nov 19, 2013 Link

    I always travel because of business and for me, the best item would be the neck pillow. I really cannot travel if I don’t have my pillow.

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