You have seen them, they all look alike, the regular ‘road warrior’ with their determined expression, wrinkle proof suit and pulling a beaten up carry on bag…whether you travel a little or a lot with your company there are many ways you can boost your personal productivity when you travel. These before, during and after strategies will help you maximise your time, limit your stress and overall increase your travel productivity.
Before You Travel
Buy the tools – you wouldn’t build a house without the right tools, travel is no different. To be a productive traveler you want to ensure you have a variety of tools to assist the comfort and productivity of your trip. Tools to consider purchasing are quality luggage, Ipod, noise cancelling earphones, soft briefcase and GPS system.
20-22 inch Carry On expandable luggage – I like Briggs and Riley, it is durable, light weight, expandable, self healing and well made. Check out http://www.briggsandriley.com. These are allowed in the US and other countries as carry on baggage. When you are buying luggage look for features such as pull along, strong wheels, stability foot on the bottom (in case it gets too heavy), external zippers (to hold travel documentation and the Ziploc toiletry bag) and also make sure the pop up handle is a ‘one pull’ action.
IPOD or MP3 – this is not a luxury, this is a requirement for any travel. I have a created a selection of play lists, including one with very relaxing music so that when it is time to sleep I can turn to this group and fall asleep.
Noise canceling earphones – these are a little bit of a luxury, but I wouldn’t travel anywhere without them. My husband previously flew many long international flights and he turned me onto this great invention. I prefer the Sony small ear bud type and take them where ever I go http://www.sony.com
Briefcase – I like a soft tote briefcase that allows me to include personal and work related items. My favourite is from Coakley Business Class (sorry guys these are just for women) and they are the best travel briefcase I have ever found (and you can use it everyday!) [http://www.coakleybusinessclass.com]. For the gentleman, try the soft Samsonite one, it has great suspension in the shoulder strap. When looking for a brief case also make sure it has the feature to be able to slide it over your carry on luggage (many have a soft strap or a zippered section to allow you to do this).
GPS (Global Positioning System) – this was the best gift I ever got! They are now getting smaller and smaller and are perfect to plug into your rental car when you arrive in another city. Also when we were in Italy last year we downloaded the European maps and it was great fun to get around tiny little towns. I have named mine ‘Bella’ – she keeps me company when I am driving late at night or in a city where I don’t know my way.
Consider clothing – When you are regularly on the road I suggest a few strategies to help make your life easier for both packing and arriving looking together.
Travel Outfit – Create your own travel outfit, yes it can be the same every time. Mine is a pair of black pants, black top (I have a short sleeve one for summer and a long sleeve one for cooler months), pantyhose and a pair of black patent leather flat slip on shoes. I wear the same silver jewellery with it all and I know when I arrive at the security line I don’t have to remove anything (except my shoes) – that is why pantyhose (or socks) are good when you have to take off your shoes. The fabric of this outfit doesn’t crease and is comfortable (which makes a huge different on those long flights).
Airport shoes – think about the quality and make of the shoes you wear to the airport. I suggest slip ons of some description so you are not awkwardly trying to tie up laces or straps. Also ensure they are comfortable and well made as you often have to walk long distances between gates or to the parking area.
Carry a pashmina – for the ladies, I recommend you invest in a dark coloured pashmina that has many uses. On the plane it is a great blanket (and so many airlines in the US don’t supply pillows and blankets). When I rent a car it becomes a booster seat for me (he he). When I have to sit on an airport floor (yes I have done that living here in the US) it is great to place on the floor … oh and yes I can wear it if I need to keep warm.
Jewellery – wearing the same silver jewellery when I travel I know I can wear it the next day and I can walk through the screening area without having to remove it. It simplifies the process and speeds up the line.
Belts – if possible, don’t wear an outfit that requires a belt as it is only one more item of clothing you have to remove at the airport line.
Productive Packing – there are many opinions on what to pack and I find the most productive way for me is having a series of pre-packed bags. This includes luggage, carry on plane survival kit, brief case, make up and toiletry bags.
Pre-packed luggage contents includes:
Ziploc toiletry bag
First aid items (band aids, safety pins and head ache tablets)
Make up bag
Clothes brush (I have a long haired cat and her fur seems to make its way across the world with me)
Book of interest
Cell Phone charger
Laptop power pack
Stamped stationery (note cards and envelopes)
Carry on plane survival kit contents include:
Noise cancelling earphones
Spare battery for noise cancelling earphones
Eye mask (for those long flights)
Travel size toothbrush and toothpaste
Make up kit – ladies if you travel a lot I suggest you buy a full set of make up and make up brushes and tools and keep them in a separate make up bag so you never have to go looking for something and you never forget something on your trips.
Ziploc Toiletry Bag contents include travel sized:
Decanted shower gel
Hair care products
Travel sized perfume or aftershave (most brands now supply a smaller size compliant with airline safety standards)
Spare contact lenses
Many department stores and pharmacies carry a range of travel sized products. I was fascinated when I was in Sephoria in Times Square recently that the merchandising near the payment counter had changed significantly and provided 50+ choices of regular band products in travel sized convenient containers.
Plastic helps – My friend Camille was an airline goddess for many years and gave me this great tip, using the plastic you receive from your dry cleaners around your clothes helps avoid creases.
Duplicate copies – to be more productive (and for a few extra dollars) consider investing in duplicates of everything you travel with. If you are a regular traveler, having a pre-packed bag will allow you to leave with minimum notice and save time and stress before any trip. On your list of items to buy you could include:
Toiletries available in travel size
Brushes – make up brushes, hair brushes or co