I’m a frequent flyer and I enjoyed the article by LP on what to consider bringing on business travel [“Preparedness While on Business Travel –What to Pack“]. Here are some additional ideas:
Water – I carry an empty bicycle type water bottle through security and fill it at a drinking fountain before my flight. This keeps you hydrated during your flight and from having to use the water glasses in your hotel room. (FYI – they don’t really clean those glasses.)
Food – I carry 4-6 Cliff [“sports energy” type candy] bars in my laptop bag and my checked luggage. These are dual purpose and can be used anytime there is a need for calories. (like when your stuck on the bloody tarmac for 3 hours) Store, eat and rotate these just like you would your storage food at home. They come in lots of great flavors and can be found at most grocery and drug stores. Look for them [when they are on sale] under $1 and stock up.
Clothing – This is a tough one that I have I hard time abiding by, but I’ll expand on what LP said in his article. On the plane, wear clothing appropriate for your “mission” and the climate you are traveling to, near, or across. It may be 75 degrees F at home, but if your flying to Toronto in the Winter, you should consider wearing some warm weather gear on the flight. If you rely on packed clothing, remember that if your plane is forced down, or if you have a runway mishap, you will be forced to leave the plane without any of your luggage. This happened to me personally a few years back when my plane skidded off the runway in a snow storm. We were evacuated via the slides and loaded on buses and taken to an airport that was essentially closed where we were told that we couldn’t get our luggage until after the “crash” investigation was completed. Fortunately, I did get my luggage promptly the next morning, but it doesn’t take TSHTF thinking to imagine what might go wrong in a scenario where you are trusting the airline to deliver your luggage. So, even if your only mission is to make it to your sales call that next day…. be prepared.
Transportation – If you are forced to travel home without a vehicle, consider finding a bike before you try to walk home. Urban locations are packed full of pawnshops and Wally Marts that sell very inexpensive bikes. I’m a cyclist, so I have an advantage here, but I would think that even the most inexperienced cyclist would make better time, and be more comfortable, on a bike, then hiking cross country. Even if you have a rental car, you might want to get a bike too, and put it in the trunk. You might not make it home on that last tank of gas and I wouldn’t want to be waiting for days in a gas line.
Tech – Download the free Google Maps application for your phone. It provides great maps, traffic, and sat images. I also just read that it can be used to fix your location.
Keep a backup of your emergency phone numbers, personal and financial records with you, encrypted on a USB drive. If something happens at home and your family needs info, you may need to access it from your location. – RR