We travel for business… a lot. Sometimes it’s only for a day, but often we’re producing events across the country, into the United States, and sometimes (if we’re really lucky) we get to travel overseas. Regardless of the destination, or the reason for your travel, here are a few unexpected things we never leave the office or home without.
Travel Power Strip:
Stick with me on this one. I know packing an actual power strip may make you feel like that super nerdy AV kid from your grade school days, but this one item can be a lifesaver. If you’re travelling overseas, packing a travel power strip saves you the trouble of packing multiple adapters and allows you to power your tablet, smartphone, camera and hair straightener all at once! If you’re travelling domestically, you never have to hunt down all your gadgets (or worse, outlets) across a hotel or conference room. You can even bust out your power strip at the airport when charging your phone, and gain some instant karma/networking opportunity offering a charge to a fellow traveller! My personal choice is the super compact PowerCube Charger – which also includes USB chargers and is available at Bestbuy and Amazon.
Nothing advertises you’re a tourist quiet like wandering with your arms outstretched over a crinkled map. Even now in the age of smart devices, the cost of the data to look up directions almost negates the savings making sure your taxi driver isn’t taking you on the ‘extra-scenic tourist route’ to your hotel.
But did you know that you can skip the massive data charges while travelling, and access Google Maps offline? Here’s a quick how-to:
- Before you leave, or when you’re in a WiFi hotspot, sign into your Google account on your phone or tablet and search the address of your next trip.
- Zoom into the area you’ll be travelling and select the area you want to save.
- Simply touch the menu and save as ‘Make Available Offline.
This little trick will save you from massive data charges, and transform you from a map-fumbling ‘tourista’ to a savvy traveller on the go.
An App That’s Better than a Travel Agent:
A travel agent can help you find the best deals, and can save your keister while you’re travelling. However, they are limited by time zones, and you may not have used your travel agent to book all your travel arrangements and appointments while away on business travel. If only there was a way to organize all your flights, hotels, rail passes, tours and appointments into one handy schedule? Enter TripIt – the clever little app that will consolidate your Google and Apple accounts and emails; gathering your reservations and locator numbers into a clear and concise itinerary. This handy app is viewable on your phone and can be easily sent to your travel companions or sent easily to family back home! Not only will this app organize you before you leave, it can be used to track and rebook delayed or canceled flights, and can suggest nearby attractions or restaurants to your itinerary. It’s like having a hotel concierge in your pocket.
What’s the one thing you always pack when travelling for business or pleasure? Happy travelling!