Frequent business travel can take small business owners and turn them into road warriors. For those who haven’t been accumulating the miles and points with airlines and hotels, it’s helpful to have a list when packing your bags so you make sure and grab the must-have items. The following are some of the must-have items you should include for your next flight. Then sit back and enjoy your in-flight snack and soda.
Your smartphone. Seems obvious, right? But try to imagine where you’d be without it! As a business owner, it keeps you connected to clients and partners, through email, text, phone and apps. You wouldn’t leave home without it on a regular day, and that puts it at the top of our list of must-have items for travel.
Charging cables and portable charger. Your phone is simply a dead weight without battery life, so keep it alert and active by remembering your charging cables. Bring a portable charger as well to help your phone get over that afternoon slump, charging back up and giving you the percentage of battery you need to follow directions in your rental car to the restaurant that another business traveler told you is a must-stop.
Travel surge protector. When you’re in the airport, charge all of your devices with the random outlet you finally find. Then you don’t have to pay to use one of the charging stations they often have in some sort of kiosk. You might meet another traveler this way, who is desperately searching for a way to charge their device as well. Feel free to share an extra plug. Airports are gradually getting better at providing more outlets and ways to charge, but don’t bank on it. Do be prepared for those overworked outlets with a travel surge protector.
RFID blocking bag or backpack. When visiting large cities, tourist destinations and many different travel spots, your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft from card skimming increase. Thieves use portable electronic devices to skim personal information from credit cards embedded with RFID chips. When it happens, you have no knowledge of the breach and unfortunately won’t ever know what caused the issues that later show up, such as fraudulent charges and accounts.
Your VPN. You don’t pack this one in your bag, but it’s a must-have if you will be connecting to any public WiFi. Your business data is an incredibly important asset. You must protect it by encrypting your traffic when on these networks. Make sure, if you’re going to use hotel or airport WiFi, that you connect to your VPN shortly after connecting to their WiFi. PrivateTunnel has a great monthly option that you can sign up for quickly and pause for the months you aren’t traveling.
Flash drive. If you’re going to a conference or teaching training in a hotel conference room, bring one of these little guys with you just in case: in case you need to print in the hotel business center; in case you need to backup your presentation; in case you want to share larger files with someone; in case things happen.
Breath mints or gum. These are for you and for folks traveling in close proximity with you! In addition to something to have after your little airline snack, having these with you for your conferences or meetings are important, too. Make sure your impressions and networking aren’t tainted by bad breath.
Remember as you travel to be aware of your privacy and security. Have a safe trip!