This week, I’m hitting the road not once but twice for a work or work/pleasure trip. That’s twice more than usual for me.
Last year, I made business trips to Orlando, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. And the year before that I traveled about the same amount.
In my 20s while I was still single, I traveled a lot for work. Then I was a SAHM and got out of practice. So in the past few years, I’ve had to relearn what I need to take on a business trip and what will just end up weighing me down.
When I’m on the road, here’s what I take:
1. Satchel – I used to carry a Cole Haan briefcase bag (thanks for the Nike employee discount sis!) – black leather trim, gorgeous to look at, way too heavy. Last year, I nabbed a cute blue tweed Tory Burch tote (see picture) at Nordstrom that was marked down to less than half the original price. It zips closed and is big enough to fit a netbook, charger, miscellaneous files and travel documents and the entire contents of my purse, in case I don’t want to bring one with me.
2. Netbook – Until this fall, my 2009 Acer netbook went with me everywhere. Now it’s attending college with my daughter, so for the time being I’m using a ThinkPad netbook from Lenovo. Not my favorite. I still haven’t tried traveling with only an iPad, though I know lots of people who do – I need a netbook.
3. Netbook charger and mouse – Never leave home without the charger – I used it yesterday on the train home from Seattle. The mouse is there in case I get tired of the thumb pad.
4. Mobile phone – In my case, a Motorola Droid I got in late 2009 and am eagerly looking forward to upgrading. The phone doubles as my alarm clock. I also use Google Maps and Places when I’m away for finding restaurants and getting around town. I use an app called Coffee Fix to find the closest Starbucks and apps from Delta and Southwest Airlines to make sure my flights are on time.
5. Camera – Built into the phone; if I need something better, I bring an Olympus digital camera that belongs to the family.
6. Phone chargers – One for the hotel room and one for the rental car.
7. Business cards – Created to match my website by the wonderful Ron Doyle. I also have Bump on my phone, though I rarely use it.
8. Notepads – What can I say, I’m old school. A notepad is my security blanket – I may or may not use it to take notes, but I want one around just in case. Plus, I’ve switched back to doing handwritten to-do lists on yellow pads.
9. Pens – Uniball or Pilot blue or black gel pens.
10. Magazines – The only time I let myself indulge in the latest issues of InStyle or PeopleStyleWatch is when I’m on the road (I didn’t realize I’d be revealing my inner fashionista in this post, now you know).
11. Books – Gotta have good reading material, especially on the plane. My pick for this trip, Abraham Vergehese’s Cutting for Stone.
12. New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzles – I’m addicted.
What work essentials do you bring on a business trip? Share your secrets by leaving a comment.