What to Pack When Traveling for Work

Joe Nafziger // Aug 11 // Insights



No matter your job, at some point you'll probably have to travel for work. For some people, this means attending an industry conference. For others, it might be corporate training or sitting in meetings at a client's HQ. In ad agencies, the majority of travel centers around photo and video shoots, client meetings and new biz pitches. This year alone, I've traveled 31 days for shoots around the USA and Canada. It's both fun and exhausting.

In that time, I've dialed in what to pack, what not to pack and how to pack it all up so you're not wasting time. Below you'll find a list of things recommended you have on hand. I'm not a fashionista, so I'm only going to say one thing about what to wear: Don't dress down too much. Your client might be on your same flight. Collared shirt for dudes. Whatever is fashionable for ladies. No shorts. Sneakers without stains. You don't have to be fancy, but you do have to look like you receive a paycheck. Plus, the nicer you look when you fly, the better chance you have of getting an upgrade. They don't send the numbnuts in the Ed Hardy t-shirts to first class.

Always Bring:

- every power charger you can think of—I've personally helped Apple reach record-breaking profits with all the charger cables purchased after forgetting them at home.
- travel itinerary and need-to-know information—hopefully provided by the Account team. Even if it's just in an email, at least "flag" those emails.
- noise-canceling headphones—for loud-ass planes and louder-ass babies.
- earplugs—for sleeping in hotels, or using them on the plane in place of $350 headphones.
- a laptop—for getting work done and streaming video to your hotel TV [see below].
- workout clothes—you're going to be eating like crap and sitting around a lot. Break a sweat on purpose at least every other day.
- a bag you don't have to check—I traveled 17 days straight with just a carryon. You can do it, too.
- Uber app—Don't drink and drive.
- Yelp app - You surely have this app already, but the simple formula to find a great place without busting your per diem is "four stars, two monies." Never fails.
- CityMaps2Go App—works offline, great for international travel where you might get slammed with fees for using cellular data.
- gum—dude, keep your coffee breath in check.

Try to Bring:

- swimsuit—hot tuuub!
- HDMI cable—Stream your laptop to your hotel TV. If you're an Apple user, get an HDMI to Thunderbolt adapter.
- company credit card—so you don't have to pay.
- Your reward programs numbers—so you still get the points.
- umbrella or super-lightweight raincoat—I've been burnt by this a couple of times. It doesn't rain much in San Diego.

Did I miss anything? What do you always bring with you when traveling for business?


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