I travel frequently for work, so much in fact, that I can basically pack a bag in less than an hour without much thought.
However, I’m always careful to ensure I have the necessary communications tools with me.
Notebook Many times I’ll be in meetings where I can simply take notes on the computer. Other times I’m in the field interviewing people so an old-fashioned notebook works best for me. I never mastered the art of recording interviews and transcribing them.
Pens I like to take a few pens – ballpoint and rollerball – and at least one highlighter.
Batteries I put fresh batteries in my camera and carry extras. I’ve visited places where I only expected to take a few photos and instead took hundreds. There’s nothing worse than the perfect shot and the camera dies.
Chargers I keep them all together in one place. I actually have two sets so I can keep one set with my suitcase. This also is helpful if you accidentally leave one behind in a hotel room.
Grid-ItTM organizer This is a handy organizer where you can put your chargers, a small digital camera or any other materials. I discovered it in a magazine and immediately went online to purchase it.
Jump drive I’m often in places where connectivity isn’t the best and if I need to share a file, a jump drive is the way to go. It’s also a convenient back-up for photos.
Sticky Notes I’m a list maker so I carry sticky notes just in case I want to make a reminder that I can then easily remove and toss.
Cameras I’ve been known to have three cameras with me on a trip, and I’m not a professional photographer. I have a small one that tucks neatly into a pocket. I also have a 35mm SLR. And I use my smartphone as my backup camera.
Business cards I always bring extras with me just in case. At conferences I share dozens of them but my business card organizer is only good for about 25.
I also take a page from TSA and put the pens, batteries, jump drives, sticky notes and extra business cards in a quart Ziploc bag so everything is in one place and easy to find. The chargers and camera are tucked neatly into my Grid-ItTM for easy storage.