My Travel Checklist

I travel a lot, often for work and at one point internationally a few times a year. I’ve developed some tricks and tips to make it easier, and to not forget anything.

I’ll leave it to you to figure out what you need to pack in terms of clothes; just remember, less is more. I prefer to use a carry-on only, even for long trips and trips that involve multiple functions.

So as I wander the globe, here are some tips I’ve picked up or developed –

On your phone, enter the name, phone number and address of your hotel under “Hotel.” Each time you travel, update it with the next hotel. I find this particularly helpful in foreign countries where I’m likely to mispronounce it when telling a driver where I need to go.

Get a passport wallet or something similar and keep your important details in it. I keep a bit of cash, my passport and the credit card (usually associated with the airline I am traveling) in the wallet. Make copies of everything, and keep the copies in a different place. If you are traveling with someone, give it to that person. He should do the same.

Buy a small satchel for your chargers. I keep them all in one place. I stow them in my carry-on bag, but sometimes I am forced to gate check the bag. With the satchel I simply grab it and go. No fumbling for chargers that I’ve tucked throughout the suitcase.

Find a small bag (even a sealed sandwich bag works) – I prefer one of the free bags from a makeup counter – and put your pens, highlighters, stamps, envelopes and business cards in it. This way you already have everything you need. I find highlighters useful for marking up programs so I know what I want to attend. When you collect business cards, put them in this bag and then follow up in the evening or when you return to the office. The stamps are in case you want to send a letter or a thank you note. I find if I write my thank yous while at the conference, they get done and mailed. Since everyone complains about too much email, I find an old-fashioned note is often appreciated. The envelope is to store your receipts if you aren’t doing so electronically.

What are your travel hacks?

Communication Tools for Travel

Grjip-It Organizer

This organizer simplifies travel. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

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.