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Smart Tips for Women Business Travelers

Smart Tips for Women Business Travelers

If you’re traveling for business to meet with clients, vendors, partners or prospects or to attend conferences or trade shows, you may be putting both mental and physical stress on yourself. A little planning ahead of time can help make your trip go smoothly.

Here are some tips to help make your business trips more hassle-free.

Before You Leave

1. Get a Better Bag

Buy a small, sturdy, see-through plastic case with a zipper to use instead of a Ziploc bag. As long as the case is small and transparent, TSA will accept it as an alternative to flimsy bags, and you’ll have a better carrying case for all of your small bottles of liquid.

2. Make an Itinerary

Whether you use Google Calendars, a travel app like TripIt or simply a Word document or Excel Spreadsheet, entering or typing up your travel itinerary is important for several reasons. First, you have a chance to familiarize yourself with your travel. Of course, if you have someone else compile your itinerary for you, your job is to review it carefully. Next, you can add in the fine details of every step of your trip so you have all of your key information in one place. For example, don’t just put the name of your hotel but include the address, phone number, fax number, confirmation number and even a link to a map app. Having all of your travel information in a single place makes it easy at all times to handle travel logistics.

3. Check-in Early

Save yourself a lot of time and hassle when you arrive at the airport by checking in 24 hours before your flight. You can usually do this with most airlines either on the web or using their mobile app. You can also print your boarding pass (or store it on your mobile phone); prepay for checked bags, if needed; and in some cases, pre-pay for inflight meals. By handling all the busy work of checking in to your flight the night before, you can arrive at the airport and more easily get your bags on your flight and board your plane.

4. Consider Your Electronics

If you're traveling with a laptop, a tablet computer, or at a minimum, your smartphone, make sure you have everything you need to be able to work on the road including your A/C adapter and appropriate chargers. Bring a flash drive with backups of your essential files, just in case, and keep it on your key ring or in a bag separate from your computer tote. Travel with a wireless access card or device in case local wifi isn’t available. And consider getting additional chargers for your devices in case you aren’t near a plug. Make sure you have easy access to your laptop so you can remove it quickly when you go through security.

5. Pack a Backup

If you’ve ever been on a business trip and lost luggage, you know what a hassle it can be. Include some essential toiletries in travel sizes in your see-through liquids case such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and toothpaste. Pack a change of wrinkle-free clothes such as a comfortable, dark colored skirt and patterned top as well as clean underwear to be an emergency change in case you don’t have time to shop for something to wear before your luggage shows up.

6. Pack Smart

Consider making a list of what you’ll pack based on each event or activity you’ll be participating in while on the road. Check off items from your list as you place them into your suitcase. Keep these lists on your computer or mobile device so you can modify the list based on what you might have missed and then replicate the ideal packing job. Use a colored strap, unique tag or distinct ribbon to distinguish your bag from others.

If you're a frequent traveler, join an airline club - it’s worth the investment. In many airports, you'll have access to a comfortable lounge with free wifi, drinks, snacks and concierge service.

Safety Tips

If you’re a woman traveling alone on business, a little pre-planning and a lot of awareness can keep you safer on the road. Here are a few things to consider:

  • At the airport, be aware of your luggage at all times. When going through security, don't put your belongings on the conveyor belt until you're ready to walk through the metal detector.
  • If you're traveling internationally, check the State Department's website [travel.state.gov] for information and precautions.
  • Make a list of your credit card numbers and customer service contact information, and carry it separately from your wallet in case you need to report a card missing. Include a version on your mobile device.
  • Leave expensive jewelry at home. Consider leaving other valuables in your hotel’s safe for additional security.
  • Never count your money in public.
  • Watch to make sure your luggage gets into and out of your cab when you do. Get directions ahead of time and know your destination.
  • Don’t volunteer the fact that you're traveling alone, even when asked.
  • Always check your hotel room's door(s) and windows to make sure they're secure. If you don't feel comfortable in the room you're given, ask to move.
  • Keep the door to your room bolted and don't let anyone in without checking the peephole. When in doubt, call the front desk.
  • Choose hotels with interior entrances and be aware of the nearest fire exits.
  • Travel with a flashlight to keep by your bedside in the hotel.

If travel is an essential part of your business, you’ll benefit from setting up systems and good habits and to invest in the right equipment for hassle-free trips.

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