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What should business people think about taking with them on business trips that they might not normally think about?

If you travel a lot, speak to business professionals and network with customers and industry peers, and especially when travelling internationally, there are some important business things to add to your packing list.

First, a few somewhat obvious things that can certainly come in handy:

  1. Plenty of business cards. It is never a good idea to run out of business cards while traveling. Tuck extras in your suit pockets, wallet/handbag, briefcase and luggage.
  2. A name badge. If you do any networking while traveling on business, have your own professional name badge. Don’t rely on the hosting organization to do your name badge.
  3. Extra pens. Make sure you have a pen with you, to write some reminders down . It’s troublesome to track down a pen while you are busy networking.

Somewhat less obvious things:

  1. The contact information (or business cards) of all your referral partners. I sometimes find that having that information at my fingertips allows me to give referrals to people while I’m out networking.
  2. Hand sanitiser. I know this may sound a little bit “Howard Hughes” who was a germaphobe, but if you are going to be shaking a lot of hands, you may find using a hand sanitiser cuts down your chances of getting sick or catching a cold. But do be tactful about the way you use it. Don’t obviously spray your hands every time you shake someone’s hand!
  3. Breath mints. As obvious as it may sound, I can assure you from experience that many people have no idea that they need them.
  4. A memory stick. Many times I have either needed to get a copy of something or give a copy of a file to someone. Having a memory stick handy has been very helpful on several occasions.
  5. Tools for your business. A PowerPoint remote clicker means you don’t have to rely on someone else to move the slides forward as you present. Also, you know that memory stick I mentioned earlier? Keep copies of talks and presentations on there just in case they’re needed.
  6. A phone charger. And you certainly won’t want to forget your laptop power cord – besides being expensive it’s often impossible to be able to get the right one easily, if at all.
  7. Power adapter/converter. Though it’s usually easy to pick up a “universal” adapter at airports or stores in heavily populated areas, in this electronic age you would hate to need one and not be able to find one, so it’s best to have one (or two) packed and ready when you need it!
  8.  The right clothes. Most of you have experienced differences in temperature or weather from one place to another, so you can imagine how different the conditions could be across the country or around the world. It’s never been easier to plan what clothes to bring, thanks to online weather forecasts for every region of the earth. Of course, there are no guarantees where weather is concerned.
  9. A good book. Hear, hear! Those airport layovers, delays and long flights can seem even longer without something interesting to read.There are certainly more items to include, but the above can make or break an important business trip.
  10. And finally, if you travel A LOT, then keep these things packed and ready to go all the time.
With thanks, Dr Ivan Misner from BNI