Travelling for work is never as much fun as the movies make out. Many of us spend our business trips either in transit, at meetings, or in a hotel room for the vast majority of our stay, rather than seeing the sights or taking in the local culture. With time being so precious on work trips, it is inevitable that we will end up elbow deep in a spreadsheet, instead of enjoying the delights the sights. But that doesn’t mean we can’t at least enjoy some home comforts while we are stuck at our hotel!
Stay Mobile and Productive By Fully Charging Your Devices
Starting with the basics, it is imperative to take extra power banks with you while travelling. With our phones, tablets and laptops all needing juice while we are outside of the office, portable battery chargers are going to be the only thing standing between you and a collection of dead screens. An extra charging lead for your laptop is also a good investment for those who travel regularly, and avoids any issues when you get back home should you lose it on a trip. Buy another lead, leave it in your laptop bag, and you can thank us later.
It is also essential that you pack extension power strips with you if you are going to charge more than one gadget. Some hotels don’t have enough sockets in their rooms. The socket may be too far away to let you use your devices while you are on your bed. Go with a travel adapter if you are in a foreign country where their sockets might be different from yours. Imagine how bad it is when you have a business presentation to review on your laptop, but you don’t have enough juice on your laptop and you can’t charge it.
The Three Most Important Pieces of Tech to Pack With You
On the subject of devices, there really is no better combination than laptop, phone, and tablet. A tablet preloaded with Netflix specials is a good idea for multiple reasons, not all of them obvious. For people with distraction issues, having movies saved on a laptop that is only a click away can be a temptation too far. A tablet can be shut down, and put away for those times when you need to concentrate, but equally, during your downtime you can close the laptop and walk away from the spreadsheets. Separate work and play, and make it easier on yourself to focus on each one independently.
With the Right Tools, You Can Still Stream Your Favorite Shows Abroad
During your downtime, services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer are a great way to pass away a few hours with some home entertainment. You can either download your shows before you leave, or, as an ever increasing number of people are doing, you can use a VPN to access the content like you do at home. The VPN I use for the BBC iPlayer has enough bandwidth for streaming, and allows for the UK to be selected as my tunnel. There are plenty of VPN services out there designed to support overseas streaming, so you should be able to find a suitable service for your needs. Using a VPN also has the added bonus of keeping your data away from prying eyes, so if you work around highly sensitive data, a VPN is an absolute must when travelling abroad.
You’ve Heard of BYOD, But What About Bring Your Own Internet?
When it comes to your internet connection, you can of course rely on the hotel wifi, and their notoriously slow and patchy service, or, you can invest in an international mobile hotspot. Coming in a vast array of shapes and sizes, the mobile hotspot now allows both business travelers and tourists to have reliable internet access in any location that they can get a mobile signal. Simply buy a SIM card when you arrive at your destination, and use the web to your heart’s content. If you’re visiting multiple countries in quick succession, there are SIM cards available that hop onto all the big networks worldwide. For business travelers dealing with sensitive data, this is another ‘must have’ if you want to avoid the use of public wifi hotspots.
Remain Hydrated with Your Favorite Beverage on the Go
You don’t need to make do with the generic coffee provided by hotels. You could carry along your favorite brand of beverage that you enjoy. This beverage might also help to keep you productive. Go along with your favorite pack of coffee or tea. Enjoy a cup of this drink and get that home vibe you feel when making your daily cup at home. Take a few bottles of your favorite alcoholic drink and tell room service to provide you with a glass. You can also buy your favorite snacks and stock them in your room. Ask room service for a dish if you need one. Just be mindful of airline baggage restrictions.
Bring Your Own Toiletries and Cosmetics
If you don’t like the generic products given to you in hotel rooms, you can go along with yours. Several cosmetic brands have travel-sized versions of their products. Buy these and take them along with you. Set them up in the bathroom and discard the hotel products. That way your daily shower feels a little more familiar.
An Air Freshener Allows You to Make Your Hotel Room Your Escape
Familiar fragrances are highly comforting in an unfamiliar environment. Packing along your favorite fragrances and spraying them in your hotel room will invoke powerful feelings and make you feel more at home. You can also spray the fragrances on your pillow. These scents will also help you fall asleep faster and enjoy your sleep better. Buy scented candles and light them up. But be careful to avoid triggering any smoke alarms.
Pack Other Touchpoints from Home
Personal effects like books, notepads, pens and tiny accessories will go a long way in making your hotel feel like home to you. Go along with small accessories that can fit in with your luggage. Take your favorite comfy slippers with you. Some people even pack their own bedsheets, pillow and blankets! Arrange them around your hotel room to your personal taste. A simple thing like draping your jacket over the chair can make the hotel room more welcoming. Adjust the drapes to let in the right amount of light.
Regular business trips, while being a necessity for a lot of us, are not always a fun experience. Making your hotel room feel a little bit more like home can be a useful tool to fight the tedium that often accompanies us on our work-related travels. It is worth remembering that making time to relax can actually improve your performance at work, so make sure you have your Spotify playlists and Netflix marathons at the ready. It is, after all, for the good of the business.
Suggested Reading: Improve your productivity at home and on the road.