Business etiquette tip: Don’t eat on the phone!

October 8, 2015 - 2 Responses

This is one of those business etiquette tips that is less about business travel and more about, you know, generally not being a jerk. But chipslately it’s come up so frequently in my life, and the lives of my friends and coworkers, that I just want to give a friendly reminder.

I was recently leading a conference call with about twenty people. As you probably know, the etiquette is to mute your phone if you’re not talking so background noise doesn’t disturb the call. Well, during that call not only was someone not muted, but was eating what sounded like an apple right into his or her phone. Yes, an apple, one of the loudest things you can eat. I said the normal, “We’re getting some background noise, it would be great if everyone could go on mute unless they have a question.” The chewing noise continued and actually got louder—so loud that I couldn’t hear the questions coming in. After a few more minutes I said, “Sounds like someone is eating—please, please put your phone on mute!” That stopped it. (Note: since then we got a new conference call system and we can see on our computer who is talking—so if that ever happens again I will know exactly who the culprit is!) Read more of this article »

Double check everything before booking your flight!

October 6, 2015 - One Response

Early this morning I got a text from a friend. She was at the airport, about to leave (I thought) for a business trip to to do listNew York. She had run into an unexpected snag, though—according to the airline, she was at the wrong airport!

Here’s the deal. About six weeks ago she moved from Chicago to Dallas. While making her reservations for this trip (her first since moving) she booked her return trip first, with no issues. But while reserving the trip out there she had to refresh her page several times. At some point, her web browser auto-filled “ORD” as her departure city, not DFW as she intended. She booked her flight without realizing the mistake. In fact, it wasn’t until she arrived at the airport that she discovered the issue. Luckily (and honestly, surprisingly) she only had to pay the fare difference to get her flight switched–$250. That seems incredibly reasonable to me considering the circumstances!  Read more of this article »

How many suitcases do you need?

September 30, 2015 - 2 Responses

Is it possible to have too many suitcases? Reader B asks…
Eagle creek adventure black

I am trying to simplify my life by getting rid of things I don’t need. I’ve gone through my closet, shed, and cabinets, and have taken plenty of bags and boxes to charity. After almost twenty years of frequent business travel I have a lot of suitcases—probably far too many! How many do you recommend I keep? How many do you have?

Great question! When we found out we were expecting twins we also went through a major clean-out. I realized my husband and I together had seven suitcases. Four of those were exactly the same size! We had to decide which ones were the most important, then got rid of the rest. Read more of this article »

4 tips to make sure you pick up the right suitcase

September 28, 2015 - 4 Responses

Back in college, I had a roommate. She was relatively neat, organized, and responsible. One weekend she flew to visitluggage tag funny some family in Chicago, and checked her bag on the way home. Upon arrival she went to baggage claim, grabbed her suitcase, and drove to our apartment. Imagine her surprise when she checked our voicemail and she had a message from a woman she had never heard of:

“This message is for Beth. You have my suitcase. Please, please call me as soon as possible so we can exchange bags.” Whoops! Read more of this article »

It might be a good idea to delete suggestive photos from your phone before going to work. Just a thought.

September 23, 2015 - 6 Responses

This is definitely not a business-travel specific tip—more of a general, good for everyone tip. But this story happened privateto a friend of mine on a business trip, so I figure it totally counts as something I can write about. And honestly, it serves as a good reminder to those need it….

My friend P was on a short trip to a southern state, visiting customers. He met up with a colleague to discuss the successes and challenges of a recent trade show. Part of this was looking at photos from the event on the colleague’s phone. While perusing through the twenty or so photos of booths, equipment, and demos, a photo popped up that was decidedly not work-related. It was a picture of the colleague’s, ahem, privates. “Whoops!” the colleague said as he scrolled past it. Then yet another photo, from a different angle, came up. “Whoops!” he said again, moving on to the next photo. My friend didn’t say anything, frankly dumbfounded. They both pretended like it never happened and continued talking about work. Read more of this article »

Do you use an RFID-blocking wallet for travel?

September 21, 2015 - 10 Responses

My parents leave this week for an international work trip. My mom is actually going to be gone for a month, visiting RFID blocking wallettwo very different continents. While helping her with preparations this past weekend, she asked me if she needed an RFID-blocking wallet. “What are they? Is there any point?” she asked me.

I didn’t really have an answer for her. I don’t have an RFID-blocking wallet, but I also don’t have any RFID-enabled credit cards. She had no idea if any of her cards have RFID technology, so her thoughts are to go ahead and get a RFID-blocking wallet as it’s better to be safe than sorry. Read more of this article »

Fall 2015 trends to add to your business travel wardrobe

September 17, 2015 - Leave a Response

I don’t know what it is—maybe a holdover from back to school, maybe the weather (kind of) starting to change… But something about fall makes me want to update my wardrobe. While I would not label myself as a trend-setter, there are usually a few runway-inspired trends that I feel fit my lifestyle (in the right doses). Here are my favorite fall 2015 trends for my business travel wardrobe.

Fall 2015 trends Read more of this article »

My business travel first aid kit

September 15, 2015 - 4 Responses

There’s not much worse than being stuck on a plane with a raging headache, no painkillers in sight. Or having an pillboxupset stomach at 3am in a hotel room, the helpful meds far away in the lobby. Or, worst of all, being in a foreign country, feeling terrible, and not sure which local medication will help. For these exact reasons I keep a stash of meds in my purse at all times. My travel “first aid kit” isn’t fancy, but it has the necessities to keep me feeling great until I get home.

I’ve tried a few methods of organization: travel packets of pills, a pillbox, and small bottles that I refill from larger ones kept at home. They’re all valid, but I prefer traveling with small bottles. Note: I only recommend the pillbox route if you don’t travel internationally—otherwise keep everything in its original packaging.   Read more of this article »

Professional backpacks for business travel

September 11, 2015 - 5 Responses

One night after a recent day trip, I realized my right shoulder hurt a lot. I backtracked through my day in my mind, eBags slim backpacktrying to figure out what the heck caused this. Did I reach for something in a strange way? Did I fall? But soon I realized—it was from carrying my gorgeous but large and heavy shoulder bag. (Side question: does this mean I’m getting old? Oh dear….)

When I travel with my rollaboard my shoulder bag sits right on top so weight is not an issue. But on day trips the burden is on me. So what’s a road warriorette to do? Use a backpack, of course! As a new mom of twins, I am discovering that there is something beautiful about the weight of your bag equally distributed on your back instead of unbalanced on one shoulder.

The problem is that backpacks are inherently casual. If you’re not careful it will read more “student” and less “competent professional.” When you need a backpack that will replace a briefcase, aim for sleeker bags with clean lines. Pockets are great (and necessary!) but look better when there aren’t a lot of extraneous buckles, webbing, and straps. Here are some of my favorite backpacks for business travel. Read more of this article »

5 things to keep handy during a long flight

September 8, 2015 - 2 Responses

When you know you’ll be on a single flight for 14 hours it can be tempting to pack everything under the sun. But I comfort bag fullmight need that seat cushion! And what about that deluxe seatback organizer? It will fit perfectly, right?? (Both of these are actual items that I brought with me on my first trans-Pacific flight. Not my best packing effort!) There are a million products on Amazon that are touted as “travel necessities” and it’s so easy to go overboard when packing for a long flight.

But here’s the thing. You may be able to squeeze your bulging carry-on under the seat in front of you, but if you’re sitting in coach there is absolutely no way you will be able to get to it. The seats are so close together that you have to practically be a contortionist to get anything out. So here are the five things I recommend keeping handy in your seat back pocket. Read more of this article »