Sponsored Post: Contest! Win a Two-Night Stay at Country Inns & Suites (closed)

February 22, 2011

In support of the current “Country Means Business” promotion, Road Warriorette will be featuring a weekly sponsored post on behalf of Country Inns & Suites and has been compensated by Country Inns & Suites for her contribution.

The day you have been waiting for is here! I am giving away two two-night stays at the Country Inns & Suites of your choice! How to win? Write a comment to this post about the following: What is your best tip for a new business traveler? Then two people who commented will be chosen by a random drawing on Thursday, March 3, with the winners announced on March4. So easy!!! Only one entry per person.

Legal disclaimers: This giveaway is not run, sponsored, or administered by Country Inns & Suites By Carlson. Country Inns & Suites may use or publish any comment posted here. The Free NightVouchers are subject to additional terms and conditions as set forth on each Voucher.

Here are my own favorite tips for new travelers.

Clothes:

  • Try to build your travel wardrobe around a single color. If all of your clothes match with black pants (or brown), it is that much easier to pack. It is also much easier to get dressed in the morning! And you will need to bring fewer pairs of shoes.
  • Flat, slip-on shoes are best for day of travel. They allow you to move quickly through the airport, go easily through security, and be comfortable on the plane.
  • Bring a scarf or pashmina for the plane–use it as a blanket, pillow, or whatever you need.
  • If you can at all avoid it, don’t bring anything that wrinkles or that you have to iron. There are plenty of stylish clothes available that don’t require ironing!

For the plane:

  • Don’t throw your bag in an overhead bin that is way in front of your seat if you can at all help it. It’s rude to the people sitting below that bin.
  • If it’s a long flight, bring an eye mask and earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.
  • Make sure you have something to entertain you on the plane—don’t anticipate working the entire time unless you know that you will!
  • Bring snacks. Nuts, granola bars, and veggies all travel well and satisfy hunger.

Packing:

  • I bring my own shampoo/conditioner, since I travel so much if I use the random products the hotel puts out my hair acts crazy. I fill up travel bottles from my full size products, but great sources of travel sizes are Sephora and 3floz.com.
  • Eagle Creek packing cubes are so helpful for the small items (underwear, socks, hose, etc); they will help you save a ton of space.
  • I have three small bags for my toiletries–one for liquids (that gets taken out at security), one for non-liquids (toothbrush, deodorant, etc), and one for make-up. This allows me to fit them in my suitcase wherever they will go instead of taking up a lot of room
  • Don’t bring full size (or even travel size!) beauty products. Use spare contact lens cases for small amounts of liquids, such as face soap, moisturizer, eye makeup remover, etc.

General Tips

  • Emergen-C! I take it every day when I travel, sometimes twice.
  • I use my White Noise iPhone app a lot in hotels, especially when the walls are thin, there is a highway outside nearby, or the air-conditioning unit is super loud.

Now is your chance! Share some of the knowledge you have amassed in your years of business travel. What is your best business travel tip for a newbie? What does business, and business travel, mean to you? Good luck!

  1. Got A passport said,

    for the plane: bring an external battery pack to charge up your devices for long flights. they typically come with several adapter heads so you can charge all types of devices…ipod, iphone, smartphone, ipad, blackberry, etc.

  2. sylvia said,

    bring along a pair of nylon footie socks (like Peds) to avoid the yucky floor when you have to take your shoes off for airport security.

  3. Laurel said,

    Keep a baggie packed with travel-sized toiletries so you can toss it in your bag if you ever have a last-minute trip. Also, use a travel neck pillow if you will be flying a lot, it allows you to actually get some sleep and not wake up with your head on a fellow passenger’s shoulder.

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  5. George said,

    Do not drink anything else other than water. Avoid alcohol and soft drinks above else!

  6. Ruth said,

    healthy snacks and emergen-c are always in my carry-on!

  7. DH said,

    Learn how to fold a suit. A properly folded suit will fit nicely in a carry-on, which is way less bulky than a garment bag. As long as the suit is wool and is folded correctly, wrinkling will be minimal.

  8. Jessica said,

    I think the best purchase you can probably make is a Kindle or a Nook (I have a Nook). Even if you’re traveling for business, a Nook is an extremely handy thing to have when you’re taking a BREAK from all that work. It’s so small it slips into your purse without any notice! It’s FANTASTIC.

  9. Hil said,

    My best tip is to hydrate!

  10. Kristine said,

    A white noise app (I use the one from TM Soft for iPhone) with a noise-canceling earbud tucked into my ear does wonders in blocking out unfamiliar hotel sounds and helps me get a better night’s sleep.

  11. Joy said,

    Travel with a refillable bottle and fill it after security, so you are not stuck without something to drink on the plane if you run into delays after boarding the plane.

  12. David said,

    Anytime you travel you are bound to encounter every kind of person, some having good days, some bad. On any trip things can go wrong and not work out as planned. Start with accepting this. Getting angry or anxious ultimately only hurts you. Roll with things. Let it all go. Enjoy the trip your on.

  13. Nathan said,

    My best tips for travel is filtered water bottle (Bobble) and TUMs for after eating out with clients/associates!

  14. jan roberts said,

    If your schedule isn’t ‘tight,’ carry-on as little as possible…..especially if it isn’t a direct flight…. That way you don’t have to lug lots of stuff around the airport.

  15. David said,

    Be ready to go with the flow. Delays, misconnects, etc will happen. Know your options, what your rights are and always be nice to the employees that are trying to help you.

  16. Amy said,

    Get a good packing checklist and use it. I’ve been so grateful for mine and have avoided forgetting important things like chargers or documents.

  17. Cat said,

    Sign up for all of the hotel/miles rewards programs. For hotel “clubs” ask the front desk about special perks like priority for late check-out, extra points, to-go breakfasts, and snacks upon arrival.

  18. Christian said,

    When packing clothes in a garmet bag, keep the hanging clothes in a plastic dry cleaning sack and it helps to avoid wrinkles.

  19. Jen said,

    Keep car and house keys in your carry on or with you. My boyfriend left his car and house keys with his check in luggage and then his bag was delayed leaving him stranded at the airport for a couple of hours.

  20. Pat Stewart said,

    As a female, the best lesson I learned when traveling is to wear an A-line skirt or dress (not a pencil shape). It also helps if its made of material that will not wrinkle. It’s convenient if you have to go to the restroom, and you don’t worry about wrinkling your clothes if you sit for a long time.

  21. Francine said,

    Invest in a good carry-on! You will never regret it. nothing worse than being on a business trip and have broken luggage.

  22. Ryder said,

    Make sure to pack a couple items to keep yourself entertained, especially on long flights. The flight on the way to visit a client is the perfect time to do some last-minute prep and stay “on-the-clock”, usually flight back home is goof-off time!

  23. Irulan said,

    Make sure your carry-ons or personal items have comfortable handles and shoulder straps. Keep a generic packing list on computer that can be amended for different types of trips, and note on your list where any pre-packed items are in your home so that you can find them easily and re-stock them regularly.

  24. Arlene said,

    Be sure to clearly tag your luggage on the outside with your name, address, and phone number. (You might want to use a business address or PO Box instead of your home address.) Also put a piece of paper inside with the same information, in case the tag gets stripped off.

  25. Frequent Flyer said,

    My best tip is NOT to hydrate.

  26. Sylvia Newman said,

    Travel as light as possible pack everything into your check in suitcase. Carry on a light camera bag with your camera, license, credit card, money, and sunglasses and a small vinyl backpack for a magazine and small snack. You’ll see, you will have exactly what you need.

  27. Jessica said,

    If you’re staying at a place with rooms on the first floor and you’d like an extra level of security, request to stay at a higher level when you are booking your room.

  28. Birgit said,

    Most airlines allow you to get/print your boarding pass online 24 hours in advance of your flight. This will help save time and alleviate some stress on the day of your flight. It might also help “guarantee” you a seat if seats were oversold.

  29. Elaine Boozer said,

    I always keep a small umbrella in the outer pocket of my luggage. You never know exactly what the weather will be when you arrive. A disposable vinyl rain jacket would also work.

  30. Sarah said,

    Make sure you wear something not too warm but bring a jacket or sweater…even with the adjustable vents, you can never tell what the temperature will be like on a plane and being too hot or too cold does not make for a good flight

  31. Ellen D. said,

    Carry one luxury item- that will make you feel “at home” on the road. If you’re traveling for business, it’s that one thing that isn’t about business.

  32. Rick said,

    Sign up for rental car loyalty programs. Most don’t give you a whole lot, but they do remember your info and let you skip the counter, which is an invaluable time saver.

  33. RTMowen said,

    Probiotics and Pack-it folders: Business stress and restaurant food can send my digestive system for a spin. Probiotics help keep it all in balance (I use Jarrow’s Brand). Eagle Creek Pack-it folders; I can fit way more stuff in my carry-on and most of the time my dress shirts come out less wrinkled than when they went in.

  34. Lauren said,

    Buy extra chargers and cords for your phone, iPod, and other electronic devices for really cheap on monoprice.com and stash them in your carry-on, briefcase and luggage. I’m always misplacing them or leaving them in my office or at home so it’s good to have extra.

    I keep all my travel documents in a passport case, even when I am traveling without my passport. It’s also a great place to stash receipts for expenses outside of your wallet so you don’t accidentally throw them away.

  35. James Horne said,

    When you park, write down the location (Lot and Row number) and tuck it in your purse or wallet. It is very easy and extremely frustrating to get back after a nice long trip and then can’t find your wheels.

  36. Paul said,

    Make a copy of your travel (airplane/hotel/car rental) itinerary/confirmation, ID, passport(international travel) – place them in an envelope and keep it on your carry-on or luggage.

  37. Chris said,

    Scan the front and back of any credit/debit cards that you carry in your wallet, along with key pages from your passport and any other critically important documents and email them to your internet-accessible email account. I use cryptic names for both the documents and the subject fields of the emails as an added security measure.

  38. bkjones said,

    never, ever forget to pack a pair of flip flops. showers and hotel carpet? not so much…..

  39. ASuburbanLife said,

    Give yourself plenty of time. To get to the airport, for layovers, before your first appointment upon landing.

  40. Paul said,

    How about packing an extension cord? It helps when you want to read in the hotel and the best chair and best light are not together.

  41. Jade said,

    Join a club such as Red Carpet Club so that you can enjoy your time more at the airport

  42. Chris said,

    Use the camera on your phone to take pictures of the parking space number at the airport and the room number posted outside your hotel room.

    Things such as these are easily forgotten, especially if you travel every week.

  43. Robbie Ausley said,

    Always take a photo credit/debit card or membership card like a Cosco card with you when flying. Learned last year that if you lose your driver’s license, security will let you through with one of those cards.

  44. Beth St. Romain said,

    Take a travel yoga mat, and do some light stretching. Travel mats are thin and fold easily, so they fit in a suitcase. Breath deeply, stretch, and drink lots of water!

  45. TKA said,

    Ear plugs are a lifesaver and can help you get a good night of sleep when staying in a big city or when you get a noisy hotel room. Just make sure your alarm is loud and/or really close to your head so you don’t oversleep!

  46. Sharon said,

    Either wear or carry on whatever you need to wear to the business meeting. A friend ended up with lost luggage and no time after landing to buy another suit. At least she had worn something better than jammies on the plane!

  47. Dale said,

    Take your yoga mat. Mine fits nicely in a hanging clothes bag.

  48. Jaci said,

    Buy a “checkpoint friendly” briefcase or backpack. These allow you to completely separate your laptop from the rest of your bag with a full bag zipper so you don’t have to take your laptop out of your bag when going through security. I find that it makes security that much faster and easier. I got my MobileEdge ScanFast backpack at Fry’s (also online). They make shoulder bags and briefcases, also. Additionally, there is plenty of storage for chargers, books, ebook readers, documents, snacks and a beverage.

  49. Karla Burnett said,

    If you are feeling adventurous, I like to ask the concierge at the front desk at the hotels where the good places are to eat. You dont have to eat at the chain restuarants and get a chance to experience the city. They will even print out directions for you.

  50. Olga Alvarez said,

    Sign up for every loyalty program you are going to use to avoid missing any mile/point!

  51. Luis Andasola said,

    Get a travel guide so you don’t miss the most interesting places in town / save a few bucks

  52. yap said,

    Make sure you undestand the travel regulations – what not to bring on the plane. So you can breeze through the security line with no hassle!

  53. Joel said,

    To minimize the chance of delay, try to take early flights.

  54. TB said,

    Never check your luggage if you can help it!

  55. Karen said,

    In the last 2 years, i have never been held to a 1 qt. baggie size of liquids. i have been held to no more than 3oz. of anything – even cottage cheese!

  56. Nadia said,

    Program every address into the GPS before you leave home. Hotel, rental car drop off, client office/business destination. Use a cloud service like Evernote to keep images of business cards, contact lists, and all your itineraries accessible from any internet connection while you travel.

  57. Terri Lynn said,

    When you travel you need to be prepared.Always have copies of the rules and regulations that apply to your trip.If I have a special or discounted rate at a hotel I always print up a hard copy of the rate rules. Same applies to luggage allowances. If my credit card gets me special perks/upgrades at a hotel I have a copy to back me up. It’s great to be empowered.

  58. Louise said,

    If you forget your phone or iPod charger, ask at the hotel front desk for if they have extras. Most business hotels have a giant drawer filled with chargers that have been left behind, and most will let you borrow what you need.

  59. Marianne said,

    I am a travel agent. My suggestion on long haul flights is to get up and walk around at least hourly. We have a 46 year old client die recently due to a blood clot which traveled to his lung and killed him instantly. He had just returned from a trip to China-a 14 hour plus long flight.

  60. heidi said,

    Best tip for a new business traveller is to sign up for every reward program and try your best to stick to a couple. Also make sure you sign up for all the promotions they offer every quarter or so!

  61. T R said,

    Try to keep your diet as consistent as possible.

  62. Lisa said,

    Ask for a hotel room with no connecting doors. They let in so much noise from the adjoining room you may as well be in there with your neighbors.

  63. Kim said,

    Keep a pair of jumper cables in the car you leave at the airport.

  64. Kam said,

    Remember to put your address label and flight info in the checked in luggage, in case the bags go missing.

    Also, I keep copies as well as email myself a copy of my passport, drivers license, credit cards I’m carrying and other relevant travel info. It comes handy in the event your wallet is stolen.

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