One of the things about traveling for work is that eventually, you’ll have to, well, work. Whether you’re attending meetings, going to a conference, touring offices, going to court, meeting customers, going through training, or some other type of work, a few office supplies will always come in handy. Here is a list of what I keep with me for a typical domestic trip.
Writing utensils. I like to have a pen and highlighter with me all the time, whether I’m traveling or not. You will inevitably need a pen several times a day, and you never know when a highlighter will come in handy! I was recently asked about pens exploding in flight. I’ve never had this issue, but apparently lots of people have. A couple of tips to avoid this:
- Keep your pens in a plastic bag, so if there is a leak it won’t get all over your other items.
- Store your pens with the tip up—they are less likely to leak this way.
- If you travel with a fountain pen, either fill it completely or have it completely empty during the flight to minimize mess potential.
- Check out The Well-Appointed Desk for a great roundup of pens that are supposed to be flight-friendly. Also, the Uniball website will allow you to search for pens that won’t leak in flight.
Notepads. Again, I always have a notepad with me, travel day or not. Size doesn’t really matter to me—I will typically take whatever free notepad I’ve gotten recently. Some people prefer spiral notebooks or legal pads. Whatever works for you!
External mouse. This little guy makes it way easier to use your laptop on the road. I also use mine as a clicker during presentations. Just remember that some airlines won’t let you use a wireless one in flight.
Binder clips. I have a set of tiny binder clips that help me corral travel docs and random work papers.
Flash drive. About to do a presentation and your computer won’t work with the projector? Been there. Need to send someone a file too big for email? There too. Forgot your passwords? Three for three. A memory key is a necessity for a variety of reasons. In addition to current presentations and files, I also have a password protected list of important numbers, website logins, and passwords, just in case.
Padfolio. When you need to keep a lot of papers together or look professional, a nice padfolio really does the trick. It will hold business cards, a notepad, a pen, and random papers, and makes you look put together in the process. Another option is to bring a simple file folder to keep papers from crumpling in your bag.
Headphones with microphone. For everything from meetings on the road to chilling out to my favorite tunes, headphones go with me everywhere.
Readers, what office supplies do you always travel with? Have you ever had an issue with pens leaking or exploding in flight?