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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!

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  1. 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. 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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

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

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

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