For every trip I take, as I walk out the door and turn to lock it, I always think, “Okay. As long as I have XXXX and XXXXX, I am okay.” For most work trips, that is my cell phone, wallet, and computer. Sometimes I will add my passport to that list, depending on where I’m going. For vacations, it’s usually my swimsuit. But there are always 3-4 things that are absolute necessities, and everything else can be purchased once I arrive if need be.
A friend of mine evidently does not follow this rule. She travels by car for work often, sometimes two or three different locations in a week. Lately, her luck has been pretty bad and she has forgotten something major three trips in a row. And one of these was a two leg trip. For one set of meetings she forgot her computer and it didn’t really matter. That’s fortunate! I have a trip where I don’t need my computer maybe one in every thirty. But for the second trip, she had to forgo the majority of her sleep one night and drive home to get her computer, then drive back that same night. Eight hours round trip. Ouch! You would think she would learn her lesson after forgetting her computer twice, but no. A few weeks later she forgot her phone.
I highly, highly recommend that you get into the habit of thinking about those top two or three things you need as you walk out the door. Whether it’s your briefcase with your case files in it, your computer, your date book, or something else–if it is a required necessity, don’t forget it! If you are in the habit of forgetting things, put a sticky note on the door so you see it as you leave.
Of course, this plan isn’t always foolproof. Several years ago I went to visit my grandmother in south Texas, and was flying on from there to El Salvador. Except I completely forgot my passport, and my very smart cousin (a former flight attendant) reminded me. Thanks to the Home Warrior and overnight FedEx, I had my passport when I needed it. Sigh of relief!!
Readers, what are your top three necessities for business trips? How do you remember them?>