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10 Proven Must-Have Things for Business Travelers

10 Proven Must-Have Things for Business Travelers

Being a business traveler to over 20 countries, I have a “things to bring” list that I keep on my phone whenever I’m heading out to a foreign land. It’s a pretty extensive list that helps me to remember what I need to pack in my luggage before leaving for the airport. Some of the things that I find indispensable, which often give me “thank God I brought that” moments, are at the top of my list.

Below are some recommended items to have in your suitcase.

1. Swiss Army Knife

Made famous by the TV series MacGyver in the late 80’s, this jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none tool is first on my list because of its novelty and life-saving qualities. I must admit that since I was a boy, I was captivated my MacGyver’s ingenuity in getting out of trouble by this using super handy tool. So, I begged my mom to buy me one, and after 20 years, I’m still using the same one she bought for me with my name engraved on it.

Okay, enough of nostalgic memories; the reason why this item is on my list is because you would never know when exactly you might need scissors, say to remove the label on the brand-new tie you just bought for the conference, or my most-used feature of all, a bottle opener for the foreign beers I love to try. But please ensure that you store this item in your check-in luggage, as it absolutely will be confiscated by the airport security officers during your security screening. This tool is still a Swiss military standard issue, which is why it is top on my list.

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10 Proven Must-Have Things for Business Travelers - swiss army knife

    2. Portable Luggage Scale

    With so many low-cost airlines around nowadays, chances are you might be flying with one of them, whether your company is under budget or not. And your flight might restrict the weight of the luggage to as low as 20kg/44pounds (“thank you” Ryan Air). So, weighing your luggage before each flight is becoming a routine for business travelers, especially if you’re on a long trip. This is when a luggage scale comes to your rescue (or your company’s rescue) from paying hefty fees on those extra kilograms you just packed into the plane. Investing around $10 into this gadget could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

    luggage scale

      3. Foreign SIM Card for Mobile Internet

      Today’s highly connected world requires us to always be, well, connected! Some of us may dread the feeling of not checking our Facebook or Twitter account for days, but beyond that, staying connected over mobile Internet is crucial for a business person to check their emails, texts, Linkedin, or to power those traveling apps (see item 10).

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      It also acts as your WiFi hotspot via tethering when you’re not getting good enough signals from your hotel’s WiFi. It’s getting more affordable and accessible for any foreigner in any country to get a pre-paid or post-paid SIM card, or a short-term cell phone plan. In Europe, a 2GB plan could be as low as $25 per month. I myself once bought a pre-paid SIM card from Hutchinson 3 of UK in South Korea for only $35 and used it all over Europe for 2 months, without paying any roaming charges. Even a post-paid dominant world like Korea has introduced SIM card plans for tourists.

      Besides getting a foreign phone line, you could also put your phone on roaming mode with data, or continue to hunt for those elusive WiFi zones around the city.

      4. Credit Card, ATM, or Debit Card

      This is a rather self-explanatory item that you must have, but do check with your bank if they charge extra (by percentage) for overseas transactions. If so, use your ATM/debit card to withdraw cash instead, via the globally connected ATM machines (check the logos on which interbank network the machines support). You only need to pay a small one-time withdrawal fee, on top of the cost of currency exchange.

      5. External Portable Battery

      Travelers are always out and about; not to mention constant photo taking and navigating via Google Maps. These activities will absolutely drain your phone’s battery, and if you can’t find a place to charge your phone, consider carrying an extra battery around, or an external battery pack to share with your other power hungry devices. Ensure that you bring them along with you in your carry-on luggage and not in your checked-in baggage, due to risk of fire hazard.

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      10 Proven Must-Have Things for Business Travelers - portable external battery

        6. 2 Travel Power Adapters

        Ok, I’m assuming we are not first-time travelers, so we never assume we could hook up our phones or laptop chargers to any power outlets in any countries. But, we should assume that we may need more than one power adapter in this ever increasing, digitally connected world. In fact, I carry two of this when I travel, because I just have too many things to charge or power-up. You could also consider bringing a socket extension as an alternative, but do watch your luggage weight.

        10 Proven Must-Have Things for Business Travelers - travel adapter

          7. Mini Sewing Kit

          I thought I heard you laughing. Well, some may laugh now, but wait till you accidentally pop that button of your favorite office shirt and you’re meeting your huge prospect tomorrow. If you think your hotel does not provide one, please bring one. What I do is I keep one from the previous hotel I stayed in.

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          8. Business Cards

          I add this on this list because I actually have it on my “things to bring” list just in case; you may forget (like me). Many foresee that business cards will be dead soon, and be replaced by new high-tech devices or apps (but many of these hopefuls have failed). So, until that happens, pack them in your suitcase and remember to bring lots of them.

          9. Business Card Reader App

          Okay, say you’re a pretty popular business person and in a day, you could collect dozens of name cards from your newly formed contacts. How do you plan to keep those cards? Name cards are becoming a real burden to store, as we swiftly move into the digital age and the current best option for you to efficiently manage these cards is via name card reader apps. I personally use CardHQ’s business card reader app because it’s lightning fast and super easy to use.

          10. Apps, Apps and More Apps

          Apps are already becoming don’t-leave-home-without-it essentials we all must have. My top must-have traveling apps are:

          • Google Maps (or Waze)
          • Google Translate
          • Whatsapp (or other commonly used chat apps in the country like KakaoTalk for Korea, WeChat for China, Line for Japan and Thailand, or Facebook Messenger)
          • Weather app
          • Currency converter
          • Booking.com (or any apps from your online hotel site)
          • Uber
          • Foodspotting

          Featured photo credit: Matthew Hurst via flickr.com

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          Melvin Wong

          Founder of Qoach - Over 300 free sports courses with 5,000 videos

          10 Proven Must-Have Things for Business Travelers 10 Proven Must-Have Things for Business Travelers

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          Last Updated on January 21, 2020

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

            Why You Need a Vision

            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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            How to Create Your Life Vision

            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

            What Do You Want?

            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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            Some tips to guide you:

            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
            • Give yourself permission to dream.
            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

            Some questions to start your exploration:

            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
            • What qualities would you like to develop?
            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
            • What would you most like to accomplish?
            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

            A few prompts to get you started:

            • What will you have accomplished already?
            • How will you feel about yourself?
            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
            • What does your ideal day look like?
            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
            • What would you be doing?
            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
            • How are you dressed?
            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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            Plan Backwards

            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
            • What important actions would you have had to take?
            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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