Business Travel

The Consultant’s Suitcase

FullSizeRender-11Last week I was having a conversation with Paige, my business partner. I mentioned that I received a new suitcase for Christmas (a gift from my wife) and that one thing I planned to do that weekend was transfer the contents of my old suitcase into my new one. She was surprised to learn that I keep certain stuff (other than my shaving kit) in my suitcase at all times, packed and ready to go. Keep in mind, I travel a lot. (Notice from the photo on the left that I don’t use the traditional black or navy blue suitcase. They are too difficult to identify coming off the baggage carousel. I always go with off colors like olive green or khaki.)

Here’s an inventory of some of the things I keep stashed in my suitcase to make travel a little easier for me.

  1. An extension cord! Yes, not every hotel has those convenient outlets next to the bed or built into the bedside table. At a minimum I’m going to need to charge my iPhone and my laptop – and I like to have them both within reach. This little extension cord has saved the day on many occasions.

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2. Emergen-C – This should be obvious. After a long day of travel, I’m definitely a fan of a sudden boost of vitamins and electrolytes. I’m always working to stay healthy on the road.
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3. The paper plate! This one might surprise you. Yes, I travel with a stash of paper plates. They come in very handy when Thai takeout is the only viable options and the restaurant doesn’t supply such things.

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4. To go with the paper plates, I have a set of heavy duty plastic utensils that go everywhere I go. I think these are meant to go in a kid’s lunchbox but they work perfectly for this business traveler.

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5. Very tiny bottles of Tabasco. Sometimes a meal on the road needs to be spiced up. These little bottles of Tabasco do the trick.

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6. You may recognize this as a paint can opener. It is also one heck of a bottle opener. Occasionally, while living out of a hotel room, I have the need to open a bottle. This works really well.

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7. Of course, once you open the bottle, you may need to put a stopper in it to preserve the bubbles. That’s where these come in handy. These work well for soda, beer, Champagne and other assorted fizzy drinks.

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8. A spare thumb drive. This is self explanatory. People give them out like candy so why not stash one in your suitcase. This has saved me on more than one occasion.

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9. l love this little old school digital alarm clock. I usually set it for the next morning immediately when I check into my hotel room. That way, if I forget to set the alarm on my iPhone, this little gem will keep me on schedule in the morning. Truthfully, I can never figure out how to work the hotel alarm clocks. Whether I am too tired when I tackle them or they are too complex, it is something I would rather not deal with.

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10. Earbuds. Another no brainer. I always find it helpful to have a spare set stashed away.

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11. A trusty baseball cap. This one is from Tufts Medical Center in Boston and it goes everywhere with me. Have you ever been in a hotel in the middle of the night when the fire alarm goes off. I have. Several times. I just throw on the Tufts MC ball cap and make my way to the appropriate exit. This happened at the NESHCo conference in 2015, two nights in a row, and I met several people in the lobby who wished they had a hat like mine!

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12. Ziploc Bags. These leak-proof multi-purpose bags come in extremely handy. I always like to have a few hidden in my suitcase. They are perfect for storing that leftover piece of pizza – or a leaky bottle of shampoo. I have friends who store their travel receipts in a Ziploc bag. They are also good for storing loose change.

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13. Kind Bars – These bars travel well and taste good. When I don’t have time for breakfast or lunch, a Kind Bar will save the day.

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14. Kleenex Tissues. Another no brainer. I like these wallet packs.

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15. Wipes. Hotels can be nasty places – even big name hotels. It is good to have wipes on hand for dealing with sticky surfaces, remote controls, etc. Trust me. This is an essential.

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When I pack for a trip, I want it to be as simple as possible. Beyond figuring out what clothing to pack, I don’t want to have to engage my brain. Having these few “essentials” stashed in my suitcase keeps me prepared for life in a hotel and the normal eventualities that occur on the road. For me, that’s piece of mind.

1 comment on “The Consultant’s Suitcase

  1. Your extension cord saved my day once! I also recall the NESHCo fire alarms. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen this year.

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