Secrets Of the Expert Business Traveler

frequent business travel tips

You’ve seen her – the Expert Traveler. Whether starting or finishing her trip, she looks fresh and relaxed. As you wrestle your large suitcase off the baggage belt, you wonder how she manages with just a small roll-aboard and a handbag. Wonder no more! Here are her secrets for easier travel.


  • Finish packing the day before you go; avoid last minute rushing. Tickets, boarding passes, passport, power cords, tech: Check!
  • Choose reliable, wrinkle-free clothes in the same color family that mix and match. You need less than you think. For a 4-day business trip, 2 suits with 3 tops and a couple of scarves make a fresh look every day without checked luggage.
  • Have 2 pre-packed toiletry kits: shampoo, one with the minimum in a small plastic baggie (for cabin transport) and one with the basics plus extras (for checked bags).
  • Pack efficiently: roll soft items, put small ones in shoes, use the little spaces between. Watch a video on packing well, like this one from Heathrow Airport, for more tips
  • Invest in good luggage.  Knowing how to buy luggage that works for you and the kinds of traveling you do will help make all parts of the trip more pleasant.
  • Going to the same place often? Try to take the same flights and stay in the same hotel every time. Routine helps you relax.

You need fewer clothes than you think; most people don’t use everything they pack

packing for trip

On the Road

  • Wear comfortable travel clothes: low-heeled shoes without laces, comfortable tops and pants. Travel in business casual clothes in case your checked bag is lost or you meet a colleague on the plane. Bring a scarf or shawl in case it’s cold.
  • Keep as regular a schedule as possible: mimic your home pre-sleep and waking routine. Have trouble sleeping in hotel rooms? Bring a pillowcase from home, or scented oil to help you relax.
  • Eat light and healthy: a big dinner is tempting, especially when the company is paying. But you’ll feel terrible if that heavy meal keeps you awake all night. Eat a colorful salad for veggies, and skip dessert. Find light snacks like nuts instead of candy and cake.
  • Maintain your fitness program: it relieves stress, boosts your energy and clears your head. If you’re a runner, ask the hotel for a safe and interesting route; you’ll have the added bonus of seeing more of the city than just the hotel and office.
  • Drink wisely: drink more water than wine, and leave the bar early. Alcohol and late hours plus dry airplane and hotel air make you pale and fatigued.
  • Use your ‘out of office’ message: Warn people that you are on the road and your answers might be delayed. They will understand, and you won’ t spend all night answering email instead of resting up for tomorrow’s meetings.

Stick with smart travel habits and you’ll feel better, work better, and have a better time


  • Recovery time: No need to jump right onto the hamster wheel again! Reserve one night for good night’s sleep in your own bed before going to the office.
  • Unpacking is easy: all your clothes go into the laundry and toiletry bags stay in your suitcase, so they are ready to go again. Refill anything that’s running low and make sure the plastic bag still seals.
  • Rehydrate: one more day with more water than wine will help you recover from the dry airplane air and bounce back from the trip.

Stress-free travel gives you more energy on the trip. These tips will have you rolling on and off the plane with all the grace and style of the experienced traveler!

home sweet home


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Marne Platt

Dr. Marne Platt is the President of Fundamental Capabilities and the author of 3 books (so far): Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way; Professional Presence; and PREP For Success. Originally a practicing veterinarian, she built a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. She founded Fundamental Capabilities to ‘pay it forward’ by providing career development workshops and coaching for women. ‘Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way’ is an ‘older sister in your pocket’ packed full of advice for young women on building their own independent and exciting life. 'Professional Presence' and PREP For Success' help you strengthen your spoken and unspoken communication and leadership presence.

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