News For Planners

Fun little extras to bring along on those long business trips

Tuesday, 8/23/2011  4:47:19 PM

If you frequently travel on business trips, you've probably had the experience of leaving something useful behind, especially if you've trained yourself to pack light. This can be frustrating when you find yourself with a little downtime in between those big in-person meetings with clients and nothing with which to amuse yourself.

Next time you travel for business, try taking along a few of these decidedly pleasure items so that you'll always find yourself with something to do when you're allowed to cut loose:

1. A good book: Not only will an interesting read keep you company on long flights, but it can help you wind down at the end of a busy day full of business meetings and other on-the-job tasks. Many people report that reading at night helps them fall asleep faster.

2. A swimsuit and flip flops: If you're going to be staying a while, make sure you stay at a hotel that has a pool so that you can have a little fun on your off-time. By ensuring a pool on the premises, you won't have to travel too far and can get right down to taking advantage of those spare minutes. Plus - flip flops always come in handy whenever you encounter a questionable shower.

3. Workout gear: Many hotels have fitness centers so you can carry on your daily workout while you're away. Take advantage of the offering and work out in a new setting. If the hotel where you are staying doesn't have a work out facility, see if the hotel where your meeting or conference is held does.

4. Brain teasers: Bringing a puzzle book along can keep you engaged and entertained whenever you have a few minutes to spare in between meetings. It's also fun to challenge yourself and can help develop your reasoning and problem solving skills.

5. Deck of cards: A deck of cards can help you fill the time on your own but are also handy when you're with a friend or colleague. Many a long layover has been passed with a deck of cards between associates.

6. An iPad or tablet device: You've got your laptop and your smartphone, which you'll need to conduct your business, so you should be all right leaving your tablet at home, right? Probably. But tablets are light-weight and easy-to-use, and you can entertain yourself by streaming movies or playing Angry Birds. If you've got a sliver of extra space in your suitcase, consider bringing one along.

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