Travel Smarter, Not Harder: 5 Ways to Travel Better in 2013

March 9, 2013

Tom Merrill

Tom Merrill, GES' VP Business Developmen,t has worked with GES for over 25 years and is responsible for building account teams for complex multi-divisional clients.

I was reading an interesting article in the New York Times this week about resolutions falling by the wayside. A quote about what resolutions should do grabbed my attention, “They can inspire you and help you keep the bigger picture in mind.” 2013 will be a year of empowering my career and personal life and completing the goals that I set for myself. On the lighter side of New Year’s resolutions I’ve decided to take some of the hassle out of travel.

In our business, travel is a prerequisite and never seems to end. I always think about ways to lessen the stress and travel smarter, but never quite get around to doing it. Here are a few things that are on my 2013 “Travel” resolutions list:

1. Clean out my briefcase or backpack - You will be surprised how much junk you are carrying around; loose change, papers, outdated electronics, show badges, name tags, logo pins, to many business cards. It all adds up. I plan to check regularly to ensure I only have what I need.

2. Pack Smart - I pride myself in being able to take a single carry-on anywhere in the world, however, on every trip there are items that I never use. I’ll think smart about mix and match and won’t take something just to “have a choice.” I’ll also be realistic about working out. If I’m not likely to have time for a workout, I won’t pack my gear.

3. Get A Luggage Identifier - No, not the standard black Admirals Club tag. Every bag on the conveyor is black and most have the tag to match. I’m getting a red nylon band and wrapping it around the handle. You may want to check out some of these ideas. It just makes it easier to spot your bag and less to think about while juggling a rental car and conference call at the same time.

4. Make and Keep a Travel List - If you travel a lot, you should have an ingrained sense of what to bring on trips and you shouldn’t ever forget key items like socks, jewelry, collar stays or the tie. For me, I know this isn’t usually true. I always forget at least one important thing when I travel, and end up scrambling to make do. I resolve to create a list of things to bring on every trip, and post it in my closet. It takes the thinking out of the process and allows more time to mentally rehearse for my meeting.

5. Take Good Photos - When I first started my career, travel was a novelty and I always made time to take photos, business and personal. I’ve been lax on both fronts, so I plan to get with the program. It couldn’t be easier these days with our smart phones. There is nothing better than photos when you are communicating to your design and production teams, not to mention great keepsakes of your travels.

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