In my role as an ERP consultant I spend time on the road just about every week, and while the work is terrifically rewarding, all that travel can get to be a grind. It’s well worth a small investment in a few gadgets which can make all the difference in your travel experience.
Here are some of the things I’ve found that have made business travel more bearable:
This is one of my favorite purchases in the last several years, because when I flip the switch on my Bose QC-15’s it’s like the world recedes into the background and I’m left inside my own head. Sure, that may be a scary place for some of you, but you can always put on some soft music to while away the hours, right?
When a coworker had me try his noise-canceling headphones for the first time, it was one of those true “whoa is this magic?” moments that come along all too rarely. The QC-15’s that I use are now discontinued, but the newer Bose QC-25’s get excellent reviews as well.The magic gadget that lets business travelers turn off the world with the flick of a switch... Click To Tweet
With normal headphones on an airplane you have to crank up the volume to drown out ambient noise, which only leads to headaches and more stress. With a good noise-canceling headphone, however, you can actually hear what you’re listening to (music, podcasts, audiobooks, whatever) at a normal, comfortable level, which is SO much more relaxing. You can choose from in-ear buds, on-ear headphones, or the larger over-the-ear muffs, which I’ve gone with.
Yes, you may look stupid with a giant cushy “U” draped around your neck, but your body will thank you after getting off a long flight. Lately I’ve been making regular flights of 5 hours and more between Philadelphia and San Diego, and this pillow has been a life-saver!
The only issue I have with taking a neck pillow on a trip is that they are pretty bulky. I may try one of these inflatable neck pillows soon to see if those are as comfortable.
Books and magazines are just too bulky to lug, so I always have a couple books on my Kindle Fire, which also serves as a Netflix viewer. I swore off carrying physical books after taking a hardcover edition of Infinite Jest on a summer trip to Mexico in which I crossed the border on foot, cursing my cumbersome backpack all along the way.
If you want content to read other than books, however, you can use an app (I use Pulse) to pull down the latest stories from a variety of websites. Sync it up before you leave, and even if you don’t have wifi on your plane you’ll have dozens of articles from popular websites to browse through.
Lean, Mean & Comfortable
The common thread between these three items is that they are all about increasing your comfort level while traveling, from dealing with noisy environments to simple physical relaxation. There’s no use beating yourself up on the way to visit a client; you’ll take away all their fun!