Like many entrepreneurial businesspeople, my travel tends to go in big spurts. In the upcoming days I'll be hitting both TED (on one coast) and the American Society of Journalists and Authors conference (on the other coast). I've learned to travel light, keep passport ready and get details done early. You want to be thinking about why you are traveling rather than the travel itself.
Here are three ways I keep my business travel smooth.
Keep a duplicate bag
Buy a double of every item you use daily at home, from your favorite toothpaste to your deodorant. Put the goods in your regular travel bag. Leave them there.
It is simple, but brilliant - and frankly I wish I could remember who taught me. Seriously, it will save you the frantic pre-travel search for your necessities. You are also less likely to forget something you need. It's comforting to know I'm already ready for my upcoming trips.
Bring plastic utensils or other food essentials
It may remind you of a Beyonce line, but carrying a plastic spork or other food necessities can be priceless. You don't want to be stuck somewhere, like on a plane or another low-resource place, without the ability to eat.
Just recently, I was traveling at night and getting my first real meal of the day. Unfortunately, I sorely needed a fork for the piping hot, messy food I got elsewhere - and there wasn't one anywhere. What followed was the painful, somewhat embarrassing process of eating.
Always carry a credit card reader
If you sell product, then you, number one, want to always have an example or information on your product and, number two, want to make it easy for anyone to buy from you at any time. I always carry a credit card reader. I use Square, and it handles my sales website as well, but others readers work fine, too.
What you want to avoid is people waiting for you on a sale. Nearly every time I've had someone interested, but happened to not have a way to complete the sale at the time, she's promised to pay for it later - and it never happens. Something gets lost in that moment.
The more independent your business, the more you need to remove any friction from people investing in you. I self publish books, create related merchandise like mugs, and do on-the-spot coaching sessions. I take my business with me in the most literal way. But today, we all do. Don't prevent people from giving you what you're worth.