So you’ve just landed the job of your dreams, one that comes with a great salary and a corner office with a downtown view. But don’t get too comfortable, for along with this new position comes travel — lots of travel. That tiny airplane seat will become your new, temporary workspace and home in the sky, and many of the comforts and amenities you take for granted on the ground will be lost.
Take into consideration purchasing all or some of the items below (depending on your needs) to ensure your many long-haul flights are both productive and restful:
- Noise-canceling headphones. The number one must-have item for those who are frequently in the air. Bose’s QuietComfort headphones are some of the most popular on the market. They’re lightweight and easily compactable, and were designed specifically for airline travel. These headphones electronically identify and cancel out all the pesky, unwanted noise happening around you (chatter, crying babies, the plane’s engine). They can also be used to listen to music or the audio track from the in-flight movie.
- USB flash memory drive. Extremely important for those who will be cranking out new work on the laptop they’ve got perched on their foldout food service tray. Determine what your document storage capacity needs are before purchasing one; prices will vary greatly depending on this. Also, go for one that is as compact as possible. Many USB flash memory drive devices can now fit on your keychain (ones this small and innocuous also reduce the possibility of theft).
- Wireless mouse. For those who need to do a lot of scrolling and dragging, a wireless mouse should be at the top of your portable technology wish list. Try to find one that offers four-way scrolling so you can scroll side to side in addition to up and down. In addition, look into purchasing one that is ergonomically designed for maximum arm and wrist comfort, as well as one with a battery life of up to six months.
- iGo charger. These handy chargers supply continuous energy to laptops, which can suck up a lot of juice. Not only will it keep your laptop charged while working, it will also keep it powered up when performing an action that requires an extra amount of energy, such as watching a DVD. Be sure you purchase an iGo that has two cords, one for regular wall outlets and one for power-ready airline seats. Also, look for one that can charge your other electronic devices, such as your cell phone or MP3 player. Visit the iGo Web site online for more information.
- Travel pillow. If you’re taking a red-eye and really need to catch some sleep, be sure to bring a U- or L-shaped neck pillow on the flight. These pillows cradle your neck and head in a way that minimizes discomfort from sleeping in an upright position, and are also handy when you simply need to take a breather from working (they reduce built-up tension and soreness in the neck and shoulders). Go for one that either has memory foam or that’s inflatable, in order to maximize your carry-on baggage space. It’s also a good idea to have an eye mask handy for blocking out unnecessary light when trying to catch some in-flight z’s.
- Laptop carrying case. An ideal laptop case should come equipped with some kind of an air protection system or protective sleeve that will guard the laptop against bumps or accidental drops, which are sure to happen when traveling. Purchase one that offers plenty of room for additional items such as your cell phone, PDA, and adapter cords.
Be sure to stay safe when traveling, too. Read Business Travel Safety Tips for some helpful advice on how to protect yourself — and your equipment — while on the road. Also, be sure to check out Business Travel and Expense Reporting to ensure that all your business travel expenses are organized and accounted for.