You fly halfway across the United States, go through the hurdles of the airlines, finding an Uber, plopping down into a strange bed, exhausted, only to find your phone at 2% power. How many times has it happened you reach into your messenger bag (in that one pocket you always put your charger in) only to reveal in the rush of trying to get out of the house to catch your flight you forgot the one piece of equipment that charges your critical communication device.
It happens. Being in the corporate housing and hospitality industry for as long as we have, people forget these items all the time. Phone chargers, Tylenol, headphones…underwear. Luckily, we’ve come up with a printable checklist for you with 20 ideas of must-have items for corporate travel in 2017. These must-have items are intended for corporate travel users, the kind folks who will be hanging around Chicago in a furnished apartment for an extended stay of 2-4 months on work assignment. (At the end of the article you’ll find the PDF version of the checklist.)
Start and end your corporate stay right. “The Carry On Cocktail Kit includes everything you need to mix up two delicious cocktails at 30,000 feet. Whether you’re in the mood for a proper Old Fashioned, the perfect Gin & Tonic or a spicy Moscow Mule, the Carry On Cocktail Kit is the ultimate traveler’s companion” (Wandpdesign.com).
- SleepPhones – $39.95 for the Corded and $99.95 for the Wireless
“SleepPhones are the world’s most comfortable headphones for sleeping.” Sleeping in a new location in spite of its homey environment can often be difficult. Listening to meditation or audiobooks to fall asleep to helps immensely. But have you ever tried falling asleep with earbuds in? SleepPhones are a soft headband with very thin removable speakers in them, perfect for comfort.
- Marpac Dohm-DS Sound Machine – $51.76
Sleep is one of the most crucial elements to health, wellness, and work productivity. If you’re in Chicago for work, don’t chance it you’ll be able to sleep automatically. Admittedly, there are some rather noisy neighborhoods. “The Marpac Sound Conditioner 980A effectively masks unwanted noises and creates a sense of calm, making it easier to concentrate, relax or get some serious sleep” (Marpac.com). After a few nights sleeping with this device, you’ll wonder how you ever went without it.
- Earplugs – $13.29
Maybe the sounds of the city are keeping you up but you prefer silence to the white noise a sound machine would produce. Earplugs can be the perfect solution for that. Make sure the bustling city doesn’t keep you from getting the rest you need before your next big meeting with Hearos earplugs.
- Eye Mask – $12.95
Trouble sleeping on planes? Jetlagged and needing to catch up on Z’s during the day? Struggling, in general, to sleep with all the blinking city lights? An eye mask will be your savior. Much of the checklist is devoted to getting adequate shut-eye because sleep is important, period. Set yourself up to succeed with a mask that will block out disruptive light so you can relax in peace.
Refillable water bottles are a necessity in mobile, city life. Bottled water is expensive and its packaging is wasteful. With a refillable water bottle, you can feel good about your impact on the environment and also ensure that you always have access to the hydration you need. And, this water bottle is BPA-free to boot! “Measurement markers printed on the side of the bottle help you track your fluid intake, and are also handy when mixing beverages in the bottle…An attached loop-top never gets lost and screws on and off easily, while offering a handy finger hold when on the move” (Amazon).
- Aspirin – $2.98
There is nothing worse than being sick or having a splitting headache…except maybe not having any pain relievers to treat it. We recommend always packing staples like Aspirin so you’re not in the miserable situation of having to run out to the neighborhood pharmacy in the wee hours of the morning, especially in an area you’re not familiar with. Make sure items like Aspirin make it to your checklist to avoid the awful feeling of the midnight pharmacy run.
- Mini First Aid Kit – $24.50
Aspirin isn’t the only must-have as far as medical supplies goes. You should always have a first aid kit available for life’s “what if?” moments. After all, you don’t want to be at the store buying bandages when you’re in desperate need of them because you’re actively bleeding. A miniature kit should do it, like this weekend first aid kit, and it can be used for future corporate travel trips as well. Containing bandages, gauze, various ointments, antiseptic towelettes, and more, you should be covered for just about any kind of self-treatable accidental injury that might come up during your corporate stay. Just remember to replenish its supplies before your next trip!
- Spare Phone Charging Cord – $25.99
Making it a point to pack a spare charging cable can save a lot of heartache. Forgetting your phone or tablet charger is a frustrating, and avoidable, annoyance. This Apple travel charger can charge three devices at once, perfect for the corporate travel who may have a personal phone, a work phone, and an iPad. “Powerful 6000 mAh capacity can fully charge an iPhone 6 at up to 3 times. Fast charge your device with the maximum output at up to 2.4A, it’s rocket fast!” (Amazon).
- Razer Portable Power Pack – $59.99
Here’s another portable battery pack that can charge three devices simultaneously. Never leave the house again without assurance that every device you own will be fully-powered and ready for whatever the day throws at you. “Compatible with Razer accessories, the Razer Power Bank gives the Razer Blade Stealth an additional six hours of battery. It has both USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports to work with a variety of your devices” (TheGadgetFlow.com).
- GRID-IT Organizer – $11.99 and up
Make sure your wires, batteries, gadgets, pens, and more are packed, together, and firmly in place for your next corporate trip. “The GRID-IT!® organization system is a proprietary patent pending object retention system. A unique weave of rubberized elastic bands made specifically to hold personal objects firmly in place. Designed to provide endless configurations of objects, digital devices and personal effects” (CocoonInovations.com).
- Wrinkle Releaser – $7.95
Always look your best with this wrinkle-release spray, perfect when you’re on-the-go. “Just spray, tug, and smooth any time you need to quickly reduce unsightly wrinkles. No iron needed…Downy Wrinkle Releaser relaxes fibers to help release wrinkles, while also leave clothes with incredible softness” (Amazon). It also works on dry-clean-only fabrics!
- Passport Wallet – $25.95
Ever misplaced a plane ticket, receipts for reimbursement, or even your ID or passport? Keep all your travel documents, receipts, and money in one place with a passport wallet. “The Plain Anti Skimming Passport Wallet features one big pocket on top for bills and map, a left side pocket for plane ticket and receipts, and a right side pocket for your passport, pen holder, and two extra pockets for cards and receipts. The cover of the Plain Anti Skimming Passport Wallet also have 3M protective film installed to protect your e-passport from being read by unauthorized RFID readers” (MochiThings). This is a must-have for corporate travel to stay organized and rest assured that you have everything important with you at all times.
- Travel Shoes – $79.99
Get your hands on a pair of comfortable, sleek travel shoes. Shoes that are easily slipped on and off will be your best friend going through TSA, commuting, and exploring all Chicago has to offer on foot. “A comfortable and practical lace-up shoe perfect for all-day wear. The ECCO Seawalker is a top selling style made from superior quality full-grain leather and oiled nubuck. A light and flexible sole creates greater shock absorption” (Ecco.com). Be sure to break in new shoes prior to daily wear.
- Foot massager – $33.69
If you spend a lot of time on your feet, especially attending conferences, a portable foot massager will be your favorite travel companion. After a long day, relax your tired feet–a little bit of pampering goes a long way when you find yourself far from home. This massager combines kneading with heat for the ultimate foot massage experience.
- Muscle Foam Roller – $44.95
Another great investment for your body and spirit is this portable foam roller. “The RumbleRoller erodes trigger points, helps restore flexibility, and brings quick relief to common types of muscular pain” (Amazon). This is perfect after a long, stressful day of travel, or after a long, hard week at the office. For a fraction of the cost, you can achieve the quality of a professional massage therapist right in the convenience of your corporate rental. And, at just 12 inches long, this foam roller conveniently fits in your carry-on luggage wherever you go.
- Noise-cancelling Headphones – $100
Noise-cancelling headphones are a must for corporate travel. The sound quality is second to none, and “full open-air type headphones produce no sense of pressure on the ears, resulting in a completely natural sensation” (Amazon). On the plane, during your commute, at your corporate rental, and even in your office, you can enjoy high-quality sound with only the most comfortable headphone design.
- Portable Umbrella – $49.00
How many times have you been caught in the rain while travelling? Getting soaked to your core while waiting in the taxi line at the airport or walking back to your rental from the office is an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Fortunately, compact umbrellas perfect for fitting into your carry-on are available. Never show up on assignment again unprepared for a potential torrential downpour.
- Toothpaste 2 Go – $6.99
Here’s a genius item that should definitely make it on your corporate travel checklist. “If you’ve accumulated a collection of almost-empty travel-size toothpaste tubes, you’ll appreciate the genius of Toothpaste 2 Go. The special adapter attaches to a regular-size toothpaste tube so you can fill the included reusable tube whenever it runs low! Now you’ll always have the right amount of your favorite toothpaste when you travel and save money. Plus, it saves disposable travel tubes from landfills” (Container Store).
- UE Megaboom – $299.99
Living in a furnished apartment for a couple of months on a work assignment doesn’t have to be boring. Bring the life of the party with you with kind of speakers that create parties. The UE Megaboom is routinely considered the best bluetooth wireless speaker in the world. This is definitely a “Buy It For Life” purchase. Play your favorite Spotify playlist in the morning, your favorite podcast when you get back from work, or, even better, take it down to Lake Michigan’s beaches and enjoy quality, booming sound.