Chances are, you’re hitting the road in Q1 in effort to drum up some business, meet with colleagues, or recruit some fresh talent to join your team. Whatever the reason, you want to make sure you can travel professionally with the best of them.

It should go without saying that checking a bag when flying for work is a huge no-no, lest you plan on being gone for over two weeks. Assuming you’ve mastered the art of packing a carry-on, read on to learn more helpful travel tips and tricks from the Merchology team, particularly for air travel:

  1. Never bring more than two bags. You only need one laptop bag (a purse, backpack, or briefcase), and one roller carry-on bag. If you’re carrying more than that, you look ridiculous. Breastfeeding mothers carrying a pump bag – you’re the rare exception to this rule. Rock on, working mamas.
  2. Charge up all of your electronics before the flight, no matter how long it is. We’ve all been stuck on a runway for hours on end, dreadfully watching our phone battery drain. What will you do when your phone dies?! (The horror!) Additionally, bring your phone charger and a power bank on the flight, just in case. Some planes now have electrical outlets or USB hubs where you can use your charger, and if not, you have the power bank as backup. At less than $17 a pop, check out this affordable Brookstone power bank as one option. It’s tiny so it won’t take up much room, and it’s a smart backup plan.
  3. Stay hydrated with a filtering, refillable water bottle. A filter in your water bottle is a plus, as airport drinking fountain water can taste a little… well, bleh. To conserve space, make sure the bottle doesn’t exceed 20 ounces. Here are two great options, which you can also co-brand with your company logo: the CamelBak Filtered Groove or bobble Bottle with Tether Cap. You might be thinking, “I can expense bottled water, so why bring my own refillable bottle?” Well, there’s the whole “saving the planet” thing that you might want to consider. It’s estimated that one reusable water bottle on average saves between 300 and 1400 plastic bottles a year. #themoreyouknow
  4. When packing, try to match all of your “bottoms” with all of your “tops.” That way if you need to mix/match, you’re able. What if you spill on one pair of pants that you were planning on wearing again? Good thing the other pair matches all of the shirts you packed. Plus – if it’s a “brown” week, you only have to pack your brown shoes and belt, versus both a brown set and a black set.
  5. Become a US Trusted Traveler. If you plan to be a frequent traveler (traveling 2+ times per month), it’s probably worth the effort, wait, and investment to sign up for Global Entry. The program is offered by US Customs and Border Protection and allows pre-screened fliers the chance to bypass regular security lines in the US and Canada (hello, TSA pre-check!). If you pass the screening, it’s $100 and good for five years. Just be prepared to wait six months to secure the next available screening appointment.

Most importantly – don’t forget that the airport is a great place to rep your company logo on some cool co-branded merchandise. What are you planning on wearing when you travel?

Happy and safe travels from the Merch team!