You’re ready for your next business trip. You’ve got the tech you need: phone, laptop, Kindle, adapters for every global region and enough cables to connect a small city. You rely on your tech for both work and downtime but you don’t want to have to worry about it.
A recent survey by Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts showed that around a quarter of business travellers consider staying in touch with family and friends back home a top priority, using their downtime to communicate. Nobody wants a flat battery when they’re FaceTiming their three-year-old, so what gadgets could make your life less stressful and more connected when you travel for business?
From portable power banks to GPS tracking dots to mobile scanners - here’s what to pack for your next trip.
Portable power banks
You don’t want to run out of battery when you’ve just arrived and need to check your location or call a taxi. Power banks are rechargeable external batteries for your phone, tablet and laptop – some even run off solar power. They come in three sizes: small, to slip in a pocket and charge your phone maybe once; compact, to charge it two or three times; and high-capacity, to keep your all devices charged for days on end. Power banks come in all kinds of stylish designs: slim, chunky and colourful, and some are rugged and waterproof.
Luggage tracking dots and smart luggage
Business travellers say that losing luggage is one of the most stressful things that can happen on a business trip. To see if your missing suitcase is halfway to Singapore or simply on the next luggage carousel, consider a GPS tracking dot. Using an app on your phone, it will alert you of your suitcase’s whereabouts until it can be returned to you. You can use some tracking dots between business trips – give them to your teenagers or elderly relatives, or even attach one to the dog’s collar.
It’s not cheap, but if you’re a frequent business traveller it might be worth investing in a robust smart suitcase. There are loads of models on the market and they may include: a built-in power bank with USB ports, tracking dot or service, integrated scales, biometric app-enabled locks, an alarm, cup holders and even a motor scooter!
Digital luggage scales
You’re at the check-in desk with all your colleagues and your boss when – horrors - the check-in agent tells you you’ve gone over your luggage allowance. Your choices are: publicly bump up your expenses paying the excess; have the mortifying task of opening your suitcase and begging your colleagues to take some of your belongings; stuff some of it into a bin. Avoid this misery altogether by slipping some portable digital luggage scales in your case to weigh before you travel and never get caught out with overweight baggage again. Some have an integral tape measure so you can check the dimensions of your bags.
You don’t want to neglect your fitness regime when you’re travelling for business, especially as exercise helps you sleep better and manage work stress. Pack a fitness tracker to monitor your daily steps, activity, calories and sleep quality, and identify where you need to give yourself some extra TLC on your business trip. Use your tracker in conjunction with your route map from the Run Stations in Crowne Plaza to keep tabs on how much exercise you get walking or jogging round the city in your downtime. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Some business travellers say that sorting out their expense claims at the end of the trip is one of the more stressful parts of business travel – all those business cards, taxi and restaurant receipts. Invest in a rechargeable mobile scanner that scans your loose bits of paper (and documents as well) to an SD card as you get them for quick organisation and submission to Accounts when you arrive back.
Portable rechargeable Bluetooth speaker
When you’re travelling, you spend a lot of time with earbuds in. Consider ditching the buds and relax with your favourite music (at a considerate volume as to not bother other guests!), Bluetoothed from your phone through a portable speaker? Some speakers are waterproof so you can use them while relaxing in a long, hot bath. And with free Wi-Fi in Crowne Plaza hotels, you’ll be able to stream all your favourite music apps whenever you like, or chat to family and friends back home.
Is your hand luggage usually a tangled snake pit of chargers, USB cables, earphones, flash drives and SD cards? Organise your tech accessories with an electronics bag that has elastic loops to hold your folded cables and mesh pockets to separate chargers, cards and hard drives. It’ll fit neatly into your hand luggage and save you the stress of constantly rummaging for your tech accessories.
The always-on background roar of engines is one of the things that makes air or train travel stressful for some business travellers. If you’re one of these, invest in some noise-cancelling earbuds so you can work, listen to your chosen music, watch your favourite box set or simply drift off to sleep without ambient cabin noise intruding. The tech works by detecting an external noise and emitting the opposite sound, effectively cancelling the annoying sound wave.
Choose a hotel that’s completely connected
It’s essential that your hotel offers excellent connectivity for a stress-free business trip. Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts make sure you have plenty of easily-accessible power sockets and charging devices in your room.
All Crowne Plaza® guests have free Wi-Fi, so you can carry on working as and when you like, and connecting with home during your downtime too. With no hidden charges or extra receipts, you’ll minimise your business expenses admin.
If you choose to hold your meetings in a Crowne Plaza® hotel, you and your delegates will be well-looked after by a dedicated Crowne Plaza® Meetings Director who can also offer tech support.
To find out more about how Crowne Plaza is changing the face of modern business travel, or to book a room, visit crowneplaza.com/businessmostly