5 Life Skills Every Frequent Business Traveller Should Have

18 August 2016

Words by Renae Spinks

When you’re on the road, you don’t have access to the same resources you might have at home. You’ve only got yourself and your wits. Never fear – brush up on these handy life skills and you’ll be able to take any little travel emergency in your stride.

Get Packing

A woman packs her suitcase.

Picture: Getty Images

It may be an obvious one for business travellers, but it takes practice to get the routine for you down pat. The secret is to pack light and pack fast, and do it the same way every time. Here are the basics – keep a set of basics ready to go, ie mini-sized toiletries and a set of cables and chargers, so you’re not turning the house upside down when the taxi arrives. Where possible, use a carry-on bag to avoid checking-in your luggage. Pack the heaviest items at the bottom and the lightest on top to avoid wrinkles, and if you’re packing shoes, stuff smaller items inside them to make the best use of your space.

Clothing Know-How

A man sews on a button.

Picture: Getty Images

Business trips are usually scheduled down to the wire. You don’t have time to hunt around for a tailor if you have a wardrobe emergency. Basic sewing skills will stand you in good stead, from sewing a button back on to fixing that errant hem. Many major hotels have mini sewing kits for the asking, so you don’t have to worry about your sewing scissors getting confiscated at the airport. Iron-on fabric tape can also be used to fix up a sagging hem. And here’s another tip – if you stain your best work shirt, wet wipes are a remarkably effective quick fix. Out damned spot!


Business Travel 101: Packing Hacks to Consider

Hotel hacks: 10 Tips You Can Actually Use


Geography Rocks!

A woman reads a map on the roof of her car, with a city skyline behind her.

Picture: Getty Images

Google Maps has taken the guesswork out of navigating a strange city, and the mystical art of map-folding has become a thing of the past. Nevertheless, technology is not always your friend. If your electronics fail, you could be left high and dry. Learn how to read a map – and that includes getting from Point A to Point B, and you’ll never need to rely on the eye in the sky again. Learning how to ask for directions in the local lingo is a handy skill, too. And if you’re planning on using public transport, brush up on your train/bus map skills. Route maps don’t always follow actual geography, so ask someone which is the nearest station to your destination.

Play By The Rules

A confident business woman waits for her plane.

Picture: Getty Images

When you know the rules of travel, you can head off hassles at every turn. Some countries refuse entry to people with less than six months’ validity on their passport, so make sure it is up to date. Know what other documentation you need to enter a country, such as visas and vaccination records, and have them handy. What are the luggage constraints on your chosen airline? Make sure you meet size and weight requirements before you arrive at the airport. What items can be carried in your hand luggage and what must be checked? Making a presentation? Know the tech specs for your chosen destination. Wheeling and dealing? Bone up on local business customs and know the exchange rate so you’re talking the same fiscal language.

Basic First Aid

A businessman with a bandaged thumb.

Picture: Getty Images

Let’s hope you won’t ever need it but if you do, First Aid training might just save your life – or someone else’s. It will help you look after yourself if you fall ill, and know when to call an ambulance if your condition worsens. In Australia, first aid covers such topics as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), care of unconscious people, breathing emergencies, shock, allergic reactions, bleeding and wound care, cardiac emergencies, burns, extremes of heat and cold, poisons, and bites and stings. Make a note of emergency numbers in your destination, as well.

 

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