Post Academic


The Post Academic Road Warrior Guide: Packing

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on November 29, 2010
Tags: ,

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionI just returned from a series of work-related road trips, and it occurred to me that post academics might need advice on how to deal if their hamster bosses send them out for a job.

Business trips can’t be that different from conferences, right? Well, they’re better in that you don’t have to foot the bill for the flight and hotel. You will probably score free meals, too. But, yes, business trips are similar to conferences in that you have to sit in lots of meetings with strangers, and you have obscenely long days. The following trips will help you be ready for anything–because anything can happen:

Travel light. If you can avoid checking a bag, do it. Since you have less to lug around, you reduce the chances of missing a flight connection. Also, the less you pack means the less you have to leave behind in a hotel or restaurant while on the trip.

Be aware that the GPS that the rental car company gives you is useless. Either print out directions before you go, or ask a travel companion with a smartphone to navigate. The GPS is programmed with fail.

More ways to brace yourself for a business road trip after the jump! Image of a plastic suitcase by William Wessen, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

While you’re at it, print out all documents related to your trip. I’m the last person to encourage you to kill trees, but you never know what the wi-fi situation will be at your destination. At the very least, print out your flight/hotel/car rental info and your overall schedule, and carry it with you. Think of your smartphone as backup storage rather than the real deal.

Bring snacks. Between jet lag and scheduling snafus, you will be hungry by the end of the day. Pack small granola bars or nut packets so you always have some fuel. Otherwise, low blood sugar might tempt you to lash out at an innocent coworker or client.

In two days, find out how to handle the idiosyncrasies of your colleagues with grace.

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