Consistently travelling for business, although an enjoyable part of your job, sometimes does get stressful. Which is why they invented travel accessories! From products that increase baggage security and help deter identity thieves, to accessories that simply ensure your flight is as comfy as possible, here are our top 6 essential travel accessories for business travellers.
Locks are traditionally the go-to’s for security-conscious travellers, however, even the best travel locks on the market won’t stop would-be thieves slashing bags or splitting open zippers. Even hard cases aren’t damage-proof – if someone really wants to get into your bag, they’ll find a way to open it!
Modern straps that feature combination locks can also be difficult to undo (and some airports also have heat-sealed strap machines that will alert you to an interference), however, many of them can still be opened with a knife. So while locks and straps can be good deterrents, they won’t really guard your luggage against the most determined thieves.
If you’re travelling internationally (and to the US in particular), a business travel essential you should invest in is luggage that’s ‘TSA approved’. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) screens every passenger’s luggage before it’s placed on the aircraft. From time to time, they may choose to open your luggage for closer inspection, and if this happens, they will destroy any lock other than those approved by the TSA in order to gain access.
TSA luggage locks also have a universal master key they will open these locks, and only the TSA has a copy of this master key. All TSA locks have an identifying mark that enables this, and only certain brands of luggage feature these locks. Even if you’re not travelling to the US, these brands are often super-sturdy and perfect for domestic travel as well.
RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) fraud is a real concern for banks, governments and millions of credit card users. In Australia, most banks use RFID systems like Paywave or PayPass, which allows customers to access wireless purchases for transactions up to $100. You simply touch your card to a scanner rather than having to swipe it or insert it into a terminal.
RFID technology works by using radio waves and many cards contain an RFID tag with information that can be accessed by an RFID reader. The problem stems from the fact that RFID chips have tiny electromagnetic fields that make them possible to read simply by being close to them. So therefore, it’s possible that would-be thieves can ‘scan’ or ‘skim’ your wallet and therefore your cards, and have access to sensitive details that enable them to commit crime.
In terms of essential travel gadgets, RFID wallets protect these types of fraudulent activities by incorporating an internal layer of material that blocks the transmission of the data on your cards. Investing in an ‘electromagnetically opaque’ wallet will essentially prevent the illegitimate reading of your credit cards and/or identity cards, keeping both your finances and your identity safe.
There are a variety of ways you can power your electronic equipment these days. However, when you’re in transit, it’s important that these sources are not only reliable but portable. Devices that can be charged via a USB port are obviously handy as you can charge your laptop, tablet and phone from the one source.
A wide range of ‘stand-alone’ multi-functional adapters are also available that charge via USB, however, if you’re travelling overseas for work, bear in mind that you may need an adapter as well. This is due to power outlets having different shapes in different parts of the world. In terms of top corporate travel products, a universal adapter will give you a ‘universal’ power supply that will take many types of plugs and connect to just about any outlet.
If you’re an Apple user, then it’s also worth checking out the brand’s World Travel Adaptor Kit. Although a little on the pricey side, it provides a set of removable heads enabling you to easily convert your Australian power supply for use in a range of different countries.
OK, so you’ve got your technology sorted, but how do you make your in-transit experience even more comfortable? Apart from ditching the check-in luggage and investing in a decent carry-on that features compression straps and handy divided sections, it’s all about the packing.
One of the best travel accessories in terms of saving luggage space are packing cubes. Investing in a range of cubes of different sizes will keep like-minded items organised and also help you take advantage of those all-too-often-wasted sneaky pockets of space. They can also be used to store dirty clothes for the trip back, and if made from a lightweight fabric, the words ‘airline weight restrictions’ won’t even cross your mind!
Compression packing cells are also really handy as they don’t require a vacuum in order for them to work. You simply pack your items, zip it up, open the valve and push down on the cell until all the air has been released. Super space saving!
One of the top corporate travel products if you’re frequently jetting overseas or even do a lot of long-haul domestic travel, is the humble travel pillow. These not only assist with allowing you a quick catnap on an early morning flight, they can also avoid the problem of you waking up with a stiff neck and a shocking headache on an overseas journey.
From the totally un-subtle inflated versions and pillows that secure to your headrest, to ones that double-up as scarves and blankets, regardless of your taste in both sleeping and accessorizing, you’re sure to find one that will suit.
We all know the importance of drinking water when flying to keep hydrated, however in the interests of doing your bit for the environment, why not invest in a reusable water bottle? Not only will you avoid having to actually pay for water, if you invest in one with an in-built water filter, you’ll also be filtering out most of the contaminants that are sometimes found in tap water.
Or up the ante even further in terms of your essential travel gadgets and track down a water bottle that is collapsible. With the ability to be flattened and folded when not in use, it’s the ideal space saver, plus it doubles up as an ice pack if you ever need one!