Now that the time for lengthy summer vacation time has passed, it’s time to get back to work. For many of us, that means the occasional (or frequent, depending on your job) business trip. While trips and what you do there will generally depend on your line of work, we’ve found that most of the gear remains the same. Whether you’re gone for a few days to a big bustling conference or travel to meet a potential business partner or client, this gear will help keep you organized, happy, and lookin’ good.
This one’s a no-brainer, but if you’re traveling via plane you’ll probably want a rolling suitcase that will fit typical carryon guidelines. One of our favorite brands for travel and bags, Tumi, makes a great “Corry” Frequent Traveler ($375) bag that will fit those guidelines perfectly. There’s no expanded section to tempt you into bringing home more than you took with you, but the Frequent Traveler has a lightweight EVA frame for mobility and the slate gray color will distinguish your bag from the sea of black nylon. The bag is made from durable ballistic nylon and has interior and exterior pockets as well as a telescoping handle.
If you’re on the go taking meetings and driving around in a rental car, you’ll definitely want a Bluetooth headset to keep you connected and available at all time. The Jawbone Era ($130) has a sleek design, eight earbud covers for a perfect fit, HD sound, Noise Assassin technology, and a built-in accelerometer that makes pairing the device with your phone as simple as possible. The headset is also small enough that it will mostly go unnoticed, until you need to answer that important call, that is.
iPad portfolio case
If you’ve got an iPad, chances are you’ll want to bring it with you on your business trips for the sake of convenience. It’s great for doing work or keeping yourself entertained on the plane, on the go, or when you finally have time to relax at your hotel. Keeping the business aspect in mind, we like the Booqpad iPad Agenda ($50), which combines a stylish portfolio-style cover for your iPad with a traditional paper notebook, neatly tucked inside. The Booqpad also has room for a pen and several business cards.
Even though you’re traveling, which often makes us want to spend most of our time in glorified sweat pants, you’ll have to look sharp when doing business-related things, which isn’t always easy when you’re hundreds of miles from home. Make it just a little bit easier on yourself by buying one of Nordstrom’s Smartcare Trim Fit shirts ($65), which is made from cotton with a special finish to keep it virtually wrinkle-free.
Instead of throwing all your toiletries and hair products (we kid) into a jumbled mess in your suitcase, invest in a nice dopp kit to keep your basics together in a handy little package. This good-looking full-grain leather Kenneth Cole New York Business Travel Kit ($60) has enough room for your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, razor, and any other essentials you might need in a large main compartment and a smaller zip-around bottom compartment. The interior is lined with water-resistant fabric to keep everything nice and clean.
This one is only for those who travel with some serious technology, but if you do, the KangaRoom Travel Cord Organizer ($58) will no doubt come in handy. This small bag can hold up to seven small electronic devices and is designed to hold one power-strip in the center. When you plug the power strip in, all of your items will begin charging, easy as that. The bag will keep all your devices and cords organized in the pockets and making charging everything you need to charge as fast and easy as possible.
You can’t go wrong carrying a classic leather briefcase to a business meeting, and we think this Mulberry Elkington Leather Briefcase ($930) is about as perfect as they get. The supple brown leather will only get better with age, and this classic piece will fit all your needs with a large inner compartment, an outer slip pocket, a carry handle, and a detachable shoulder strap.
Whenever you travel, you’re subject to unwanted noise. Whether it’s on the plane while you are trying to get work done or at your hotel while you’re trying to relax, block out the noise and zone out (or in) with the Sennheiser MM 550 Over-Ear Headphones ($500). These luxury headphones will do a great job blocking out noise and give you high quality sound with a comfortable fit. As a bonus, these headphones include Bluetooth technology and a microphone, so you can answer calls even if you’re in the middle of some music relaxation.
For those who don’t need the craziness of the cord organizer and charger listed above, the Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger ($12) is another good option in a smaller design. This handy adapter has three charging slots for normal plug-ins and two spots for things that need to be charged via USB. The rotating plug will also leave the other wall outlet open for even more charging solutions.
People always say that if you’re trying to make money, you should look like you already have some. Don’t skimp on shoes just because you think nobody looks at them. Get yourself a nice pair of dress shoes that will go with almost anything and take your suit from boring to luxurious. You don’t have to go quite as far as these, but if you’ve got the cash and a flair for style, we love the look of these black Ralph Lauren Brogues ($1,250), which have wingtip styling and a perforated design.