We all love traveling for fun – seeing family or friends, exploring new cities or relaxing on the beach. But when we’re traveling for work the thought of packing, airport security and flying feels much more like a chore. Odds are, you’ll have to travel for work at some point for a conference, client visit or company meeting. So we’ve got some tips that we hope will make your business travel more enjoyable and maybe even fun!

Plan Ahead

With TripCase as your handy sidekick this one should be easy for you. You can conveniently add as many trip items as you want to your upcoming trip: from flights and hotels to lunches to meetings we’ve got you covered. You’ll be able to stay up to date on flight times and have hotel information and meeting times at the palm of your hand (or on your wrist).

Pack Smart

Carry-on is the key to traveling smart and stress free. You won’t have to worry about your bag ending up in Chicago when you’re bound for San Francisco and if your flight gets canceled you have all of your items already with you. And this means less time waiting around the airport for your bag – the less time in the airport, the happier you’ll be!

carry on, suitcase

Add Some Fun

Chances are you’ll have a bit of free time during your trip, or at least we hope so! So why not get out of the hotel room and explore. With TripCase you can check out your Tripfeed for any exciting activities or dealsthat may be available in the area.

tripfeed

Stay Active

Chances are you’re going to be sitting in meetings for the majority of your day, so when you have free time head to the gym instead of your bed. When you work out, your body releases dopamine into your brain and you actually become happier, less stressed, and more energized. So just hit the hotel’s fitness center, or see our tips for staying fit while traveling.

work out

So you’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip full of meetings, dinners, and taxi cabs. You probably have a bunch of receipts from your trip, and you know you’re going to have to file your expenses soon. This can be a daunting task, but the good news is, there’s ways to make this easier. Here are five tips for filing expenses more easily:

  1. Maintain Order – try to keep your receipts organized by day. This will help you keep track of what’s what, and if you used a corporate card, is likely the order in which your purchases will be listed on your statement.
  2. Make notes – on the back of your receipts, write down any pertinent information you may need – what was the business purpose, who was with you, etc. This can be especially helpful if you have to wait for your bank statement to come in before you’re able to file your expenses.
  3. Map it out – if you’re able to expense mileage in your personal car for your trip, but forgot to snap a photo of your odometer before you left, you can use Google Maps to easily measure the distance driven between places. Our Remember This Place feature can help you with this, too.
  4. Make a backup – most receipts are printed on thermal paper, which can fade and become unreadable. Snapping a photo when you receive the receipt will give you a fully-legible backup. If your receipt is already faded, try holding it at arms length and using a hair dryer against the back of the receipt. The heat from the hair dryer can restore the ink enough to read the details again. Just be careful – too much heat and you’ll ruin the whole receipt!
  5. Make a folder – some corporate email systems will automatically archive or delete your email after a period of time. If you book your trips far enough in advance, you might lose your confirmation email! Make a habit of saving your confirmations to a folder on your hard drive as soon as you receive them. Just flagging them in your inbox may not keep them safe.

The options in men’s dress shoes right now are more plentiful than ever before. If you are smart about the few options that you buy, you can travel well in style in no time flat.

The Case for Traveling with Comfortable Dress Shoes

  • It used to be that men were regulated to only 2 options, a basic dress shoe which was uncomfortable, and a tennis shoe. Now the styles have changed, and more high-end designers are making comfortable dress shoes that are a breeze for travel.
  • Many dress shoes slip on and off easily to cut down on time going through the security line.
  • You can wear one pair when you are traveling if you buy a pair that is geared towards comfort, so only one pair has to go in your carry-on luggage.
  • While they are comfortable, you might not want to be the guy that wear flip flops when he travels. For one, you never know who you are going to run into on the flight, and second, it’s a safety hazard to have exposed toes on a plane.
  • You can be the gentleman with solid footwear if an emergency occurs. You’ll have much better footing in enclosed shoes to assist anyone that needs help, or run if you need to make a late layover between flights.

Here are some excellent travel-worthy shoes that will have you stylish and put together perfectly on any business trip:

The Dress Loafer

penny-loaferA classic choice that doesn’t ever go out of style. The dress loafer is one of the best choices to have in a dark brown color. It goes well with any navy or tan suit, looks classy with khakis and can even dress up a dark pair of jeans.

Tod’s “Quinn” Penny Loafer in dark brown is a sleek moccasin style loafer with Tod’s signature rubber sole that is pebbled for extreme comfort. It’s almost like getting a foot massage when you wear a pair of these excellent quality shoes. Each pair is hand cut, sewn, and put together in Italy for craftsmanship that is second to none. This is the pair to wear on the plane with some chinos, and a nice button down shirt.

The Dress Oxford

oxford-shoeThis is a more formal shoe with laces. Make sure they have at least 6 eyelets and a cap toe otherwise known as the “balmoral” shoe. This is the choice for your dressiest suits and sport coats.

Choose this pair in black because it will go with all your darker grey, black, and pinstripe suits. Allen Edmonds “Park Avenue” Dress Oxford is made of a single oak leather sole, custom lining, and has extra padding for additional comfort. This shoe is a classic that will never go out of style, and will last you for years to come.

The Dress Slip On

This is a more modern style shoe that maybe be a more suitable choice if you aren’t a fan of laces or loafers. It slips on easily so that you can get dressed in a flash. This is a pair of shoes that you want designed for maximum comfort and style.

Slip On Dress ShoesEither black or dark brown is fine with this pair, plus you can experiment with texture as well. Go with suede for an added element of luxury. Mephisto “Baduard” Slip On in a dark brown suede style is known for comfort and ease of wear. They even have a shock absorbent sole so that you can have some extra protection against sore feet while wearing them all day. Another smart choice to wear on the plane with khaki’s, dark jeans, or flat front pants. You’ll look stylish with any of these choices on a business trip.

When you’re ready to pack, pick two pairs to bring with you out of the following style options, one in black and one in dark brown should suffice. Any more than two pairs and you risk carrying more than one bag on your trip.

Exceptional Business Dinner Etiquette Opens Doors

proper table arrangement

You are going on your first business trip to meet with an important client or prospective employer. You’ve managed to make it through the initial meeting with only mildly sweaty palms. Then, just when you thought you could loosen your tie and relax, you’re invited to dinner.

Your business dinner etiquette just might get you the job you want, the contract that takes your startup to the next level or leads to the promotion of your dreams. Yes, exceptional business dinner etiquette can open an unlimited array of opportunities. But, poor dinner manners can close those opportunistic windows before you place your order.

Today, some of the best business schools in the nation are offering classes on business dinner etiquette. Last spring, 1.6 million American students graduated with bachelor’s degrees and the consensus is that because Americans rarely sit at a dinner table, their etiquette is sorely lacking.

How do you rate in terms of business dinner etiquette? Follow these etiquette tips to increase the probability for success at your next business dinner.

The Dilemma

The dilemma for many American business diners is that they were raised in a family or college environment where dinner resembled a free-for-all. A first-come-first-serve mentality prevailed.

With two working parents and business, school and college schedules, who had time to pay attention to proper place settings, etiquette or table manners?

The problem is that when we arrive at our business dinner, all the above tend to work against us. And, because good business dinner etiquette either consciously or subconsciously reflects upon our character and ability, we must get business dinner etiquette right the first time and every time thereafter.

Two Quotes About Business Dinner Etiquette

“Etiquette is thinking about the other people you’re with. It’s about respecting them.” Dennis Cornell, Los Angeles business consultant.

“About 80% of communication is expressed by body language,” Cornell says. We suggest you add eye contact to this equation.

The Solution

business dinnerWhatever field you are in, business dinner etiquette is serious business. The bad news is, many of us are clueless about business dinner etiquette, including conversation, consumption, and proper use of eating utensils.

The good news is, it is never too late to learn. So, if you have an open mind, let’s get started building the foundation for comfortable, fluid, and rewarding business dinner etiquette.

  1. Before you arrive, do your homework. Know the names of other participants and use them. Research their backgrounds. Research their company, the company culture, successes and shortcomings but avoid sensitive topics unless your guests raise them. Then, sound informed, not authoritative.
  1. Arrive early. Ask if your party has arrived. If not, wait in the lobby. If you are hosting or if you feel you should pay for dinner, inform the wait staff that you are paying in full and give them your credit card. Instruct the staff not to present a check or receipt or to accept payment from any other party. You can settle the tip as you leave the restaurant.
  1. When your party arrives, approach with confidence, extend your hand, look each person in the eye, and introduce yourself with a smile. Never presume that familiarity is acceptable. If you are running late, strike one but don’t make it worse by not calling and advising your party you are in transit.
  1. Before reaching your table, turn off cellphones and check any bags, handbags, or briefcases.
  1. When you arrive at the table, stand behind your chair until the parties are seated. If you are the host, invite your guests to be seated.
  1. When seated, leave utensils as they were placed. Gently lift your napkin and fold it into your lap. Take comfort in the formality and allow it to set a pleasant pace for what promises to be an important dinner.
  1. Pay attention to your posture and keep elbows off the table. Sit firmly upright, be a great listener and avoid topics like politics, religion or news that could be controversial. This is a business dinner. Let your party direct conversation and the pace.
  1. Do not order until the host has ordered and choose a similar entree. Eat light foods that are easy to digest. Never commence the meal until everyone is served and the host has begun. If appropriate, offer an ice-breaking toast when everyone is served.
  1. Never speak in a loud tone. Never dominate the table chatter. Your conversation should flow but unless asked for details, keep it simple. Remember that quiet engagement inspires confidence.
  1. Understand that your dinner party is observing your manners, your style and your overall etiquette. If you are unfamiliar with the European style of cutting your food and eating, do research and practice. Being comfortable with this particular eating style can score big points. Make sure your utensils rest neatly on your plate and together.
  1. Only cut enough food for one small mouthful at a time. This is not the frat house. Chew thoroughly. You should be so comfortable that you want this dinner to last. Try to finish at the same time your compatriots conclude their meal.
  1. When you have finished your meal, fold your napkin and place it to the left of your plate. Place your utensils together with the handles at 5:00 o’clock and the tips at ten. Leave the plate in place and do not move it ahead or to the side.

General Dinner Etiquette Tips
Here are a few quick reminders about general dinner etiquette:

  • Refrain from alcohol, even if the host encourages you
  • Use your napkin frequently
  • Never use utensils to emphasize a point
  • Never chew ice
  • Eat small portions and chew thoroughly
  • Refrain from talking when food is in your mouth
  • Make eye contact at every possible turn
  • Break bread and butter one piece at a time
  • If you must leave the table, excuse yourself and place your napkin on your seat
  • Understand the culture of your guests and hosts
  • Keep your hands away from your face and hair
  • Ask food to be passed and avoid reaching across the table
  • Be polite to wait staff as it reflects on your ability to get along with others
  • Follow the host’s lead whenever possible
  • Relax

Proper business dinner etiquette is a plus on your resume. You cannot be too polite. Treat all dinner guests as equals and praise your host at every opportunity. Be the person your dinner compatriots want to hire, make a deal with and with whom they cannot wait to do business. It all starts with great business dinner etiquette.

Working in the business world, you may find it necessary to work on the go. For some, you may find yourself more often in the air than on the ground. For others, it is more the exception than the norm. But the bottom line is when you are away from the office, you not only must continue to do your job, but you must also learn to manage yourself.

The following are some simple, but effective methods for improving your productivity when traveling or working away from the office:

1. Learn to say “No.” You’re not on vacation even if you’re working in Hawaii. Saying no to the beach now will allow you to manage your time and keep your deadlines.

2. Try to retain your normal sleep schedule. Obviously a three-day trip to Japan may make sticking to your home schedule difficult, but if you are staying in your time zone try to stick to your normal wake up times. This will help keep your focus throughout the day.

3. Create yourself an office space. It doesn’t matter if it is your hotel room, the local coffee shop or the library. Find a place that allows the least amount of distractions for you and plant yourself there. If you are going to be around distractions, consider a pair of the newest good travel headphones. Noise reduction can help to greatly improve your concentration.

Productivity Tip #3

4. Don’t forget the water! A recent study demonstrated that letting your body slip into dehydration even a little can decrease mental alertness and concentration. If you hit the gym before work, be sure to hydrate before you fire up the laptop.

5. Stay away from fast food. Although fast food is a tempting, quick and easy fix, a salad for lunch and a well-rounded dinner will leave your body happy and your mind productive.

6. Keep yourself organized and your time budgeted. Your Monday meetings can be part of the monotony of life back home, but on the road they can be easily forgotten. If you’re an Android or Apple user there are apps to help you manage your time wisely. You can even use the reminders feature in your TripCase app!

7. Exercise, exercise, exercise! Don’t allow being away from home to stop you from getting your sweat on. Call ahead to make sure the hotel you’re staying in has the type of workout equipment you like or look into bringing your own portable exercise gear.

productivity tip #7

8. Work offline. If it is possible, put your personal phone on airplane mode and disable its Wi-Fi until you are finished with your work. This will prevent you from becoming distracted by an onslaught of texts, phone calls and social media notifications.

9. Take breaks. Being alone on the road can offer you a great chance to push through tasks. But without your co-workers around to provide you with natural breaks, it’s up to you ensure that you don’t burn yourself out. Something as simple as walking around the block, stretching or even laying down for 10-15 minutes can recharge your batteries.

10. Set goals with clear rewards. You may not be able to spend all day on the beach, but once you accomplish project goals give yourself a reward and block out some “you time.”

productivity tip #10

A good rule of thumb when you are on the road is to ask yourself, “what would I do at home?” Stick to normal schedules, eat right and don’t neglect exercise. By following these simple guidelines, you will find yourself more efficient and focused, even on the road.

When it comes to traveling for business, you can take some simple steps to stay ahead of the game. Preparedness and planning are you best weapons. With a well thought out, but simple plan of attack, it’s easy to avoid a large number of the plights and pitfalls that many travelers fall victim to.

When packing for your business trip, the biggest thing you can do is to decide what needs to go with you, and what can stay at home. As much as you love that brand new set of TaylorMade golf clubs, odds are they can take the weekend off while you’re out in the business world making the magic happen.

Consider a small handful of categories your travel gear will fall into when preparing for the trip.

First order of business–your attire: 

  • What is the dress code for your trip?
  • packing-tip-oneIs it the same for all functions, or will you need a versatile wardrobe?
  • How long are you going for?
  • What is the weather going to be like at your destination?

These are questions you should have sorted out beforehand. Bring what you need, and only that. If you will be attending a board meeting, followed by a night of bar hopping with clients, you’re going to need some options. Bring clothes that pack well (wool suits get the wrinkles out like it’s their job). Have an extra outfit for each function at the ready. You do NOT want to be the guy in the meeting with your white socks showing because the hotel maid service threw your only pair of black socks away.

Up next–work related items:

packing-tip-2Once you have the wardrobe for your entire trip planned out, make sure you have all work related items ready. This does not mean simply have your laptop and charger packed up and thrown in the suitcase.

Do you need to bring hard copies of sales reports with you? Are you visiting a vendor who will want drawings of your most recent construction project? If you assume the hotel or your meeting locations will have printing capabilities for you to easily access, you’re setting yourself up for a potentially disastrous situation. Make copies of what you need on your last day at the office before the trip (hopefully you remember where the printer is).

Your work items checklist:

  • Printed handouts
  • Business cards
  • Pens and a notebook
  • Laptop, mouse and charger

Batting third–electronics and entertainment:

packing-tip-3We have these 2 lumped together because in this day and age, they are often times one and the same. This doesn’t mean forget the book at home for your in-flight entertainment. It’s always a good idea to take a break from the screen, and reading books (fiction or nonfiction) is a great way to keep your mind sharp.

It seems like something you shouldn’t have to even think about, however, it must be said: Bring your chargers with you! These little guys are items we take for granted when we’re in the middle of our office and home lives. They are always where we need them to be. It is easy and more common than you might think to leave essential phone accessories at home when rushing out to catch a flight.

Aside from your chargers, consider power adapters if you are traveling overseas. Take the time to look up the country you will be visiting, and find out if you need a power converter and AC adapter. You can find kits that have all converters and adapters used in the world, for a lot cheaper than you might think (Amazon).

Check, double check, and…recheck?

Remember in college when you finished a term paper and thought you had an A+ on your hands? Then you re-read it in the morning and found that sleep deprivation adds 2 letter grades?

The same can happen with planning and packing. Check your list the night you’re done packing, but make some time in the morning to double check your work. Did your toothbrush and deodorant make it into your toiletries bag? You might have charged your phone at night; make sure that charger makes it into the suitcase.

Take the few minutes to ensure you’re ready to roll. Once you’ve packed and prepared in an orderly way, you’re a step ahead of everyone else. Get to the airport on time, relax with a good book while you wait in the terminal knowing you’re ready to roll.

Staying on top of your fitness game can be difficult if you frequently have to travel. Sure, most hotels have a fitness center, but they often times fall short. That squeaky treadmill and 10lb set of neoprene dumbbells just won’t cut it for most of us. If only you could pull a Rick Moranis and shrink your Olympic barbell set so that it fits nicely in your carry-on bag. The reality is you can’t—but with the right fitness gear, you can get a decent workout wherever you travel. Below we have hand-picked exercise gear that is great for travelers based on size, weight and portability.

Resistance Bands

resistance BandsAlthough resistance bands are no match for traditional strength training with weights, they are a decent compromise for frequent travelers. Resistance bands are very affordable (you can get a decent set for around $50) and very compact. They can also be used to work almost all parts of the body and can substitute most exercises you would do with dumbbells such as bicep curls, shoulder presses, overhead triceps extensions, and bent-over rows. Adding a door anchor to attach the bands gives you an even greater variety of exercises.

Push-Up Bars
OK, so maybe they don’t work the entire body, but push-ups are a great upper body exercise. Packing push up bars can ease the strain on your wrists. For those who like to avoid germs, push-up bars also eliminate placing your hands on the hotel room floor.

Jump Ropes 

jump ropeSlip one of these into your suitcase and you’ll have an intense cardio workout wherever you go. Jump ropes are great for circuit training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).  Not only will you give your cardiovascular system a run (or jump) for its money, but jumping rope is great for improving coordination. A word of caution, if you haven’t jumped rope in a while, you might opt for wearing pants instead of shorts.

Gliding Disks

Gliding disks are like those flat, padded disks you use to move furniture around, but designed for exercising. Great for abdominal training, lunges and gliding around your hotel room while listening to ’80s music. They sound ridiculous, but you know you want to try them.

Suspension Trainers

Suspension TrainingTraveling or not, suspension trainers are both fun and provide a challenging workout with the added benefit of being super portable. You can attach these sturdy systems to your hotel door, or to a pole or tree, if you prefer taking your workout outside. Suspension trainers allow you to work against your own body’s weight to perform a variety of compound exercises. Aside from the strength training benefits, suspension trainers are applauded for their ability to improve core strength and stability, which is especially important for office workers confined to a chair all day.

Instructional Yoga Mat

Embrace your inner Yogi and strike a pose. Instructional Yoga mats help the inexperienced with yoga poses by having the correct foot and hand placements printed directly on the mat. Yoga is a great way to unwind in your hotel room after a busy day of meetings and discussions. Yoga is known to improve strength, flexibility, posture and many other physiological benefits.

Sandbag Trainer (with water fillers)

Sandbag TrainerSandbag trainers are essentially a heavy-duty duffel bag with sturdy handles positioned on both the sides and ends of the bag. You can add weight in 5 to 20 pound increments by adding bags filled with sand.

TripCase tip: add resistance using water bottles instead of sandbags. You can also purchase water fillers and just fill them up once you get to wherever you are staying. Sandbag trainers are great for doing traditional barbell movements such as squats, military presses, power cleans, curls, bent-over rows, lunges, and even ab work. Sandbag trainers are great for traveling because you can use the bag itself to store other workout gear!

Hydro Medicine Ball

A traveling medicine ball sounds like an oxymoron due to its large size and weight, but hydro medicine ballscan be easily packed in your luggage and then filled up with water from your hotel room sink. Filled to full capacity, some hydro medicine balls can go up to 60 lbs.

Portable Kettlebell (with water bladder)

Probably the most versatile piece of workout gear on this list, the portable kettlebell gives you the versatility of a traditional kettlebell without having to pack the weight of 3 bowling balls. These sturdy, nylon vessels can be filled with sand, gravel, dirt, and most importantly, a water bladder. Most kettlebell exercises only require a few square feet of floor space. Workout in your hotel or turn a nearby park into your workout sanctuary.  If you’re looking for 1 piece of equipment that will allow you to train for strength, power and endurance, the kettlebell will give you the most bang for your buck.

Although these nifty fitness gadgets are not likely to replace your everyday workout routine, you can’t deny the value of being able to pack a few of these items in a bag and have a gym at your disposal wherever you go. Plus, your next trip will give you the perfect excuse to change up your routine!

Packing light is an art form, and it’s one that you need to master if you travel frequently. As a business traveler, you face a difficult dilemma when packing: you need to look sharp and presentable, yet you also want to travel efficiently and avoid checking luggage.

Pare down to the essentials, pack right, and you can always travel with a carry-on only. And once you start packing light, you’ll realize how much stuff you actually don’t need and you’ll never go back to a checked bag.

Packing Light

    1. Use a smaller suitcase or carry-on. The larger your bag is, the more you’re likely to pack. Using a smaller bag will force you to narrow your items down to the essentials.
    2. Choose your colors wisely. Everything in your bag should go together so that you can mix and match all your tops and bottoms. Some travelers go with all black and white – but if you want to avoid looking like Agent Smith, you can mix in some dark gray pants or skirts and a light blue shirt.
    3. Count your clothes. For a weekend trip, all you really need is one suit jacket, two pairs of pants, and two wrinkle-free cotton shirts or blouses (plus sundries – we’ll get to that later). If your trip is more than two days, you’ll probably want an additional jacket and a few more shirts or blouses – perhaps with a little color or pattern to them.
      • Business Travelers: If you bring two jackets, make sure one is dressier and one more casual, like a sports jacket or blazer.
    4. Suits make matching easy, and they can function as the dressier part of your wardrobe. Wear your suit on the plane – it’s the bulkiest item you are traveling with, and you’ll want to look sharp in case you bump into a VIP at the airport. Always pack jackets by folding them vertically, and then rolling them loosely before placing them in your bag. For women, a black or navy blue blazer works great with pants, skirts, and jeans.
    5. Assess your daily sundries. For each day of the trip, you’ll need a pair of socks, a pair of underwear, and either an undershirt or bra, and possibly a tie. Pile them up and then have a look: is there any way to reduce the space that these items take up? Can you wear shorter, thinner socks? Sleeveless undershirts? Thinner underwear? Every bit of bulk that you cut out will create more room in your bag.
    6. Simplify your shoes. Shoes are one of the heaviest, bulkiest items that you can pack. Try to get away with one pair, such as black leather oxfords or flats, which you wear on the plane. Ladies, trade the heels for a pair of dressier flats. Not only are they likely more comfortable, but flats take up less room in your suitcase. Traveling with one pair of shoes also means that you just need one belt. If you must have a spare pair, choose either casual, dark brown leather shoes OR gym shoes – but not both. Shoes should always go on the bottom of your bag, and you can maximize space by packing rolled-up socks, underwear and undershirts inside of them.
    7. Clean up with hotel toiletries. Even in developing countries, hotels still usually supply bath soap and shampoo. Nicer hotels provide a lot more. Cut down to bare bones when it comes to your toiletries. For women, leave the bag of makeup at home and instead pick out a few makeup items you want to bring.
    8. Do laundry at the hotel.  Since hotel laundry services charge by the item, you can wash every day – which vastly cuts down on the number of daily sundries you will need to bring.
      • Business Travelers: You might be able to add hotel laundry service to your business expenses.
    9. Hang up your clothes. As soon as you arrive at your hotel room, take a few minutes to get out your clothes, shake out the wrinkles, and hang them up. A steamy shower can help reduce wrinkles when there’s no time to iron – simply hang your clothes in the bathroom while you’re getting ready.
    10. Customize your packing list to fit your needs. After you return home, go through your bag. Is there anything you packed but didn’t need? Make a note so that you can streamline your bag for the next trip.

Master the skills of packing light, and never check a bag again. Breeze past the over-stuffed travelers at the baggage claim with a bounce in your step and win at business travel.

If you travel often for business, chances are you’ve experienced the headache of trying to pack a suit in a way that will keep it clean and crisp upon arrival.

In the GIFs below, we’ll teach you a space-saving, wrinkle-free way to fold your suit jacket and pants so that it fits nicely in your carry-on bag. No extra hanging suit bag necessary with this technique.

Step 1

Turn one side of the suit jacket around, reach into the sleeve and pull it inside out.

fold jacket step 1

Step 2

Take the opposite sleeve (the right-side out one) and insert it into the sleeve that is inside out.

fold jacket step 2

Step 3

Take a rolled-up t-shirt (or a similar item) and insert it into the shoulder area of the jacket to hold the shape.

fold-jacket-step-3

Step 4

Lay the jacket on a flat surface. Then, take sleeves and cross them over the body of the jacket in a diagonal fashion.

fold-jacket-step-4

Step 5

Neatly roll up the jacket, starting from the top.

fold-jacket-step-5

Step 6 (Optional)

If you have suit pants, take your pants and fold them in half length ways. Lay them flat and roll the jacket inside them.

fold-jacket-step-6

 

Once you arrive at your hotel, unroll your suit and hang it up in the closet. Your wrinkled-suit-wearing colleagues will be envious of your clean-pressed appearance!

We’ve all had those awkward business meetings. You’ve traveled across the country for a sales pitches or networking gathering and sit in a large room with a dozen other unfamiliar faces. Especially if you’re the meeting organizer, initiating some icebreakers to relieve the anxiety can be the difference in producing a successful trip.

To break the ice at a sales pitch or networking meeting, bits of humor and positive interaction go a long way. The trick to effective icebreakers is to engage the audience in their own experiences. Many memorable experiences tend to have occurred when traveling–some of which might be poignant and others that might be quite humorous.

Below are some travel related icebreakers suitable smaller meetings with 4-8 people or larger gatherings with a banquet-style arrangement where groups of 6-8 people are present at each table.

  1. The Coin Icebreaker – Before entering your travel business meeting, collect one coin that will be distributed to each participant from a potluck draw. Make sure the coins have different dates and were minted in years when your guests were able to travel. Let each guest draw a coin from a jar and then describe their most memorable vacation, trip or travel experience in the year the coin was minted. Be prepared for a wide range of responses. This icebreaker will not only get your group interacting amongst themselves but will also position you favorably for your presentation.
  2. Favorite Restaurant Icebreaker – Ask each meeting attendee to describe their most memorable restaurant experience while traveling. These could range from unexpected culinary experiences to some pretty wild wait staff misunderstandings. If your travel meeting attendees have enjoyed international fare, this icebreaker could reveal some pretty funny stories.
  3. 60-Second Travel Tips – Ask each meeting attendee to present their favorite travel tip in 60 seconds or less and tell the audience how this tip came to help them in the past. As the meeting host, have your own travel tip ready to share to get the ball rolling. Make sure every participant tells a quick story. Then, call for a vote to determine which tip and anecdote were best.
  4. Good Sport Icebreaker – Travel and sports are common interests that many people share. Ask the meeting participants to describe their favorite travel story that revolved around a sporting event. Set a two-minute maximum but try to ask a question that engages the entire group. Sometimes the best travel-related sport stories have little to do with the outcome of the game and are more focused on the travel experience.
  5. Describe This Country – Write the names of different countries on several small notes (one on each). Fold each note and drop them in a hat. Ask each meeting participant to choose one folded note and read the name of the country. Then, ask for their off-the-cuff reaction to the country they were presented, even if they have never been there.
  6. Pass the Note – This icebreaker is sure to engage everyone. Give each meeting attendee a piece of paper with a pen and ask them to write the names of three national or international cities they have personally visited. Each attendee should sign their list. Put the sheets back in the hat. Mix the sheets, then pull them from the hat and read the three cities. Ask the audience to guess whose sheet you just read. After their guesses are identified, ask the person who submitted the list to stand. If you can encourage each participant to identify their favorite city of the three, you are on your way to a great travel business meeting.

Remember that the purpose of meeting icebreakers is to get everyone in the room interacting. Once you’ve done this, the tension in the room will evaporate immediately and your audience will be surprisingly receptive to your presentation.

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