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.

How to Effectively Manage Travel Expenses and Generate Timely Expense Reports

Face it. Expense reports are the proverbial thorn in every business traveler’s side. No matter how little or much you travel, they’re simply unavoidable, much like flight delays and cancellations. Adding to all the stress, most companies have strict policies for how long you can go after a trip before you must submit your expense report. And then there’s the hassle of keeping up and organizing all your receipts: meals, tolls, car rentals, fuel, parking, and the list goes on. Before you know it, you’re carrying a small mountain of receipts. And if you should lose one, it’s literally like mission impossible to get a replacement for a lost receipt. Not to mention that the longer you delay, the more you risk reimbursement.

No matter where your business travel takes you, TripCase frees you from the paper receipt mountain. With the receipt feature, photos of your receipts are saved at trip level in TripCase. You can organize your receipts with titles and notes and safely store them in the cloud. Then, you can email your stored receipts as a PDF, making expensing your trip that much easier when you return to the office. In other words, snap it, save it, expense it. Now, there’s no more time spent agonizing over lost receipts and worrying about reimbursement for travel expenses. TripCase makes it all a snap.

Receipts is an in-app purchase feature of TripCase. We want to make sure our travelers love it first, so we are allowing users to try it free for one month before an annual fee of $5.99 is applied. This is our way of continuing to make TripCase a single place for all your trips!

Corporate housing rentals are perfect for businessmen who need to travel frequently. A corporate housing rental stay would be preferred over a hotel for most people. Hotels can be very pricey even if the stay is short term. I would much rather stay in a fully furnished apartments with a kitchen than a hotel room. Corporate housing will save the company a lot of money when sending employees out on business trips to get rentals. This way if the employees needed an extended stay, it would not cost any more money to the company.

Corporate housing is such a great way to save money when sending employees out on national business trips. Staying in a hotel adds a lot of extra money to the trip unless you stay in corporate housing. Corporate housing rentals are not only less expensive but are more comfortable temporary housing for businessmen. They are usually in meetings all day long and enjoy coming home to fully furnished corporate housing rentals.

Corporate housing will make a employees' trip a lot more comfortable and he/she will be more likely to work harder. Corporate housing furnished apartments are the way to go when the need to send employees out on national trips is high.

Corporate housing rentals will provide your company with many benefits. The employees will feel more at home in furnished corporate housing rentals. They will be more productive and deliver in meetings.

Corporate housing for short term stay is a great way to go. If the trip goes longer as planned, it will not be a big deal to stay another night. As for a hotel, extended stay is costly and an employees may rush the work he/she was sent to do. Corporate housing is the best solution to a lot of problems that business trips create.

Corporate housing furnished apartments are great for business trips that are made often but are short term. Corporate housing will allow employees to feel like they have a second home instead of staying in hotels all the time. Even though its a short term stay, these corporate housing rentals could have fully furnished bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Some corporate housing rentals also provide laundry rooms and internet service.

Corporate housing rentals can even have enough room to hold executive meetings in. There are usually rooms that can function for different purposes. You would not even have to leave your corporate housing rental for business.

Corporate housing rentals allow businessmen to cook their own food in the kitchen provided. Even for short term, businessmen get sick of fast food and restaurants. Corporate housing will save you money in food as well.

Corporate housing rentals are the perfect place to stay for your business trip. Anyone can stay there, you can even rent it out to other businessmen for short term when they are vacant. Corporate housing rentals will make your stay very comfortable that you will not mind an extended stay since they are furnished apartments, and give you the comfort of your own home. Corporate housing will make business trips actually enjoyable.

furnished, temporary, stay, rentals

Did you know Serviced Apartments are the best alternative when it comes to feeling at home when not at home…!? ‘’Yes’’, it sounds like your average opening sentence for holiday rental homes somewhere in sunny Spain and ‘’no’’ it is not in anyway that.

Please allow me to give you a quick insight in the world of Serviced Apartments . Are we guru’s…? No! Do we know our business… YES! After reading this you will never again have to think what those ‘’funny’’ words Serviced Apartments mean and what the difference with a hotel is.

 

We started this service when a client noticed that his employees were getting less productive as staying in small hotel rooms with microwave meals for weeks at a time was working on there nerves. The client needed a more flexible solutions. That is where OV Corporate Housing  started, having four fully furnished apartments and a small front desk. For the client  Serviced Apartments gave his employees a sense of freedom, having more space and the ability to cook. A Serviced Apartments started to appeal to more and more people, four apartments quickly became 20 apartments. Adding in-house maintenance, bicycle rental services and other hotel facilities to the concept. Over the course of 11-years Serviced Apartments has grown significantly. Currently boosting over 300 fully furnished apartments, spread out over two central locations (Amsterdam-Buitenveldert and Amsterdam-Amstelveen) and complimented by a 24-hour reception desk, weekly cleaning service, fitness & wellness facilities, Wi-Fi capabilities and several meal services among many.

Hotels are great for short visits, were things such as cooking your meals are not relevant. When a descent bed and on-demand service is what you need. Serviced apartments give you the opportunity to settle in, even if you are only in town for a week. By giving you the freedom of your own house/apartment and adding the service of a hotel to it.

I can hear you thinking, ‘’this sounds like you are selling me air’’. First off I am not good at selling air, I am however good at sharing thoughts. Second off what if I told you Serviced Apartments are actually cheaper then your everyday hotel (over the course of a week). This has everything to do with the flexibility of the concept. Not having services such as daily cleaning, a fully operational restaurant and room service decreases the costs of a Serviced Apartment immensely. Even more so when considering that sharing apartments is very common, because of the space. This could potentially cut the costs in half.

What Serviced Apartments offer as opposed to hotels (summary):

  • More space (square meters, full size kitchen, multiple rooms);
  • More privacy;
  • All-inclusive rates (relatively low compared to hotel rates because off the lack off daily cleaning, a restaurant and room service);
  • Both short-term and long-term lengths of stay possible, starting from five nights up to years.
  • The flexibility to create your own stay