The proper packing of a carry-on bag, let alone anything else you bring for a traveling project, is a skill that takes time to perfect. When you travel weekly as a consultant for your client, organization and comfort is key to making your commute as pleasant as possible – and that includes having the right travel gear with your luggage.
We’ve broken down a list of our top 11 must-have travel accessories that every consultant should add to their arsenal. When you travel this much, it’s important to be prepared and have the right travel accessories at your dispersal.
1. Eye Mask
It seems obvious, but we see so many consultants not taking advantage of a proper eye mask during their travels. When you fly regularly for your client, getting some extra sleep on flights becomes a necessity, especially on red-eyes. We recommend one of the two eye masks below. The Bucky 40 blinks eye mask is a great mask for its price, and the molded foam is contoured for pressure free eye comfort that allows you to blink freely, won’t smudge makeup, false lashes, or put unwanted pressure on your head. The higher end, SlipSilk eye mask is a more luxurious mask that’s made with silk and has incredible brand loyalty.
2. Noise Cancelling Headphones
It’s crucial when traveling to have a way to tune out unnecessary noise of other passengers. Yes, AirPods are trendy at the moment, but when you’re traveling constantly (as most consultants do), you’ll want a pair of headphones that have an aux cord (in case you want to use the in-flight entertainment, as well as the much-needed ability of noise cancellation. As an added bonus, people will know not to bother you! The Cowin E7’s work through both bluetooth and wired capabilities, and provide 30 hours of playback time. Grab a pair and be in total bliss during your future flights. This is a must must travel gear item to take with your luggage.
To Buy: Amazon.com, $60
3. Packing Cubes – Organize your items with this Travel Gear in your luggage
Let’s face it. If you’re a consultant, you become so good (or dare we say quick) at packing that you throw all your clothes in your carry-on 10 minutes prior to leaving your home. The problem is, once you get to your hotel, all your clothes are messy and unorganized. You have to upend your whole suitcase to find that one pair of socks you want to rock on Monday. That’s why we’re not exaggerating when we say these packing cubes are literally the best purchase we’ve ever made in our consulting professions. These little helpers make packing – and unpacking – much more tidy and neat. A must have for any traveling consultant. These Bagail 6 set packing cubes come in various colors and have a solid 5-star rating on Amazon.
To Buy: Amazon.com, $25
4. Travel Pillow
You see so many people on planes having a travel pillow, so the question is, why don’t you have one yet? Trust us, these make a world of a difference in terms of comfort. If your traveling project is a longhaul flight (3+ hours), the strain on your neck can become unbearable without a proper travel pillow. This is also a consulting travel accessory that we strongly recommend you don’t skimp on in terms of price. The Travelrest neck pillow is made from special thermo sensitive memory foam to provide optimal neck, shoulder and head support. In addition, it compresses to 1/4 of it’s size, so it’s easy to pack it into your carry-on when you’re not using it. It’s ergonomic shape keeps your neck aligned (unlike the cheap travel pillows), so you’ll endure no neck strain. Seriously, get the Travelrest, we live by it.
To Buy: Amazon.com, $40
5. Garment Bag
As you start traveling weekly to your clients, you’ll quickly realize that it’s annoying (and useless) to carry some of your clothes and other items back and forth. Most hotels will allow you to store a carry on or garment bag with them while you’re away for the weekend. As a consultant, this is extremely helpful, and beneficial, as you’ll also grow your relationship with the hotel (hey – more upgrades are always good!). With this in mind, a garment bag becomes a necessity to keep your clothes wrinkle-free and safe. A garment bag will allow you to store a good amount of professional wear, so you won’t need to constantly travel with it back and forth. The WallyBags garment bag comes in four colors, folds nicely in half, and comes in a waterproof polyester fabric.
To buy: Amazon.com, $32
6. Compression Socks
These may need to be #1. Honestly. When you travel as a consultant every week, you begin to notice that circulation in your feet slows, which is really bad for your health. Just like eye masks and travel pillows, these go hand-in-hand and are an essential part of any regular traveler. The Wanderlust travel compression socks are medical grade, and are proven to alleviate pain and increase blood flow and circulation. Unlike other travel items, skimping out on quality is a no-go for compression socks. You’ll want to upgrade or get a high quality pair, and Wanderlust is our top recommendation.
To Buy: Amazon.com, $17
7. Power Bank
When you travel this much, a power bank truly becomes your best friend. You’re always on the go, and you don’t know when the next time is that you’ll have spare time to sit by an outlet and charge your phone/laptop. Also, for some reason, airports are notorious for having too few outlets (and dare we say outlets that don’t even work), so you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared. The portable RAVPower bank is a top recommend Amazon product with over 1000 positive reviews. It’s the one we use and it hasn’t let us down.
To Buy: Amazon.com, $70
8. Shoe Bags
Most consultants, us included, only travel with a carry-on. This means that for the most part, we’re packing our shoes inside of our carry-ons. And usually, we’re taking 2-3 pairs (work, gym, and casual shoes). With this in mind, it’s pretty gross to throw in your shoes alongside your clothes. You’re stepping in god-knows-what throughout the day, and the last thing you want to do is have your shoes touch your clean clothes. Sure, you can use plastic bags, but they start to tear, get dirty, and you’ll go through dozens throughout the year. For $11, we highly recommend the MISSLO nylon travel bags, which act as a nice travel gear item in your luggage. They come in a pack of four, which should be enough for 95% of you (shoutout to all the lady consultants who pack 7 pairs for 4 days!).
To Buy: Amazon.com, $11
9. Mini Steamer – Stow this Travel Gear Item in your Luggage
It may not happen regularly, but sometimes you come across a time when you really need an iron or steamer, and don’t have access to one. Yes, hotel rooms do usually come with an iron, but what if you wake up early in the morning and it’s broken? Don’t be unprepared. You’re a consultant, you have to have all bases covered. The Steamfast mini steam iron is literally the size of a computer mouse, which makes it a perfect travel gear item for your luggage or carry-on. For the price of $23, it’s very much worth the peace of mind knowing that you’ll always have a steamer handy whenever your clothes become too wrinkled.
To Buy: Amazon.com, $23
10. Skyroam WiFi Hotspot
At times, you may be put on an international traveling project, or you may decide to alt. travel to an international country. Instead of purchasing a SIM or an extra data plan, the Skyroam allows you to purchase unlimited LTE data anywhere in the world for just $9 a day. Better yet, you’ll be able to connect five devices to the Skyroam, meaning if you’re traveling with more people and split the charge, you’re talking dollars a day. We haven’t tested the Skyroam ourselves, so we can’t speak on the reliability, but we have heard good things from many consulting peers.
To Buy: Amazon.com, $195
11. PackTidy Shirt Organizer
If you need to bring a dress shirt in your carry-on, you’ll quickly notice that just tossing it in your carry-on will ensure, without a doubt, a completely wrinkled dress shirt. That’s why along with our recommend packing cubes, we also suggest you have at least one or two of the PackTidy organizers. They come in three colors, and ensure a crease-free, sharp look to your dress shirts. We recommend just fitting one shirt inside, although you can probably get away with two. The PackTidy organizer is a great travel gear item to put in your luggage.
To Buy: Amazon.com, $25
So there you have it. When you travel this much as a consultant, your ‘carry-on’ items become just as important as another other item in your life, so do yourself a favor and gear up with some of these incredibly useful accessories.
Have any items we missed? Let us know in the comments below!