Like many of you, I travel a lot. My wife Alison and I are the sole proprietors of Edmonson Associates with clients primarily in Michigan and Louisiana. These two states because we have a home in both locations. Sooo… between business and family, we definitely travel, by planes, trains, and automobiles. Over the years we have learned some travel tips that make life easier.
If you fly, make sure you have two bags that will fit in the smaller regional air craft used today. I have a half bag pull behind that I can place my brief case on top and pull along both easily. I recommend soft luggage and briefcases with lots of pockets and zippers. I use a Samsonite and a Kenneth Cole brief case. In small air craft, my Samsonite pull behind fits below the seat in front of me, my brief case in the overhead. On large planes, my suitcase goes above, and my brief case under the seat. Also, a tip on booking your flight, use Orbits or another site. Don’t purchase on Sunday, it’s the highest priced day; purchase on either Tuesday or Wednesday. The best deal is if you also travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays whenever possible. That’s the cheapest days to fly.
Don’t rely on airport or hotel Wi-Fi hotspots. The guy next to you may be stealing your information. I have a Verizon Smartphone by Motorola with its own hotspot. I always have a private and secure connection, and the ability to hook up to 8 devices.
Use a rugged laptop. Over the years I have gone through a number of them. I have settled on Toshiba Satellites because they take a lot of abuse and keep on going. I used to purchase other brands every two years. I have now owned 3 Toshiba’s that have lasted more than five years and they still out perform newer models and makes.
Use the cloud. I rely on two services; Dropbox.com for my files; and Doodle.com for scheduling meetings. I feel secure in the knowledge that I can access any file from anywhere, even on my Smartphone if my system goes down by using Dropbox. I can also collaborate with associates on jointly drafted documents. With Doodle, I can easily schedule meetings with small or large groups no matter where I am.
We often drive from Louisiana to Michigan, and vise-a-versa. That’s eighteen hours in the car. With my Smartphone, laptop, and portable printer/scanner, and external mouse, we never miss a beat if clients need immediate attention.
Finally, I travel with a portable GPS device. That way, I can use it in my car, or walking around in big cities. I also don’t need to include one in rental car agreements.