Business Travel Essentials: The ARRVL Top Ten

Business-travel might look like it’s all business lounges, frequent flier miles and jet-setting trips around the world. But take a closer look at life on the road- or, more accurately, life on long-haul flights- and it’s a different story. Red eyes, time changes, and the unpredictability of travel, even today, make business-travel tricky to navigate and the right business travel essentials can make the difference between a successful trip, and one you’d rather forget.


@chucksoriano via Instagram

@chucksoriano via Instagram

Even if you’re going on a long trip, take a carry-on sized travel-bag with you in the airplane cabin, in addition to any other luggage. Having some of your luggage with you means you can protect valuable items such as laptops, that you’ll have at least some of what you need if the worst happens and the rest of your luggage gets lost, saving you from picking up new luggage and valuable time at the airport.

Particularly on shorter trips, using a travel-bag will force you to “pack smart” (i.e., avoid packing unnecessary items such as clothes you won’t wear). Or, if you’re planning on extending your business trip and doing some exploring, you can purchase a multipurpose travel-pack, such as Osprey’s Farpoint, which doubles up perfectly as a hiking day bag.

Massage Ball

@suvotgon via Instagram

@suvotgon via Instagram

Traveling can be grueling on your neck, back and feet. While opting for a massage upon arrival is a great idea, there are many portable massage devices on the market that will do wonders in helping you stay rejuvenated and limber on your flight.

These massage balls work by targeting and stimulating acupressure points in your feet, hands and body, helping to relieve soreness and pain. Our favorite is the Rubz Ball from Due North. Using it for long flights not only gives us more energy when we land but also provides you with some entertainment and laughs (if you’re ticklish) on the flight too.

Local + Global Travel apps

Being app-savvy as a business-traveler can save you both time and money, while also introducing you to things to see and do in your business trip destination.

Begin by downloading the apps that are essential for any travel overseas; Google Maps, Google Translate, and a currency converter are a good few to start with. Then, add destination-specific apps like CityMapper, which operates in 39 cities around the world, or GrabTaxi, an easy-to-use alternative to Uber in Southeast Asia. Finally, add some travel apps so that you’re well-equipped with recommendations on places to go in your downtime. Check out Meetup to meet new people with similar interest as you in the city you’re traveling to.

Once you’ve downloaded the apps you’ll need on your business trip, you also need to make sure that your phone will work overseas, and it may be useful to pre-order a local SIM-card. You can read about the benefits of local SIM-cards versus alternatives here.

Jet Lag Calculator

Jet lag is every traveler’s worst nightmare, and for business travelers, it can negatively impact essential trips. But there is an easy way to avoid it. Unlike our other recommended business travel essentials, using a jet lag calculatorthree or more days before your trip can help you plan a sleeping pattern that won’t see you reaching for the sleeping tablets on Day 1 of your journey. If you can’t strictly stick to the plan’s sleeping schedule, don’t worry- try stick to its principles of seeking and avoiding light at certain times of day as light is what triggers the human body clock and will help it adjust to a new time zone.

Neck pillow

@nohahamid via Instagram

@nohahamid via Instagram

Neck-pillows have an odd reputation in the international travel community. Generally seen as something to clip on to an overstuffed backpack during a gap year, they’re sometimes seen as more of a waste of money than business travel essential.

They’re not. Even a cheap inflatable one will help you get a good night’s sleep on the flight so that you arrive at your business destination bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and will soon become your favorite travel item. For more support, Trtl offers discreet travel pillows that protect your neck and fold down to half the size of a standard neck pillow.

Water bottle & ‘keep cup’

@ kawoteka  via Instagram

@kawoteka via Instagram

Admittedly, in light of the 100ml liquid rule, carrying a water bottle with you in your hand luggage might not sound like the most sensible advice. But you consider how many bottles of water the average business traveler uses on an average business trip, then add the number of disposable coffee cups they’d get through, and you’re probably starting to rack up a sizeable amount of landfill waste.

To reduce the amount of single-use items you get through, take an empty reusable water bottle through customs with you, along with a ‘keep cup’ (a reusable coffee cup) as part of your business travel essentials. You’ll be able to save money by filling up your water bottle in departures. Many coffee chains also offer a discount on coffees if you use a reusable cup. You can then continue to use these items for the duration of your trip- bonus points if you use reusable cutlery too.

Travel-size toiletries

One of the purest pleasures of staying in a hotel is the teeny-tiny toiletries. Until that is, you realise that the shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion are both really, really tiny (to borrow a quote from Derek Zoolander, “What is this, a conditioner for ants?!”), and customarily standardized to suit one particular type of customer, meaning business-travellers with extra-fine, curly or afro-textured hair will often find the products don’t meet their needs.

However, even if hotel products are perfect for your hair type, there’s still another excellent reason you should stop using them on business trips. Last year it was revealed that millions of bars of soap and half-used bottles of shampoo are discarded in hotels around the world with used containers usually going straight to landfill. While some hotels are starting to act on this, signing up for initiatives such as Clean the World, it’s far better to travel with your own. Sephora’s Take Me Away Travel Jar Set is perfect for shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel and is Federal Aviation Administration approved.

Space-saving organization bags

@Karenaldrin via Instagram

@Karenaldrin via Instagram

The secret to an efficient business trip is organization, and if everything is planned, there’s more time for you to discover and enjoy the city you’re visiting. While having everything organized inside your travel-bags different compartments is essential, it can also help to use luggage-organizers to separate your luggage- you don’t want dirt from your shoes to get on your white shirt!

There are lots of different luggage-organizers out there, many of which will compress your clothes too so you can pack more, such as LeanTravel’s compression packing cubes which compress your clothes and also keep them wrinkle-free. You can also use them to separate your laundry on your way home and avoid sorting it out after a long flight!

Wrinkle release spray

Feeling fresh once you step off the plane to start your business trip requires more than just a quick shower. You also want to look the part- and creased clothes are definitely not a business travel essential.

If your travel organizers haven’t kept your clothes neat, and you don’t have time to give your clothes a once-over with the hotel iron, a wrinkle release spray is your new best friend. Buy a travel-sized spray and keep it with your travel toiletries and plug adaptor so that you don’t forget it.

Local currency

@danielexchange via Instagram

@danielexchange via Instagram

We might live in an increasingly digital economy, but cash still has its place. To avoid paying extortionate fees to withdraw money overseas on your business trip, pre-order a “float” before you depart so that you’ve got some cash for random expenses (taxis, etc.) at the start.

If you’re traveling somewhere new, it might also be a good idea to research whether it’s best to pay by card or cash. This is particularly relevant if you’re planning on sight-seeing alongside your business trip- if you want to discover the little “hole in the wall” type spots that really make a destination unique, you’ll often find that these only accept cash.

Traveling overseas for a business trip? ARRVL provide essentials like SIM cards, transit passes, and pocket money so that you have everything you need to land in a new city and hit the ground running.