Travelling shouldn't be a stressful experience even if you're headed to an important business conference
Anisha Singh        Print Edition: December 20, 2015
How to travel smart & light to an important biz conference

Anisha Singh, Founder and CEO of marketing platform

Everybody has an easy-to-use bag. I swear by my Adrienne Vittadini overnight roll on. It's got a big flap in the front, which lets me slide my laptop in and out fairly easily during security checks at the airport. This is especially important for me because I am always running through last minute. I like the fact that I can carry it around like a chic duffel bag, and roll it when not in use. It's like a little black dress of must-have carry-ons. I bought it online.


Some things that I carry even on a day-long trip is an extra change of clothes and one of those pouches that contain basic essentials such as toothbrush and paste. You never know when you might miss a flight or get caught in a downpour, requiring a change of clothes. Oxfords look sharp but, if you ask me, comfort rules over appearance during travel. So, make sure you carry comfortable pair and switch before meetings. Voila! The best of both worlds.


There's a carry-on that you put overhead, and there's another that you fill up with things that may come in use during the flight. Keep them separate; it's so much better than holding up the queue when people are boarding just because you can't remember which bag has what accessory. My seat carry-on usually contains my Kindle eBook, ear plugs, a bottle of water, and everything else I might need on the flight. Everything else, then, just finds its way overhead.


The basic clothes that always go with me are jeans, a white shirt and a light blazer. Besides making for a great business casual ensemble, they are easy to carry. Add-ons are a top that can go from day to night (such as a halter or a sleeveless piece) which can't be noticed under a blazer, needing only 30 seconds of improvisation to go from business to dinner party. And of course, a comfortable pair of heels can take you a long way.


The only time I remember doing anything work-related on a flight was when I was going to give a TED talk, and I really wasn't prepared for it. It was the only time I used my laptop on a flight. I usually prefer to prepare myself in advance, and the flight doubles up as my downtime. I don't opt for phone/WiFi connectivity, and as long as I am not tucked into the middle seat, I relax. I like my time on a flight - it's when I switch off and introspect, sleep or daydream.


I hate stopping to charge stuff, so I always carry back-up batteries. It makes life so convenient, especially on long day trips, because you can keep switching battery packs instead of waiting for your instrument to get charged. As my trips are usually feature back-to-back meetings, I have little room for delays or breaks in communication.

When travelling, arm yourself with a compact carry-on and a small overnight bag. This preempts a situation where you have a bag that's too big to keep under the seat. Your carry bag is for essentials you might need in the course of your flight.


I can't place enough stress on how much time is saved due to this simple procedure. This way, I get to see my daughter off to school before flying, instead of standing in queue at the airport. Checking in the night before saves me so much time at the airport, and I also ensure that I get a window seat, instead of being stuck in the lovely middle seat between two chatterboxes.


Okay, this is a trick that I usually don't tell people. When travelling with a companion, book a window and the aisle in the same row. There's a good chance that the middle seat won't get taken, but even if it does, you can always ask the third person to switch seats. But if the middle seat (which usually are the last to get booked) doesn't get occupied, you'll get the whole row. It can also backfire sometimes.


My Jawbone fitness tracker is usually great for trips because it tracks my activities, whether I am walking, jogging or sleeping. It's usually hard to work out on a tight business schedule, and I am definitely not one of those super-motivated people I see in health magazines. So the Jawbone helps alleviate the guilt by letting me know if I can manage to get my 10,000 steps in. I also check the mydala app whenever I visit a new place. With a presence in over 200 cities across the world, it's certainly a good app to check for local discounts and offers, whether it's for eating, watching movies or simply hanging out.

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