CWT: What are your must-have items you bring on your business trips?
Janet: Running shoes, clothes, fitbit, exercise DVDs, iphone/ipad/laptop, “minimergency” kit which has 18 tiny emergency items, umbrella, scarf/wrap in case I’m cold, a favorite pair of comfortable black flats, my own shampoo/conditioner, electric toothbrush, protein bars and vitamins, a flatiron, a small collapsible backpack. You wouldn’t believe how much I can cram into a fairly small suitcase.
CWT: What are some tips you’d share with other travelers to make the travel or travel-planning process easier?
Janet: If you travel to and from the United States often, and are eligible, apply for Global Entry so that in addition to speeding through customs when you enter the U.S., you can use the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Pre Check at many U.S. airports. Love, love it! It almost feels like a miracle when all you do is put your bags on the belt and walk through security. Keep your coat on! Keep your shoes on! Don’t have to take the laptop out! Toiletries stay packed! Can you imagine?
At airports without TSA Pre Check, I make sure I wear shoes that are easy to take off and I don’t put all my jewelry on (yet). My toiletries are in the front pocket for easy access and my ID is ready. I always check in online ahead of time to make sure there are no problems. If there are any issues, you’d rather notice them at home, which is preferable to finding out at the airport. Although I like to use the electronic boarding passes, I’ve had trouble with wireless reception in some airports, so I usually use the paper boarding passes.
Travel apps can be lifesavers. I use CWT To Go to keep all my travel information, itinerary, gate info, flight changes at my fingertips. Airport/airline apps help me navigate airports and find clubs, restaurants, shops, etc.
If you’re traveling internationally, check out airport/travel requirements before you travel. For example, in Delhi, you can’t get into the airport on your return without a printed itinerary. And there aren’t any printers outside. Many international airports charge a departure tax, which you may be able to pay in advance (even at your hotel), etc.
CWT: Do you have any favorite stops you make in certain airports or cities every time you go?
Janet: Minneapolis – fun to run into the Mall of America, although my favorite shopping place is 50th and France (great boutiques and restaurants).
Charleston, SC – I just had an amazing meal at a restaurant called Anson.
St. Louis – it’s my home town, so I’m not traveling there, but thought I’d share my favorite restaurant—Paul Manno’s Cafe in Chesterfied.
CWT: Since we’re in the middle of winter, do you have any tips for business travelers during the winter travel season?
Janet: Try not to check your bag. If you run into bad weather, you have many more choices if your bag is with you.