Saturday, December 03, 2005

Travel Light Tips

I am just back from Mexico. I was told for security reasons not to blog when I go there. I know security might be an issue in Mexico but the people I met with were all excellent, nice people. Maybe I just did not meet any of the bad guys. Our business prospects there are good and we are developing a good plan for that market.

My travel schedule is causing me to fall a bit behind on some of the maintenance things of life (like I need to get my snow tires on). On the other hand, I did run 21.1 K today (that’s a half marathon if you are wondering why the odd distance).and did some weights. So I do choose what I do with my time so have no one to blame but myself. Of course now I am sore but I blame that on the sitting at my desk for two hours getting caught up on email.

I need to figure out how to be more efficient/productive when I travel so when I get back I have less to do. My Blackberry helps and most places I stay have a method to log in but there are many things I just leave until I get back. Bad habit, I need to figure out how to solve this.

The following travel light tips come from years of canoe tripping where you pay for every extra ounce you have to carry on the portage and where space is limited. I always go carry on.

1 – I like the new high tech clothing. It hardly wrinkles, it is lighter and it rinses out easily and dries fast. I get most of my high tech clothing in running stores and also in the occasional outfitting outdoors store.

2 – I almost never bother with a coat especially if I am traveling to someplace warm. When I get back, I am not too cold for the short distance to the car (or waiting to be picked up). I also can layer if I need to. I leave a coat, hat and gloves in the car in case I need to chip ice etc when I get to the car.

3 – Get rid of packaging. Why take the cardboard outer sleeve for the gum etc. this sounds petty but spread over many things it adds up.

4 – Extra cases/containers take space. I sometimes put my gym shoes in a plastic bag but other than that – almost no extra bags which again add up.

5 – I wear my suit jacket for travel. Put it up when I am flying. I don’t think it gets any more wrinkled than packing it.

6 – take appropriate amounts. Why take a full toothpaste tube? Why take a big deodorant stick? Why take extra clothes?

7 – Often I rip only the articles I want to read out of my trade journals before I go. I read quickly so can often end up short of material unless I take lots. Much of the reading I take is disposable so I can discard stuff as I go. Paper weighs a lot.

8 – I often take reading on my notebook. I am taking my notebook anyways so this is a way to take reading without adding weight.

9 – I clean out my wallet and briefcase before travel. It is amazing the extra things I end up with that I do not need to take. Why take my PetroCanada card, why take 3 pens (I understand 2 – one as a back up), why take my receipts etc.

It is the little things that add up.

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