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Traveling for work

Many times as an it manager you need to travel for work. It is something I have had to do a few times throughout my career, although I would not call myself a road warrior. Below are a few tips that will make life easier, and ensure you have a job when you get back.

Frequent purchaser clubs
Enroll in them, use them, get the points, keep the points, use the points on your vacation. These clubs don’t cost your company anything, and you get a little bonus. In many cases they will save your company money. Free upgrades on rental cars, nicer accommodations, faster hotel and rental car check-ins, no cost ticket changes, all of these small things add up to saving you time and energy so you can funnel that into your job.

Pack light
There is no sense in carrying a bunch of crap you don’t need, a weeklong trip you can easily do with a carry on and a laptop bag. I do it regularly, even with 2 pairs of shoes.

Clothes
Pick a base color either black or brown and pack accordingly from there. Try to find clothes at coordinate together from there. By having one color scheme, you ony need one belt and one pair of dress shoes. Don’t know what goes with what? Ask your local suit shop. They are more than willing to help you.

Gadgets
I love gadgets. Not only are they useful and help a lot, just don’t bring too many and don’t forget the chargers. My newest gadget is the energizer to go battery charger , which charges my cell phone, ipod and gives me a little battery so I don’t always need to have power available.

Arrive at the Airport early
Why be stressed out when getting to the airport? With mobile technology you can still be productive while waiting for your plane to board. In fact I wrote this post in that same situation.

Clear the security line quickly
Don’t have stuff in your pockets; put it in the carry on early. Get ready to remove your shoes. If your laptop is over 13″ then it will need to come out of your bag, so be ready. The biggest thing is to be prepared. You prep for meetings you prep for your day, why not prep for security lines?

Is Wifi on the plane worth it?
What are you going to do with it? Are you going to mindlessly the web, watch you tube videos? Answer emails that can be ignored for a few hours, or be productive? We believe, like a good system admin, if there is always an emergency your staff can’t handle, you’re doing something wrong. Perhaps you need to give up some control.

Enjoy the town
Try not to eat at chains, avoid the foods you can buy at home. There is nothing worse than going out of town and not trying the food then town is famous for. If you’re in new York, have the pizza and a bagel. In Philly you better try a cheese steak, Minneapolis the Juicy Lucy. Everyone wants to show off their community and help you understand why they live there. Ask them. Ask the hotel staff, the people you are visiting, where the locals go, and what their town is known for. You will be amazed at how much help they are willing to give you.

Remember your there for work
Don’t go out partying, unless you’re in that industry. I am not saying don’t have a beer or wine. Since you’re being paid to be in that town, you better act as though you were at work.

Cheers,
Kraig.

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