Tips for Staying Organized When Traveling for Work

Business travelers today have more options than ever when they travel for work. They can book flights with low-cost airlines, rent cars from local companies, and even check into hotels that offer free Wi-Fi.


But all this convenience comes at a cost: staying organized when traveling for work has never been so important. With these eight simple steps, you’ll know exactly where your passport, credit cards, and other documents are at any time of day and where you can find them if you need them quickly.


Tips for Staying Organized When Traveling for Work


Bring a Moleskine Notebook


The Moleskine notebook might not be as well known as Mont Blanc or Muji pens, but they deserve just as much respect. In fact, we think they’re one of the best notebooks available. For starters, they come with elastic bands that make it easy to carry around heavy folders without feeling weighed down. Plus, their wide covers allow you to fit multiple pages inside, making them ideal for business trips.


This makes Moleskines perfect for keeping track of every piece of paper you bring along with you—passport, boarding pass, itinerary, hotel receipts, etc.—as well as notes about meetings, restaurants, and everything else you do during your trip. And because they’re made by hand, there will always be a unique touch of personality within each page.


You can use pre-packaged versions of Moleskine notebooks, but the ones sold online are typically way too small to hold anything useful. Instead, we recommend getting a large version (we suggest buying several to keep in different places).


Bring an iPad or Tablet With You


If you don’t want to lug a laptop with you everywhere, consider using an iPad or tablet instead. These devices are lightweight, durable, and provide plenty of power for most tasks like browsing the web, watching videos, reading ebooks, taking pictures, and playing games. Of course, you’ll still need a computer for uploading files, emailing colleagues, and working on presentations.


And since tablets usually have better battery life than laptops, you won’t need to worry about plugging them in every night before heading out for drinks with coworkers. This means you can spend less time charging and more time enjoying yourself.


Most importantly, tablets give you access to thousands of apps that would otherwise only be possible on computers. As long as you’ve got enough storage space, you could download hundreds of books, watch movies, listen to music, create art projects, and more. If you plan on doing any of those things while on vacation, you should definitely get a tablet.


Pack Lightly But Strategically


When packing for a business trip, there’s no point bringing a bunch of unnecessary junk that takes up lots of room. That said, you shouldn’t go overboard either.

Instead, pack light. The lighter the backpack, the easier it will be to walk around with. But don’t forget to include essentials. A few pairs of shoes, extra clothes, toiletries, and electronics are good to have on hand.


Also, remember to take advantage of what airports have to offer. Many major cities now have self-check-in kiosks that let you scan your own documents rather than carrying them around with you. You can save time waiting in line, avoid having to pay expensive baggage fees, and even receive special perks such as priority boarding.


Be Prepared to Leave Your Smartphone Behind

Unless you don’t mind being unreachable 24 hours a day, leaving your smartphone behind isn’t recommended. Having such a device handy allows you to communicate with people back home, arrange rides, keep tabs on your finances, and a lot more.


But sometimes, you simply must disconnect from the world for a little bit. To make sure you aren’t tempted to check Facebook or Twitter throughout your trip, leave your phone in your luggage. That way you can enjoy spending time away from it without worrying about missing out on updates.


To make sure you actually stick to this rule, try setting up Do Not Disturb mode on your phone. It lets you specify certain times when calls are allowed, and blocks all others. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to sleep, and you don’t want to miss a call from someone who really needs to talk to you right away.


Use “Do Not Disturb” Signals



In addition to blocking calls, many smartphones have another trick up their sleeves: sending signals to indicate that they want to be left alone for a moment. One example would be pulling down the notification shade and putting it back up again. Other phones may lock the screen, turn off vibration, dim the display, or play a sound. Whatever the method, make sure you understand how your phone works so you know which signal to look for.


Get Some Help From Local Services


Even though you’re going to be away for a short amount of time, you probably still expect some services to continue running smoothly. Fortunately, there are plenty of businesses that cater specifically to business travelers’ needs.

For example, Airbnb hosts all over the world welcome guests in exchange for a fee. Uber offers discounted rates for business travelers, and Google Maps often provides detailed information for areas outside of the regular service range. There are tons of other options, so see whether there are any local alternatives near your destination city.


Of course, you don’t necessarily need professional assistance to organize your trip. Online tools and mobile apps can often replace human interaction when it comes to booking tickets, renting a car, finding nearby attractions, and more.


Make Sure Your Hotel Has What You Need


Hotels vary greatly when it comes to customer service. While some charge exorbitant prices with limited amenities, others are almost impossible to contact via their website. Luckily, there are plenty of websites dedicated to helping travelers find affordable accommodations, including Trivago,, HotelsCombined, Kayak, and Hipmunk.


These sites generally show results based on user reviews, ratings, photos, and price ranges. Once you select a hotel, you can read its description, view photos, and book directly through the site.


Before checking into a hotel, make sure you familiarize yourself with its location. Look at maps and street views to figure out which part of town you’re staying in, then print directions to wherever you’re headed. Also, ask locals for recommendations about the area.


Know Where the Best Places Are in Your City


While exploring new cities is always a blast, you can end up wasting a lot of time looking for things to do when you have so much ground to cover. Before you start your trip, take some time to map out the locations of popular tourist spots, museums, food joints, and other landmarks. Then, use a tool like Yext to add additional details and descriptions of each place.

Once you arrive, you can refer to this list whenever you feel lost. You can also share it with friends who plan to visit next year, letting them know where to eat, drink, shop, sightsee, and more.


Have Fun!

Finally, don’t forget to relax and have fun. After all, the whole point of a business trip is to get something done. Take time to explore, meet new people, and experience new cultures.