Travel is one of the few things that has actually gotten harder, and less pleasant, over the decades. More restrictions, less space, greater security – all made even worse when we’re doing it for business and have a boardroom instead of a beach waiting for us on the other side.
But never fear, here are five things that’ll make your next business trip feel like a vacation…

1. Next Generation Luggage 

Fugu goes from carry-on to check-in to adapt to your mid-trip needs

Trunkster Multi-purpose or Fugu Carry-On to Full-Size Luggage
The Skinny: Two different takes on better bags that make travel a breeze.
Cost: Pre-order from $255 – $399
Luggage hasn’t changed much since the innovation of spinner wheels, leave it to Kickstarter to help put a spin on how we check in or carry on our stuff. When traveling for business, having that perfect, go-to bag makes flying so much easier, and both Trunkster and Fugu exceeded their funding goals with their elegant evolutions on the humble bag.

Trunkster is tricked-out with a unique combo-lock secured sliding door entry that makes taking things out or putting them back in really easy, a built-in digital scale to keep things within weight restrictions, a removable battery pack to charge your phone up to 9 times (carry-on only), and a GPS locator so if your airline ever loses it, you’ll have the inside scoop. Their carry-on model is ideal for short-haul corporate travel, and has no-brainer bells-and-whistles that’ll make us wonder why all luggage doesn’t come with these features.

Fugu is named after the puffer fish because its main selling point is its graceful and sturdy transition from largest carry-on to largest check-in size, making it ideal for longer business trips overseas. Finally you’ll be able to pick up a few things abroad for yourself or the family without worrying about place in your bag coming home. The Fugu also has a useful shelving system, a slick-release computer sleeve, and functions as a table when there are no free ones around to take a conference call on-the-go or apply makeup comfortably before heading straight from the airport to the Sao Paulo office.

2. Clever Toiletry Bag

Mary Kay’s Travel Roll-up Bag makes short work of the inevitable game of Tetris that is packing…

Mary Kay Travel Roll-up Bag
The Skinny: Four different clear compartments can be velcroed & rolled up together, or used separately.
Cost: $35
Never mind the pink lining, this is the ultimate toiletry bag regardless of your gender. Each of the four clear plastic compartments detach from the main black nylon exterior so you can easily get your liquids through customs, and place your products where you need them around your hotel or Corporate Stay bathroom without fiddling with the contents. If you use a couple of the clear compartments around the house for your day-to-day toiletries (makeup, shaving accessories, etc.) while you keep a couple hanging from the handy black swivel hook in your closet for your travel-only essentials (travel-sized shampoo/deodorant), gathering all your products come packing time is a snap! Just velcro your day-to-day compartments together with the travel ones and you’re good to go. For shorter trips, just take one or two compartments on their own.

3. Noise-cancelling Earbuds

Let’s hear it for great earphones! (See what we did there?)

Monoprice Enhanced Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
The Skinny: Drown out the crying baby on the red eye without the huge price tag of top-tier earbuds.
Cost: $64
We all love the sound and lack of interference from standard noise-canceling headphones, but while on the road earbuds are a bit more practical. Finding a great pair that are as easy on the ears as they are on the wallet can be tough, but these Monoprice ones enhance the sound and help keep distractions to a minimum when you’re trying to catch up on work, in-flight or at a busy gate.

4. A Better Adapter

A compact universal adapter that also has two USB ports to charge all your gadgets.

Mudder Universal All In One International Adapter
The Skinny: Cover more than 150 Countries with US/EU/UK/AU plugs and charge your devices on the side with handy USB ports.
Cost: $14
Sure you need an adapter when you head over to Paris to meet those investors, but will it go the extra mile for you? This compact, handy Mudder number not only covers most of the plugs you’ll need for international outlets, it also lets you charge a couple of devices via USB at the same time.

5. Wearable Translator 

These Bluetooth-enabled wristbands turn your phone into a translation device.

SpeechTrans Wristband & App

The Skinny: A wristband translator to help you navigate conversations with speakers of different languages.
Cost: $99
Holy Babel Fish, Batman! As wearable technologies move forward they bring with them new and exciting opportunities for corporate travelers. The SpeechTrans band promises to help eliminate (or drastically reduce) those “lost in translation” moments with their device and app that translates the wearer’s speech into their companion’s language and vice versa. Next time you’re prepping for a board meeting in Mexico City, you can wow your attendees with a very special assisted Q & A session.
Knowing where translation technology is today, there are no doubt some areas to finesse, but this will likely cover a lot of ground already when abroad, and comes with free upgrades as they roll them out, too. Added benefit: the wristband acts as a bluetooth handsfree calling or music-playing device to give you the freedom of a headset without losing any cool points.

What are your business travel essentials? Let us know in the comments!

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