With today’s technology, business travelers expect to go between cities, countries and even continents seamlessly while remaining in touch with their headquarters as if distance or time zones are no longer an issue. But what are the top most business essentials that people on the go can be without? After reading several business travel articles and asking some other business associates and entrepreneurs, it seems like most of them agree with these 5 things that are absolutely a must have to them.
WiFi access is on top of the list. For every single individual that I’ve asked, the need for Wi-Fi is always mentioned first. Thus, having a quality and high speed internet access becomes the key factor in determining accommodation or hotel choice of every business traveller. It is even one of the considerations people make when choosing which airport to fly from. In my case, and mostly due to privacy concerns, I use my own ‘hotspot’ when working from public places that don’t offer a secure connection.
2. A Quiet Workplace
We may be living in a high-tech lifestyle today but still business people prefer the old travel experience – a quite workplace. Research shows that business people value lounge spaces so much that they are even willing to pay for it. According to the research conducted by the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs that 36% of people of Generations X and Y prefer to work in a lounge as oppose to the 17% older people that prefer private rooms. Some of the airport’s VIP lounges or hotels networking areas seem to be the best for this purpose.
3. A Place to Quench Your Thirst
Water or anything to quench thirst means a lot to anyone especially those who are on the move. I guess you agree with me that we can work better if we are hydrated, right? In fact the need of something to drink varies from water to juices to hot drinks that will keep us going through the day. Therefore it wouldn’t be a surprise that finding a decent place to have a drink is also on top of every traveler’s list. A particularly try to stay extra-hydrated when taking long flights or transatlantic flights. I think it even helps me deal with jet lag.
4. A Printer
This one surprised me a bit. Maybe and more hi-tech than the average entrepreneur since to me, the printer is not a top priority. However, even with the increasingly paper-free world, the need for a hard copy of something that we are working on cannot be ignored. A PDF file cannot give the same magic as that of a beautifully printed paper on our hand. Not to mention, PDFs are awfully much harder to sign. That said, every business traveler, in some way or another will need a place to print their materials confidentially. Once again, most hotel business lounges will provide you with this type of option.
5. Private Place
There are times that the need for a discreet place is necessary especially for an important talk. Negotiations, price citations and the like is best handled in private, hence the need for a private place to perform such activity is also important to business travelers. Restaurants and public places are good to mingle AFTER the negotiation has taken place and hopefully to celebrate the new deal. One of the things that really annoys me when I’m having a “business lunch” is the waiter or waitress constantly interrupting for no particular reason. To me, rending a well appointed executive suite or virtual office/lounge is the best option all the time.
6. Fitness Center
Okay, I have to admit, I would have placed the Fitness Center much higher on the list, just below Wi-Fi, but maybe I’m much more of a fitness buff than the average person. Either way, finding a convenient place to exercise and relief your stress is quite important to make your overall travel experience more enjoyable. Typically, I start researching about the availability of a Health Club or Fitness Center the moment I book my hotel. No Fitness Center (and pictures showing it), no reservation from me. Alternatively, if no other choice is available, I also like to go for a run if the scenery around the hotel is nice.
Let me know if this list matches your own preferences. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)