My top 5 travel essentials
While on a recent product sourcing trip to Hong Kong, it became apparent just how useful my travel accessories had become.
Those of you who’ve been following our recent articles might remember that a few of us have been on our travels lately. Yes, a team of colleagues including myself were lucky enough to fly out to Hong Kong at the end of April. The nature of our trip was strictly business of course, representing Streamline at a whole host of buyers fairs full of exciting new products, partners and prospects. China’s been at the vanguard in terms of manufacturing for a long time (after all, the country’s share in global manufacturing hit a record high of 27% in 2015) so we were particularly interested to get out there and get networking.
And network we did. It was a long trip and no amount of in-flight movies can really compensate for the shock of an early start and 7-hour time difference – but luckily for me I was well equipped. One of the perks of working with merchandise is that you’re in-the-know about what items are going to make your life that little bit easier when you’re travelling. So, without any further ado, here are my top five suitcase essentials for that next business trip or holiday.
Power banks. Making sure you’ve got enough juice to stay connected can make all the difference to how you spend your time when you actually reach your destination. While it’s great that flight times are gradually getting shorter, time spent in the air can be ideal for getting any work that’s mounting up out the way. It means not having to worry about missing deadlines and generally staying on top of things. But also, spending the day meeting hundreds of suppliers, taking photos of products and making digital notes meant I powered through my phone’s energy supply pretty quickly. Having my pre-charged power banks in my bag meant that come lunchtime, I could refuel my phone as well as my body.
Adaptors. What about when we arrive? Having power on tap is something that we generally take for granted when at home in our own country but it’s an awkward situation when you’re trying to find a way to sign ‘UK adaptor’ to a bemused shop employee. Packing a reliable adaptor that’ll work wherever you go will mean you’ve (ahem) got the power. Luckily on this trip, given Hong Kong’s previous British colonisation, I didn’t actually need a travel adaptor, but they were on my hitlist of hot products to investigate and source while out there.
Luggage scales. If you’re like me you’ll find inspiration almost everywhere you go when out and about exploring your destination and have to leave space in your suitcase on your way out to accommodate all the interesting things you collect along the way. With the strict restrictions airlines impose on the weight of the luggage you’re able to take on the flight, it can be a huge disappointment to be hit with a surcharge at check in on your way back. As you can imagine, this trip meant picking up sample products from numerous sources, along with A LOT of collateral to keep me entertained on my long trip back to the UK, so it was incredibly useful to have my luggage scales with me as it meant I could distribute my extra material evenly amongst my hand and check-in luggage, making sure my bag was the optimum weight before I got to the airport.
Luggage belts. Imagine the horror of waiting at the luggage collection and seeing some all-too-familiar items parading their way round the carousel for all to see! Luggage belts are a great way of keeping everything together, no matter how bumpy the treatment your suitcase gets when it’s left your care. Not only is a great way of being able to identify your bag on the carousel of all-black cases, but it’s a neat way of informing those around you that you’re travelling on business, and which business that is.
Travel mugs. When you’re at the mercy of an overnight flight itinerary or a whole new time zone, a good travel mug that holds that crucial caffeinated beverage of choice was my best friend this trip. Not only did it act as a sort of personal power pack, but I could also rest easy with the thought that I had maybe offset my carbon footprint too by avoiding the paper counterpart. A small element of peace of mind for the more ethical travelling professional. The sleek sophisticated design of our Glamorgan or Executive ranges of travel mugs (found on page 97 of our catalogue) are ideal for this.
If your market includes a substantial portion of people who travel a lot, finding a hook into a well-designed and practical piece of merchandise can really work wonders for your brand. They’ve all got one thing in common, and that’s taking the hassle out of being away from home. Having your name on an item that helps keep people prepared for any travel trials and tribulations that might pop up along the way can only really be a good thing!
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