NeoCon 2016 is approaching fast and many Innovative employees are making the trip out to Chicago for the show.

Although traveling isn’t always as glamorous as it’s made out to be with the cramped airplane seats, the 6 hour car rides that stand in-between you and your destination, dead cell phone batteries, sore wrists from trying to get some work down on the airplane pull down tray, overpriced rest stop and cart snacks that don’t fit into your healthily snack philosophy are all things that can get you off track during your travel. There are many hacks that can help you get through those little travel annoyances. 

Check out some of our favorite traveling hacks to help you get through your journey.

Packing:                                                                                                        

  • Place a dryer sheet in your suitcase to keep your clothes smelling fresh and to reduce static.
  • Use belts to line collars to keep them crisp.
  • Roll your clothes when packing. Instead of creating a folded pile in your suitcase, rolling allows you to fit more items in.
  • Pack clothing items around a color scheme (denim/black/white/gray) so that it’s easy to mix and match.
    •  Dress up your outfits with scarves or jewelry.
  • Use shoes for more space
    • Place your rolled up socks inside your shoes. This preserves your shoe’s shape while maximizing space.
  • Pack the heaviest items at the bottom of your bag to keep it balanced.

 Electronics:

  • If you forget your wall plug, you can charge devices through the USB slot on a TV.
  • Buy a portable phone charger (or charging case) for when you’re not near a wall plug or the airport charging stations are full.
  • Store your power cords in an old glasses or sunglasses case.
  • Forgot your charger? Hotels usually have a stash of forgotten chargers left behind by hotel guests that you can borrow until the end of your stay.

 Food:

  • Always bring an empty water bottle so you can fill it up once you pass through security.
  • Pack snacks: you are allowed to bring wrapped food through TSA.
  • Booze, caffeine and heavily processed foods dehydrate you-making jetlag worse.
  • Granola Bars are the perfect travel snack, they are small and are a great tie-over until your next meal.

General Travel:

  • Use Google Maps offline by typing “OK Maps” and the visible area will save for future access.
  • You can often skip the line at arrivals and grab a cab in the departure zone.
  • Tape around the seal of your travel containers to avoid spillage.
  • Book the aisle and window: If you’re traveling with someone and your flight has rows of three seats, book the aisle and window seat and leave the middle seat empty. It’s likely to remain empty if the flight is not full, because people usually choose the window and aisle seat. And if someone does pick that seat, they’ll be willing to switch with one of you.

Innovative has many employees who often travel for work, especially those in sales. Check out Chris and Steve’s favorite hacks.

“TSA pre-check. Can’t beat parking and getting to your gate in under 20 minutes” Steven Zaharek, Eastern Regional Manager

Chris Grim, OEM Sales Manager shares a couple of his favorite business related travel hacks:

  1. Always keep a USB charger in your go to travel bag. Keeping your phone charged is the biggest source of anxiety when traveling. Your phone is your lifeline to your customers and that keeps you productive on the road. Instead of relying on remembering my cable, I have an extra that never leaves my bag, that way I know it’s always there and I don’t have to sweat if I forget a charger at home or in the office.
  2. Always keep your bag stocked with business cards and at least 3-4 extra brochures in case you drum up conversations as you meet people you weren’t expecting during your travels. Could be the person you sat next to at the airport bar when your flight gets delayed or the person you sit next to at the gate or on the flight.
  3. There is a lot of walking in Chicago (where NeoCon is) as parking near The Mart is impossible and the show is large. Comfortable shoes are a must. Take a second pair with you to change into for the long walk back to the hotel.
  4. Take a change of clothes with you for breakdown/clean-up day. It’s much more comfortable to pack up your gear when wearing a t-shirt and jeans.
  5. Make dinner reservations weeks in advance, the restaurants in the downtown fill up incredibly fast.

Lastly, have fun! Whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure, visiting a new city or revisiting one you have already been to, you can discover new things along the way!

Traveling to NeoCon 2016 like we are? Make sure to visit us on Floor 7, Booth 2130.

We’ll be updating from NeoCon! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and to get all the information on this year’s show.