2 things you always take when travelling internationally for work...


November 2017

We asked some Jigsaw types for 2 items they always take – but we didn’t want to know about the obvious ones (like plug adaptors or toiletries).

Here’s what they said (some gave more than 2 recommendations!):

Alex Johnston (most recent trip: Beijing and Bangkok, favourite destination travelled to for work: Tokyo)
– Medicine bag. When you’re travelling for work you’re there to do a job. So you don’t want to be hampered by illness when you’ve got to present at a conference or concentrate on focus groups – especially as you’re generally feeling a bit discombobulated because you’re in a different timezone to normal. Plus, if you get ill you don’t want to spend time going to chemists or figuring out the Japanese for ‘anti-histamine’ or accidentally buying a laxative instead of an anti-emetic. And finally it’s just not nice when you’re feeling crap away from home. So this is what’s in my medicine bag:
o Paracetamol – general pain killer
o Anti-histamine – in case you get bitten by weird bugs
o Gaviscon – in case of indigestion due to eating at weird times or eating weird things
o Immodium – in case indigestion isn’t the only thing you get after eating weird things
o Rehydration powder (such as diaralyte) – useful if you’ve had to use the immodium, plus can be useful after a long flight to replace salts lost in dry plane conditions (or hangovers)
o Sleeping tablets – overnight flights or noisy hotels
o Compeed or similar – sometimes shoes that seem perfectly good in one climate just don’t work in another
– Plastic bag. Don’t underestimate the utility of the humble plastic bag. One always goes with me when travelling. Can be used for:
o Separating dirty from clean clothes if on a multi-stop trip
o Putting second pair of shoes in so other luggage doesn’t get dirty
o Putting your swimming stuff in if going to the hotel pool
o If you want to avoid the 5p charge at Boots at Heathrow if you need to replenish any of your medical supplies
o At a pinch – if you go sightseeing and need somewhere to put your water, etc. Best avoided if possible as it is a bit Eric Morecombe/Mr Bean (chose most relevant depending on age)

Ali Pugh (Most recent trip: Japan)
In the air…
Noise cancelling Bose headphones – drowns out all sorts of noises from fellow travellers, such as snoring, crying (usually babies, sometimes adults), chatting etc etc
Large pashmina & cashmere socks – to keep myself warm when the cabin temperature drops to uncomfortable levels & a rolled up pashmina can also double as a pillow

On the ground…
Eyeshades & earplugs to help napping at odd hours
Portable Bose speaker so I can listen to Radio 4
Slippers – need my creature comforts!

Marion Gannon (Most recent trip: Amsterdam)

o Mini speakers (tinier the better so as not to take up too much room)
o Shawl for plane (agree with Ali it’s always freezing!)
o HDMI cable to connect laptop to large tv screen (need speakers too as sound can be ropey!)
o Carry electric toothbrush in hand luggage (often clean underwear too if connecting flights – especially through la guardia)
o Mini guide book of city you’re visiting
o Download local transport guide/train timetables app
o Thick socks (less bulky than slippers)
o Bag up cables/chargers etc in one place (I have a lovely zippy bag that has pockets/holds for all of this!)
o Download movies/box sets/tv catch up and make sure ipad fully charged – movies on plane often disappoint!