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How to banish travel stress with efficient technology

Use these gadgets and tricks to ease your mind on the road.

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Carrying all your work and devices, running from meeting to meeting, hopping on red-eye flights… business travel can be exhausting. But this is the 21st century; technology and budget-friendly hacks offer a world of convenience at the tip of your fingers, and travel stress can be a thing of the past. Ease your mind away from home with these tips and tricks.

Start your trip the right way by booking direct.

More and more travelers are booking flights and hotels directly through airlines and hotel companies rather than through online travel agents. Not only can you more easily change your flight while at the airport and maneuver hotel cancellation rules, but you can also get a better deal. These days, airlines and hotels offer great travel packages and credit programs that you can’t find anywhere else. The Hilton Honors program guarantees discounts, points toward free nights, and more.

George Hobica, the founder of airfarewatchdog.com, explains that as travelers begin booking direct, “they’re going to be weaned off online travel agents because it’s your grandfather’s way of doing business.” Telling it like it is.

Don’t get flustered by those tangled wires. Stay cool with an electronics bag.

Phone chargers, laptop chargers, earphones, USB drives, SD cards… devices and wires are the bane of your existence on a business trip. And no matter how you pack them, they tend to get mixed up, tangled, or fall to the bottom of your bag, making the dig for essentials feel like a journey all on its own. So why not use a special electronics bag? Practical options include loops to hold folded wires and pockets to separate each gadget. And they’re small enough to fit in your hand but big enough to withstand getting lost in your suitcase.

If you don’t want to spend the money, just use resealable plastic zipper bags to organize and divide and conquer.

Multiple wires often assume multiple available outlets, but that’s not always the case.

Ever been in a hotel room that has only one plug outlet when you need to charge your phone, your laptop, and more? Save the frustration and get your work done with a portable surge protector — and not your bulky, old-school power strip, but one that provides you with just the right number of outlets and USB charging ports. Small and inexpensive, this will be a power save when you need it most.

Fall asleep with tech-savvy ease.

More often than not, being on the road messes with your sleep schedule and makes you a disgruntled (and sometimes dysfunctional) worker. One way to get sufficient shuteye no matter where you are is with a white noise app. Let the hush hush sound drown out all others, especially on a crowded flight or in a thin-walled hotel room, so you can get the sleep you desperately need.

Another option: Use a sleep monitoring device that not only measures your sleep patterns but also emits a light made up of red wavelengths. Just as the blue light from your electronics can make it hard to fall asleep, some scientists and psychologists say red light helps you produce the melatonin you need to reset your internal clock. And what better time than on a sleepless business trip?

Use a smartphone-enabled home monitoring system to calm your nerves.

Worried about your home while you’re gone? Rely on any number of security and monitoring systems while you’re on the road. Set up camera devices outside your door and in strategic locations inside, then simply connect them to your smartphone. Keep an eye on what’s going on at home while you run between meetings, with the added ability to start alarms or call the police, just in case.

Get those business cards and receipts taken care of… while you’re still on your trip.

Back from a business trip and attempting to find all the receipts and business cards you collected? You know how unnecessarily complicated it can get. With a rechargeable mobile scanner or a simple smartphone scanning app, you don’t have to worry about losing anything. Take care of your expense claims almost immediately after that big lunch meeting so you can start brainstorming about the things that matter.

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