Travel must-haves for CEOs on business trips


Business travel is part of a CEO's job description. FILE PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

Have you been stranded at the airport or hotel because you forgot some of your travel essentials like credit cards, and passports or left out such accessories as chargers or headphones when packing?

You are not alone. Company executives too have had their planning lapses, but with practice, they have cracked business travel.

Business travel is part of a CEO's job description. You have to be ready for short-notice conference meetings abroad or at a luxury hotel in the Coastal region.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic changed the global business landscape.

Nowadays, with the advent of the hybrid working model, you can oversee operations in multiple countries from the comfort of your home or office via Zoom.

However, top executives still have to travel for in-person meetings.

The BDLife spoke to top company executives on the essentials they require for business and leisure trips and here’s what they had to say.

Straight up business!

Dr Henry Mutahi, the CEO of Kenya School of Law says, "When travelling, it depends on whether I’m going for a leisure or business trip. What I carry is nothing unique, just a phone, laptop and credit cards, a camera if it's a leisure trip.”

Class and style!

Dr Steve Okeyo, the CEO of AAR Group says travel must-haves vary depending on the gender and personality, the destination, and the weather among other factors.

“I carry a work bag and suitcase, the former to carry a laptop, headphones, iPad, iPhone, laser pointer, two pairs of spectacles, passport, and credit cards,” he says.


Dr Steve Okeyo, the CEO of AAR Group. FILE PHOTO | NMG

In the suitcase, he packs one suit, two shirts, two ties, cologne, a pair of black brogues and another of brown, two polo shirts, and two plain T-shirts.

“I forgot to mention a sweater. I also add a winter jacket if it’s that season at my destination,” adds Mr Okeyo who has travelled to 42 countries.

Clothes, clothes, clothes!

Florah Mutahi, the CEO of Melvins International says picking the right outfit for business travel can be a difficult task, but it does not have to be.


Florah Mutahi, the CEO of Melvins International. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Ms Mutahi says first check the weather and choose a multi-purpose attire that suits more than one occasion.

A dress that can go with a blazer and a pair of nice heels for that PowerPoint presentation. If you lose the blazer, this same outfit can still work as dinner wear.

“The first thing is to ensure you have a convenient travel bag, if it’s big and clumsy, it will disturb you and your movement,” she adds.

“Secondly, make sure you have apparel for all occasions because you can be quickly called into a board meeting or a cruise trip. So pack agile clothes for all weather and meetings. Comfortable garments that don’t need ironing are a must-have.”

Ms Mutahi adds that she carries a laptop and a tablet to switch depending on the type of meeting.

“Chargers, comfortable shoes, a small bag, cameras, and skin care products in decanters, toiletry, and my tea are essential carry-ons.”

Health first!

For Brenda Bakhoya, the CEO of Motorwrite, her travel must-haves include a "laptop, mobile phone plus charger, medical evacuation cover card, notebook, and my business cards.”

In addition, she adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention precautions and must get travel insurance and a card that identifies blood type, any chronic illnesses, any medicines being taken, and allergies.

She advises that if one has a serious medical condition, they should wear a bracelet that can be used to easily identify them, the illness they have or allergies and an emergency contact.

Brenda has been to the UK, US, UAE, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Stay fit!

Ken Mbae, Centum Real Estate Managing Director says booking a hotel with a gymnasium so that you don’t miss your workout session while travelling is essential in keeping fit if you are a globetrotter.

While some may pack a skipping rope others prefer to take walks in cities they visit, go for morning runs or exercise in rooms and parks.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is an option to lose calories while on a business or leisure trip. It is an effective cardio and strengthening workout.

"I carry my gym gear when I travel because I like keeping fit, and if I can I get a workout in whenever I travel, the better. I also carry books,” Mr Mbae says.


Ken Mbae, Centum Real Estate Managing Director. FILE PHOTO | POOL

“Other things I carry are the usual, laptops, chargers and phone.”

Many CEOs nowadays love fitness. For instance, Rashmikant Shah, the CEO of C&P Shoes travels to run marathons.

Despite your busy schedule, ditch the lift for stairs in the hotel, and visit a monument or attraction site that has lots of stairs.

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