Robert Herjavec swears by this one cardinal rule when packing for a business trip

It’s been said that it's about the journey, not the destination, but let’s face it — sometimes the journey can be pretty stressful!

This rings especially true when it comes to traveling professionally versus traveling for pleasure. Business trips tend to be jam-packed and quick, leaving little to no room for error or extra stressors.

So how exactly do those successful road warriors do it so well and so often? 

Who better to ask than ‘Shark Tank’ star and entrepreneur Robert Herjavec, a man well-seasoned in the art of the business trip:

“A few years ago I actually figured out how many miles I’ve flown and circled the Earth and all that but I currently travel about 100 days a year, it’s a lot.”

Herjavec recently teamed up with La Quinta by Wyndham to unveil findings from the company’s La Quinta Means Business survey, shedding light on all of the wants, needs and tricks of the trade from business travelers across all industries. 

For Herjavec, dealing with a nearly-constant and hectic schedule while on the road means finding ways to stay centered, grounded and in control:

“The benefit of getting older is that you get a little bit of wisdom and you get to know what works for your body. I figured out a long time ago that exercise works for me. For me, it’s all about being centered and getting my mind in the right place, and for me that’s exercise. Part of what we did in the La Quinta Means Business survey on business we found out that 23 percent think exercise is the most important in feeling prepared for a meeting. It works for me and I really buy into that.

When I’m on the road, I’m there to work and I want to be really efficient. The first thing I really look for is an exercise area or gym that’s open when I want to work out. That’s one of my pet peeves when I go somewhere and they have limited hours for the gym. I love coffee — I like to get my own coffee, I don’t need someone else to do it for me. I love the fact that you can get 24-7 coffee at La Quinta. 

For me, it’s convenience, speed and a hotel and brand that understands business — The one thing about La Quinta is that they’re all about business.”

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But for most business travelers, the most taxing part of traveling doesn’t have anything to do with accommodations, flights or the travel process at all — it’s about the preparation:

“An amazing stat in our La Quinta Means Business survey was that 54 percent of people said that the hardest thing about travel (and the most stressful) is actually packing and unpacking — not the travel part. And I can relate to that. I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to make it easier for me. I always think from the bottom up — socks, underwear, pants, jacket. And I also try to think in terms of outfits — I try to match things … I try to have it done ahead of time. I also try to have a little vanity kit in one of my suitcases thats always ready to go that I don’t have to think about packing.

I am self-contained — anything I need I want to bring with me, always. That doesn’t meant that I always remember everything, but I try to bring everything i need with me.”

That’s why Herjavec has a routine down the second he arrives at his hotel to help combat the chaos and get settled before he hits the ground running:

“The first thing I do is open up my laptop and log on. I’ve got to be connected. The biggest stress point for me is when I’m not connected— my mind starts racing. I always think ‘What’s going on? What if somebody needs to get a hold of me?’ When we did the survey, we found that people were given a choice of getting WiFi or clean underwear and 64 percent of people said they would choose WiFi over the underwear — I’m definitely in that group because I’ve got to be connected! For me, the first thing I do is take out my laptop and get connected. 

The second thing, is I take out my suitcase and anything that needs to be hung, I hang it right away … so I don’t have to iron it. And the other stuff, I’ll leave in the bag. Another interesting stat we found is that 40 percent t of people like to take their stuff out of their suitcase and hang it up while the rest [of people] leave it inside. I’m a bit of a hybrid — there are certain things I hang up right away, other things I leave in the suitcase.

I hang up my shirts — anything with a collar I always hang, any jacket, pants to get the creases out (I hate people that have creases in their pants!) [Hanging pants] doesn’t always get rid of all the creases but if you hang them the night before, the fabric will allow the [pants] to stretch a little so that the next morning when I’m taking a shower I’ll put the hot water on, get some steam going and it will get rid of the rest of the lines.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Herjavec’s cardinal rule of business travel has to do with packing:

“Business travel rule number 101— never check a bag, don’t ever do it!”

And for a man who’s seen so much of the world, there’s one city that just does it for him every time, no matter how long it’s been:

“My favorite business destination is New York. No matter how tired [I am] or how little sleep I’ve gotten, I wake up in New York in the morning and the city and the energy and the people — it’s just very dynamic and i feed off that energy. Not a bad place to be!”  

Headed out on a work trip this summer? Try one of these travel-friendly business dresses that you can throw in your carry-on:

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