Shangrila Cairns

7 event travel essentials.

[A three minute read]

Travel is a part of our job description as event managers and I still remember my first business trip (escorting Ronald McDonald on a road show but that’s another story…)
I felt so glamorous, confident, grown up and ready for adventure.

The gloss somewhat wears off when you are working 16 hour days, without fresh air, then collapsing into a foreign bed. For a while I dreaded travel and just wanted the comforts and routine of home. Classic grass is always greener scenario.

Anyway, after yet another industry outsider reminded me how ‘cool your job is’, I came to my senses and remembered how fortunate I am to experience so many destinations courtesy of my clients. I realised what I had dreaded was something others would love to have.

I am far from perfect but now when I find myself overtired (usually between coffee o’clock and martini o’clock) I remind myself how much I have to be grateful for with work, and grizzly Grace usually goes away.

Anyway, over the years I have honed my packing skills to ensure I am prepared for anything on site and also bring some of the comforts of home to get me through the long days. So here are my top 007 event essentials I never travel without.

1. Coconut oil.
There are so many uses for this and a little goes a long way so perfect for travel. Moisturising dry skin courtesy of in flight air con, removing makeup, fixing squeaky doors and polishing shoes are my fave uses.
Side note, when I travel for fun and stay in apartments, I use the oil for cooking and mixed with coffee grounds it makes an awesome body scrub too.

2. Eye mask and ear plug set.
One of lifes great mysteries is why hotels have more red lights than Vivid. Kind of ironic for a place meant for sleeping. Anyway, you never know when you might need an eye mask at your hotel, or if you happen to have time for a nap on the plane. Ear plugs are the perfect sidekick to prevent you being woken too soon by drilling (happened to me this week) or when small humans are screaming on planes.

3. Healthy snacks.
When I am tired, stressed or busy, I tend to eat for energy. I eat whatever I can get my hands on, so bringing healthy snacks prevents me from turning into the cookie monster (and we all now how he reacts with too much sugar…)
I love carrot sticks and Kex crackers or if I have time I whip up a batch of muffins from the Protein Bread Co in advance to give me energy and keep me full until I have time for a proper meal.

4. Portable phone charger.
When I am on site, I swear my phone rings more than a charity telethon. This drains the battery quickly but I never have time to stand next to a powerpoint long enough to charge my phone. So a portable phone charger was one of the best gifts I ever received. It also comes in handy as speakers/clients/guests/colleagues always ask me if I have a charger.

5. Sharpie and blue tak.
Ok technically this is two items, but they are both stationary… I usually have a sharpie handy for writing new name badges, creating delivery labels, fixing chipped black chairs etc. Blue tak has a thousand uses on site (and is also perfect for covering up the hotel room red lights mentioned above).

6. Shoes.
I always bring my running shoes, even if I think I won’t have time to use them. Because occasionally the plan changes and even a 15 minute walk helps with my energy levels and mood. If I do have time in a new city, running is a great way to get a sense of the place quickly. Also runners are essential for bump in/bump out.
Sometimes my feet swell up after flights and my first choice event shoes are suddenly unwearable. Even without travel cankles, the most comfortable shoes can give you blisters after 16 hours of running around in them, so I always bring a back up pair.

7. Zip lock bags.
Apart from securing coconut oil and transporting healthy snacks, ziplock bags are handy for stashing expense receipts, or storing furniture/set build screws and bolts.

[Photo of the refurbished Shangri La Cairns, taken during my SellTNQ famil to the region]


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