I didn't know when I was hired at frog that the job called for jetting around the country and world for projects. In the last month alone I've been in 6 airports and 3 cities. Each time spending a day or two attending and presenting at workshops.
Traveling for work and navigating airports comes with a specialized skill set. There's some tips I've figured out along the way.
Security can be a bitch if you let it. Remove your belt before your there, way before. Pack it away and you don't have to deal with it. Stash your keys in your bag, you're not unlocking your front door while your out or town.
Besides traveling internationally security has never asked about liquids. Never once have I taken out my bathroom bag. Also no need to remove your iPad, it's never caused me a hold up. Slip on shoes are a must. I wear a pair of Tretorns and they make the whole thing a breeze.
In the end all you're doing is dumping your pockets, throwing off your shoes and ditching your laptop. On average I've made it through security in under 20 seconds.
Light and fast. A little while back I bought a Mission Workshop Fitzroy backpack. This bag is great for travel. Easily holding everything I need for a few days traveling. I can throw the pack on my back and trek around the city or airport with all my stuff ready to hop a cab or plane at any minute. With this bag I've been able to squeeze in extra exploring between meetings by not getting stuck with a roller bag.
Use packing cubes. I thought this was ridiculous to sub-pack your bag but it's proved to be amazing. Work clothes in one cube, casual in another, shoes in the last. Now you can grab the right cube get changed and be set. No spreading out in your hotel and losing stuff. I've been using these linen bags from when my hotel in Shanghai folded my suits but the texture makes loading hard. I've been eyeing these Eagle Creek packing cubes to replace them.
Working on a plane
Unless your in first class you have zero room to work. I've begun to sync anything I have to work on to my iPad. IPad, large Moleskine, and headphones is all I grab from my carry on and I'm able to review docs, write / sketch notes, or watch a movie easily the whole flight.
When on the road I've found my iPad invaluable. Loaded with 3G its my iPhone back up, movie machine, note taker, PDF viewer, and media consumer.
Along with normal toiletries I carry some pepto bismol, Tylenol, band-aids, and breath mints. All things you never want to track down in a city when you need them.
After the meeting
Almost every meeting I've been having ends with a few hours to spare before hoping a plane home. This mean going from business setting straight to cramped plane setting. I've starting packing my slip on's and jeans at the top of my bag. Now I can stop in a Starbucks and swap my business attire for casual and be comfortable for whole poking around a city and working my way through security.
This is what I've figured out so far from frequent flying. I'd love to hear other tips, hit me up on twitter: @brodowski