My intent this week had been to start a series of posts on partnering strategies, but all of that changed while I was watching the final quarter of the Giants vs. Cowboys game. I got a call on my cell phone from a number I didn’t know. I didn’t answer, instead letting it go to voicemail. I was tempted to ignore the voicemail. I don’t know why I decided to listen to it. I’m glad I did. A good friend had been in a motorcycle accident, in the woods, over 200 miles from home. Driving him home the next day, I heard his story. I was reminded about a tip I’ve developed for my travels. I mentioned this tip, and then a couple of others to Lee, and he said it might be worth sharing with other road warriors. So here goes.
Never Pass Up a Charge
Your cell phone is your lifeline. I really can’t imagine how many hours I have spent in an airport. In the beginning my two tools in hand I would always look to charge my laptop battery to make sure I could work on the plane. I would often forget my phone. I have my map to the hotel or customer site. I have a decent charge. I should be fine. Living in Florida, we learn lesson number one for hurricanes, fill your gas tanks. What if you accidently leave your phone on during the flight? What if your plane is delayed? Now you’re stuck in an airport. Everyone phones fighting for a signal, burning up battery power.
If I sit down at an airport, I find a seat close to an outlet. The first thing that gets charged is my cell phone. I plug in my car charger before I start my rental car. I even make sure that car charger is near me on the plane in case I get the lucky seat with an outlet. I’ve now even added a small multi-plug power adapter I picked up at a dollar store, in case the only outlet nearby is already in use so we can share the outlet. That way when I end up sitting on the tarmac for six hours I can call home.
Carry an Emergency Contact Card
Your cell phone is not your only lifeline. We’ve all seen the overused scene in the average crime drama. A body is discovered and the detective picks up the cell phone to see the last number dialed. Just like crimes and not solved in an hour, no longer can someone just grab a cell phone and call the last number dialed. First you need a password. Guess the password wrong X time, like because the screen got damaged, and every piece of information on that phone is wiped out. Sure there is an “emergency call” on the phone, but if I have been in an accident I want someone to be able to contact my wife.
Before the fake cardboard credit card, wallet used to include an emergency contact card for you to fill in. In our wallets we carry our and other’s business card, a driver’s license, a bunch of credit cards, and maybe pictures of loved ones. Only the driver’s license can help to contact someone and that only if you share the same address someone. But my last roommate was also a road warrior. I doubt anyone would have been at home. A little card with emergency contacts goes a long way. I also don’t ignore offering emergency contact details to the airlines when asked.
Carry Your Driver’s License and Passport
The quick rule is to carry your driver’s license when traveling in the US and your passport flying outside the US. Yes, this is the current requirement for air travel. But what if you lose your ID? It happens. Maybe once every six months I’m standing in line to see someone that’s lost their ID. I’m not sure how long it takes to just get through US security with hopefully a credit card, considering that you didn’t lose your wallet too. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to check into a hotel. A friend lost her passport in Central America and it took her 7 weeks to have it expedited.
I keep my driver’s license in my wallet and my passport in my computer bag. If I lose one I still have the other. I’ve used this once when I forgot to pick-up my driver’s license after a customer visit. My passport got me on to the plane and on my way home.
Now these may seem obvious to some of you. Then again, how many of you are doing this. And it really should be done every time. Hindsight’s always 20/20 when your lying on a dirt road pinned under you motorcycle and a cellphone with a dying battery barely in reach.