Greetings from Sacramento! I just flew in from LA and got myself set up in the hotel. Work has kept me quite busy and I'll be on the road for a while, so if you don't see any new posts for a couple of weeks, that would be why.
This is my first business trip ever, so I had to figure some things out on the fly. Scheduling also made things tougher--since I attended my dear friend's wedding all day Saturday, followed by Mother's Day the next day, I only had a couple of hours after returning home from the office at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday morning (before the wedding, that is) to get all my stuff together. Once I brought all my work papers home, it was time to pack.
Packing was actually the easy part. I packed a mix of casual and business-casual clothes (one blazer, a couple of sweaters, along with several tops), a pair of flats, brought my laptop, all sorts of electronic gadgetry, and their accompanying cables in an organza bag that used to hold something else; if I didn't have that bag, I would have used a ziploc baggie like my roommate wisely suggested. I hate having to check in bags because it takes up a lot of time, so I made sure that everything fits in carryon luggage. The clothes, shoes, toiletries, and cables went into a duffle bag, while my work papers, laptop, fashion magazine, electronics, and other things I want to access readily went into a large and sturdy faux leather work tote that I got from Target for $30 a while back. Whatever was too bulky to put into bags were worn--for colder nights, I brought my big Mike & Chris coat; for a more casual pair of shoes, I brought a pair of sneakers. This is my idea of travelling in style:
[Gap stripey tee, Mike & Chris coat, Juicy Couture jeans (sample), Adidas Prajna sneakers (probably one of my best finds at Ross since I love them)]
The harder part was the car rental. I was quite overwhelmed with all the different options. Sure, I'll ultimately get reimbursed, but it's quite expensive up front. I wanted a regular sedan with GPS (which is a necessity, given I don't know the city at all), but they ran out of cars with GPS, so they gave me an SUV. That's another extra $12 charge per day, and you can see how it can start adding up. Then there's the gas option--either you can pre-pay at $3.75/gal (which is cheap) bring the car back with an empty tank, or fill up the tank at the end or risk a $7/gal fee. I don't anticipate doing all that much driving, but given the fact that my car is an SUV, it seemed like a draw. Then there's the issue of insurance. I'm a pretty careful driver, but sometimes you never know what can happen. I ended up taking the full coverage option, and when the final estimate bill came out...holy smokes! All the "add ons" were even more expensive than the price of renting the car itself!
What's your stance when it comes to insurance on a rental? Any business travel dilemmas? I'll probably run into a few (food comes to mind) as the week goes on.