Lost luggage. It's the number one stressor for business travelers, beating out "flight delays" and "working long hours," while on the road, according to a recent survey of executives conducted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
These fears have merit: The airline industry handles about 22 million lost-luggage claims annually, according to SITA, a firm that tracks baggage performance. "No one wants to be the unlucky person who lands after a long business trip and is wandering around looking for his or her bags," says Jody Running, vice president of sales at Top Brands
To help globetrotters breathe easier, some companies are gifting frequent travelers, meeting-goers, and incentive trip winners with devices like the LugLoc
(available from Top Brands for $99, including a one-year subscription), which uses GSM-GPRS technology to locate your luggage. It's about the size of a credit card, is FAA compliant, and can be stowed in your luggage. Download the corresponding smartphone app, and when you land you can pinpoint exactly where your luggage is -- whether it's moving down the carousel or on its way to Tahiti.
Another on-the-road stress reducer: Tile
, a tiny Bluetooth tracker available from Links Unlimited
that helps you find lost items in seconds. Attach or place Tiles on or inside items like keys and briefcases and download the Tile app to your smartphone. When the item is lost, your cellphone will make the Tile play a loud tune (if it is within Bluetooth range); or, the app will send out a signal to other Tiles throughout the world through its "Community Find" feature. Tiles can be imprinted with a corporate logo and start at $25. "It's a great giveaway, because it has the 'wow' factor," says Corey Wolfe, director of sales for Links Unlimited.
Sometimes the biggest stress for business travelers is what's happening back at home. The Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Wired Alarm
(available from Rymax Marketing Services
) detects and alerts you to the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide within your home. "It really gives you great peace of mind," says Haig Vartivarian, purchasing manager for consumer electronics at Rymax. "Isn't that something we all could use a little bit more of?"