BY MADELEINE MACCARIt’s happened to everyone, even the most seasoned travel pros: You have conspicuous food stains on a brand-new shirt, forgot a travel necessity, lost a screw in your glasses, or need an item you know you have but can’t remember where you packed it.
Just as your chauffeurs are prepared for any number of hiccups affecting a client’s travel plans, they should also be ready to solve their passengers’ cosmetic, technological, or preparedness issues—issues that are easily remedied with some foresight and a well-stocked car, and supplies that go beyond the typical staples of water bottles, hand wipes, and the all important phone chargers.
Your vehicles’ storage space is a precious commodity, but there are plenty of ways to assemble a compact bag, bin, or even tackle or cosmetic box of small, versatile items that can be tiny lifesavers for your clients. Think travel-size items that serve multiple purposes. Clear nail polish stops pantyhose runs in their tracks and can be an adhesive or sealant in a pinch; mouthwash is imperative after a long flight and can double as a disinfectant; lighters are always handy.
Think of the little necessities your chauffeurs are most asked for. Inspired by an exhaustive list that has its origins with Nashville’s Grand Avenue Worldwide, we’ve broken our own chauffeur checklist into four loosely defined categories that attempt to solve the problem of commonly forgotten or needed items: health/wellness, cosmetic, professional, and miscellaneous. Keep in mind that our list is by no means inclusive or rigid: No one knows your clients’ frequent requests and emergency scenarios as well as you do, and this is just to get you started as you assemble and customize your own traveler’s emergency kits.
Frequent travelers know that constantly being on the go can wreak havoc on even the hardiest immune systems. Count on passengers running out of tissues, losing pocket-sized hand sanitizers, or underestimating how much Advil they need. Meanwhile, a granola bar or bag of pretzels could stave off all kinds of hunger-related issues your road-weary clients face—just remember to explore gluten- and nut-free options to account for allergies. This is also a great branding opportunity: Tubes of lip balm or travel toothbrushes bearing your company logo will not only save the day for your passenger but also remind them of your chauffeurs’ preparedness well after the ride is over.
You don’t have to stock a Sephora makeup counter in your vehicles, but a few handy items will keep your passengers looking and feeling their best after long flights or on hectic days where basics might be forgotten. A nervous groom or frantic corporate traveler both will appreciate a last-minute swipe of a lint roller; bobby pins are a long-hair staple that one can never have enough of; safety pins keep broken straps, torn flaps, and, with zillions of creatively inspired uses, even the most jagged of nerves from coming completely unfrayed.
Most items in your chauffeur’s go-bags will solve your retail clients’ issues, but your corporate clients’ needs are a little less run-of-the-mill. Always keep plenty of pens and some notebooks in the car—another branding opportunity—as well as a few fine-tip markers. Even with PowerPoints and other programs making presentations less tactile and more technological, you never know who’s going to need an extra writing tool. And while almost everyone who steps into your vehicle will appreciate it if their chauffeur has chargers waiting to revive their low-battery phones, those who rely on chauffeured ground transportation to be a mobile office will be grateful if you can give their tablet or laptop the hookup, too. You could even consider having branded power bank chargers for those VIPs who need to take the juice with them.
This category is truly an assortment of odds and ends that offers a range of uses. A bus of weeknight revelers is more than likely to forget a bottle opener. Screwdrivers, flashlights, and coat hangers will be gratefully accepted for any number of reasons. Super glue will repair everything that duct tape promises to, only more subtly.
Some Items to Consider:
|• Antacids||• 115v power converter|
|• Bandages||• Blank notepad/legal pad|
|• Cold/sinus medicine||• Dry-erase marker|
|• Cough drops||• Extra pens|
|• Deodorant cloths (non-scented)||• Permanent markers|
|• Eyeglass repair kit||• Phone chargers|
|• First-aid kit|
|• Gum and mints||Miscellaneous|
|• Hand lotion/sanitizer||• AA and AAA batteries|
|• Headache medicine||• Bottle opener(s)|
|• Lip balm||• Coat hangers|
|• Motion sickness tablets||• Headphones|
|• Mouthwash||• iPhone radio adapter|
|• Odor-eliminating spray||• Lighter|
|• Snacks||• List of local highlights|
|• Tissues||• Screwdriver|
|• Travel-size toothbrush/toothpaste||• Small flashlight|
|• Wet wipes||• Super glue|
|• Anti-static spray|
|• Bobby pins|
|• Clear nail polish|
|• Disposable combs|
|• Lint roller|
|• Nail clippers/file|
|• Safety pins|
|• Shoe-shine wipes|
|• Stain-removing pen|
|• Travel sewing kit|
The little things can be the difference between a panicked passenger begging your chauffeur to maneuver through high-traffic situations in pursuit of the nearest pharmacy and a satisfied client who’s pleasantly surprised by how their chauffeur almost seemed to predict—and promptly solve—their exact predicament. Bonus: Your chauffeur comes off looking like the hero who saved a passenger’s day and your company gains one more loyal fan. [CD0317]