Not all of us are born travel enthusiasts. That characteristic especially tends to “pop” when we need to travel across the country for the sake of a potential business deal, and the stress of it all can make the journey even less appealing, let alone fulfilling. Now, while there’s no such thing as a perfect travel scenario, you can certainly make the most of each trip you take for the sake of your professional development and your career, and actually turn it into a more balanced, pleasurable experience.
Some of the world’s most versed business travelers have their own tips and tricks, and it’s time to build your own must-do checklist precisely for these occasions. When it’s time to tackle another business-related venture abroad, go over the following suggestions and see if you can elevate your trip to a new level and make the most of your time away.
Pre-Pack Your Essentials
As a frequent traveler, you know that you can expect regular trips to various destinations, and that they should be treated as a part of your schedule. Although some business trips vary in length, they typically resemble one another within the same company. So, if your boss sends you to conferences, client meetings, and employee training, you know what you can expect, what the dress code will be, and your accommodation perks.
This instantly helps you in several ways. First of all, you already know that you don’t need to pack five different suits if you’re going away for a single weekend, so you can have a clean, pressed suit ready and stacked in your wardrobe just for those occasions. Then, you can have a travel bag ready, sitting in your closet right next to the suit, and packed with those basics such as your hygiene essentials, your travel-friendly footwear, and the like. That means you’ll shave off hours of your packing time for each journey that comes along.
Work Some Off-Time into Your Schedule
Crammed conferences, back-to-back meetings, and partnership negotiations can indeed be a hassle. As such, they need to be the top priority for any trip that you make, but not at the cost of your own wellbeing and health. Since you cannot move or postpone certain arrangements, you can at least work around those key appointments and add activities that will help you relax and enjoy yourself more.
This may not seem all that important for a business traveler, but it actually has an impact on how productive and effective you will be. Just an hour of swimming in the hotel pool or hitting the gym can help you clear your head before those tough negotiations, or help you be a better speaker at the conference. Eating healthy and making other decisions that focus on your self-care also help you work more efficiently and feel better in the process.
Use Your Credit Card Perks
As a business traveler, you know that your company credit card is a true asset for all those trips. This is especially vital when you can book flights and accommodation online and avoid extraneous fees or additional charges for certain items your business needs to cover. For example, a perk that most frequent travelers adore is using a credit card with free luggage promotions, so you can save a decent sum and travel comfortably wherever you go.
While this may seem like a small perk for a single trip, when you accumulate all those flights with your luggage cost, you’ll be able to save up anywhere from several hundred to over a thousand dollars annually. That money can be better invested elsewhere, and you can use it to fund other travel benefits, choose better accommodation, or upgrade your flight.
Pack Light and Smart
In addition to your travel bag that waits for each trip in your closet, you need to be mindful of those individual, specific needs your trips may come with. Sometimes, you might need to bring a larger suitcase when you’re traveling during winter, or you simply need to extend your stay. However, business travel is often limited to a few days, which means that you have the luxury to pack light and not lug massive suitcases around.
For example, you can bring light layers that you can mix and match depending on the occasion, whereas simple accessories such as a watch or a single necklace can elevate a daytime outfit into a cocktail party-friendly attire.
Refine Your Air Travel Habits
In addition to free luggage, you can also look for perks such as signing up for frequent flyer miles, shopping discounts, and the like. Additionally, you can start looking into on-time arrival rates of different airlines as well as their cancellation rates, and then look for companies with the best possible ratings that you can fly with.
Such simple steps can help you choose better connections, and prevent missing an important business meeting due to a cancellation or a delay at the airport.
Of course, each business person has their own preferences for their travels, but these essentials can help you simplify each new journey and make the most of the time you have. Try planning ahead with these ideas in mind, and hopefully, you’ll start enjoying your business travel adventures more, as well as the success that comes with them.