Travelling can be stressful, especially when you’re traveling for work. While it’s one thing to brave busy airports and long flights when you’re heading off on a relaxing vacation, it’s another when all that’s waiting for you at the end of your journey are business meetings in another city. That being said, while you can’t turn your business trip into a tropical beach vacation, there are some steps you can follow to help to take the sting out of the “travel” part of business travel.
1 Pack light, and use the right equipment
Checking your luggage is without a doubt one of the most time consuming and frustrating parts of traveling. Between waiting in line to check your bag and worrying about whether your luggage will arrive at the same destination as you, checking your bag is a stressful step that you should avoid at all costs. Instead, purchase a high-quality, compact roller suitcase that can be used as a carry-on. This saves you from having to wait for your bag when you land and will force you to be smarter about what you’re packing, which leads to the next tip...
2 Make a packing checklist
Overpacking is a rookie mistake when it comes to business travel. The more you bring, the heavier your bag, the more likely you are to have to check it, and the more likely you are to leave something behind in your hotel room. Make a checklist before you pack your bag of things you absolutely need and eliminate any non-essentials or duplicate items. Chances are, you need a lot less than you think.
3 Pay attention to your passport status
There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to tell your boss that you can’t go on the international business trip they need to send you on because your passport has expired and it will take weeks to get a new one. Keep track of when the last time was that you renewed your passport and make sure that it’s always up-to-date.
4 Get charged up
Even in today’s technology-obsessed world, finding an outlet in an airport can sometimes be a challenge. Make sure you charge everything you will need the night before - not just your phone, but your laptop, tablet, and every other piece of technology you may need as well.
5 Dress smart
While your first instinct may be to wear the most comfortable clothes you can get away with while traveling, that may not be the best move. Experts say that people who are dressed more formally at the airport can find themselves on the receiving end of a number of perks including upgrades and better service from airline staff. Plus, if you’re representing your company in another city or country you’ll want to look your best at all times, even when getting off the plane. Be sure to bring clothes and accessories that are designed to impress. Sites like Glasses Gallery and ASOS can help you find the perfect business look.
6 Stay Loyal
If your company allows you to choose which airline you fly, find one or two you like and stick with them. Frequent flyer programs are the best way to get perks and special treatment, your loyalty will definitely be rewarded.
7 Bring a book
Unless you absolutely have to get work done on your laptop on the plane, try to bring a book to read. It will give your eyes a rest from staring at screens and help you unwind. You may have to head straight to a business meeting the second you land, but you can still give yourself a little “you” time on the way by diving into a good book instead of those quarterly spreadsheets.
8 Download the right apps
Sure, you’ve got Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify apps all downloaded on your phone, but did you know there are a host of apps that can help make your business travel experience go more smoothly? Tri Tripit, which organizes all of your flight and hotel confirmation emails into a travel itinerary or XE Currency, which shows you updated currency rates to help with international travel.
9 Research airport dining options
Airports are massive and filled with an overwhelming amount of dining options, so it can be tough to know which area to head to if you need to grab a quick bite before your flight. Research the airport you’re going to ahead of time to discover where you can find the best food, you may be surprised to discover that there are some truly excellent options lurking just around the corner from your gate.
10 Print your boarding pass
While it may seem like an old school move, if you have time when you get to the airport to print your boarding pass, do it. While having a boarding pass on your phone may seem convenient, it can actually be more of a hassle. In the time that it takes you to unlock your phone, pull up your pass, and enlarge it so that it can be read by the scanner, you could already be halfway to your seat if you had just handed the gate attendant your boarding pass.
Work can be hard enough, don’t let travel add to your stress. Plan ahead and follow these steps to become a business travel pro.