Anyone who’s been on a business trip knows that it can be exhausting.
Unfortunately, most professional situations require you to remain super calm, cool and collected – which is exactly why you should avoid unnecessary stress by fool-proofing your travel plans.
If you want to know how to guarantee that your business trip runs like clockwork, then check out these 15 business travel tips to help you stay on top of your game.
1. Keep everything in one place with an app
Apps like Tripit and Google Trips keep all of your travel documents and bookings in one place, allowing you to easily plan and navigate your business trip. These apps also provide information on things like neighbourhood safety and general tourist information.
Avoid fumbling around looking for your boarding pass when you’re trying to board your flight and look forward to no more scrolling through endless emails to find your booking information – these apps maximise efficiency.
2. Got a problem? Tweet it!
A bumpy journey isn’t always caused by bad turbulence; you can run into all sorts of problems before you’ve even taken off.
It’s no secret that air travel comes with its ups and downs; with each journey, you face the possibility of getting bumped from your flight, lost luggage, missed connections, and unexpected delays.
If you do find yourself in a frustrating situation at the hands of an airline, remember that there’s no better way of grabbing their attention than tweeting about your experience. As a professional you’re probably aware of the implications of being named and shamed on social media – that’s why most businesses try to be helpful when confronted via Twitter.
Even if it’s an inconvenience that you’re responsible for like a missed connection, for example, there’s a good chance tweeting will result in an instantaneous response and more often than not the airline will try to accommodate you.
3. Minimise time spent in the security check
That dreaded airport security check will go a lot faster if you avoid wearing;
A coat or jacket
Hats and scarves
Accessories (jewellery, sunglasses etc.)
Boots or high-top sneakers
Make sure your electronic equipment is easily accessible. Don’t carry liquids of any kind, and if you do make sure they’re in the correct size container and that you have them inside a clear plastic bag that meets the airport’s guidelines.
4. Avoid checking in luggage
Lugging your bag around the airport may seem like an inconvenience but the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to efficiency.
You don’t need to arrive at the airport early because you don’t have to go through a lengthy baggage check-in process.
You can get off the plane and head straight for the exit.
Avoid eagerly awaiting the appearance of your bag on the conveyor belt.
There is no risk of your bag going missing unless you accidentally leave it behind at Starbucks which we wouldn’t recommend.
You can bring items with you to make the journey less miserable; snacks, a good book, a pillow if it’s a long-haul flight.
5. Make a lost bag less of an inconvenience
If you do wish to check your bag in, you should always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst since luggage goes missing all the time.
If your flight is short, travel in suitable business attire. That way, if there’s a disaster involving your luggage, you are still prepared. If you choose to do this, wear lots of antiperspirant deodorant and give yourself plenty of time so that you’re not rushing around. Don’t turn up to a meeting with sweat patches under your arms. It’s not a good look!
If it’s a long haul flight you should put comfort first – I mean, who wants to sit on a plane for 10 hours in a suit? You can usually bring a small carry-on as well as your checked bag. If this is the case then go ahead and bring a back-up outfit and don’t leave anything of great importance in your checked bag.
6. Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is generally inexpensive and can save you a lot of hassle. If your flight is cancelled you will be reimbursed and can get a hotel room for the night.
If you lose luggage most insurance policies include a lost luggage option and will reimburse you with a set amount for lost luggage and if the luggage never turns up you will get another sum of money on top of that. Oh, and if you have a medical condition, travel insurance for lost luggage often includes costs associated with replacing prescription medication.
7. Get your visa in order
The last thing you need is to arrive at the airport and find that you don’t have the correct documentation to enter the country. Securing a business visa can be tricky, especially if the trip is being planned last minute.
With over 1 million clients worldwide and a 99.7% visa approval success rate, we know our stuff when it comes to visas. Our top business visa countries include China, Russia and India but we supply all kinds of visas for more than 200 countries. We even have an express service for those last-minute plans. So if you’re in need of a business visa visit our website to get started.
8. Check the weather where you’re going
This might seem like a no-brainer but you might arrive and find they’re experiencing unusually hot weather and you didn’t bring light enough clothing… or you could arrive in the midst of stormy weather and heavy rainfall with shoes that don’t stand a chance against the rain.
9. Priority boarding
Book priority boarding to skip the queue and board the plane first. If you’re travelling within the US you can take advantage of their U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveller programme – all it takes is completing a short application process. Sit near the very front of the plane near the door so that you can get off first.
10. Beat jetlag
If you’re flying to a drastically different time zone, expect a serious case of jet lag. The best way to lessen the effects of jet lag is to avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine on the plane (they can affect your ability to sleep) and to stay hydrated – so drink lots of water!
Top tip: Try to make it until 9.00pm local time before you hit the hay, napping will only further disrupt your sleep.
11. Carefully plan your time
If you’re meeting someone in a professional setting you shouldn’t turn up late or look dishevelled. Also, it’s important to have your business brain in tip top shape. You don’t want to jeopardise your professional abilities like say reasoning or negotiation skills because you’ve been rushing around under pressure for hours.
You might be thinking ‘Oh no! How can I avoid this?’
Here’s what to do…
Know your schedule like the back of your hand. Work out travel time to and from the airport, how long it will take by taxi or public transport to get to your destination. If you’re taking a bus or train – look up where to get it and be sure that you’re taking the correct route. If you can book tickets online, do so in advance of your trip.
Check the distance and travel time from your hotel to your meeting place (and give yourself an extra 30 minutes).
12. Make time for networking
Do you have existing or potential partners in the same city? Great! Now’s your chance to work on networking.
Browse LinkedIn, reach out and arrange to grab a coffee or lunch with prospective or existing partners. This was you can maximise the ROI of your trip while strengthening your professional relationships.
13. Make time to sightsee
Alleviate stress by sightseeing. In some cases, your business partner will be hospitable enough to show you around. If not then why not look up some guided tours or some of the best places to sample the local cuisine?
Asking your business partner for their advice on the best place to grab a bite to eat is a great ice breaker too.
14. Bring over the counter medication
It’s not uncommon for travellers to have aches and pains when travelling. This can be due to headaches from dehydration, standing around for hours, different weather conditions, carrying bags and so on. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some painkillers on hand if needed.
You should also bring some tablets for indigestion and other stomach problems. That way if the local cuisine gives you a bad case of, let’s just say “stomach issues”, you’ll be well equipped to handle it.
15. Use Uber or Lyft
Thinking of renting a car? We say don’t bother if you can easily take an Uber or Lyft. If you do choose this option, you’re saving money and time.
So there we have it, our favourite business travel tips and hacks – best of luck with your trip and don’t forget to visit our website if you want help securing your business visa.