As we’ve discussed before, business trips are worth the time and costs involved – but that’s not to say they can’t take their toll on a person. You’ve got long flights, changing time zones, delays, living out of a suitcase and so many little things to keep track of. Without the right preparation, your business trip can turn into a chaotic mess that could impact your mood, your health, and even your business.
Here are some quick tips to keep you more comfortable and productive on the go.
1. Plan. Plan. Plan.
Yes, this may seem obvious, but it’s the most important thing, so we are mentioning it first and foremost. Plan your trip in advance and break it into logical blocks: travel, eating (important but often not allotted for), business, rest and personal downtime. Being able to see your schedule in advance shows you when you can expect to have some free time or where it is possible to combine a meeting and a meal. During a business trip, it’s better to account for a bit of extra time for each task as there may be flight delays, queues at the hotel reception, traffic jams, and so on. And don’t forget to schedule some time for yourself to relax, rejuvenate, and explore.
2. Check your tech
Nowadays, it feels like we can’t do anything without our technology. Most of us (especially people travelling for work) fly with a laptop and smartphone and many have at least one other device with them as well. Make sure to charge up before boarding and put everything necessary (chargers, eReader, tablet, laptop, camera) in your carry-on. And don’t forget covers, cases or sleeves to protect your devices from damage. If you travel abroad, you might want to check the standard voltage and power sockets in case you need an adapter. And with your mobile fully charged, you can make use of a few mobile apps to better organize your trip.
3. Health and comfort
Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your mind and body. Even simple things can make a huge difference. Consider taking slippers to change into on the train or plane for more comfort and blood flow, or using noise-cancelling headphones to prevent headaches from noisy planes or airports (or just for listening to your favourite tunes). It can be challenging to eat healthfully on the road, but it’s entirely possible to find what you need with Yelp or UrbanSpoon at your disposal. And one more thing to keep in mind: exercise! If you regularly go to the gym, plan for your routine as well. Book hotels with a gym on-site, or see if your gym has any locations in town. Otherwise, going for a long walk is a great way to get exercise and explore your surroundings at the same time. The days can be long and tiring, but it’s proven that an hour in the gym equals to at least two hours of sleep. Keep yourself active and fresh-minded!
4. Inform yourself
Get all the required information accessible at your fingertips: flight number and times, hotel details, your schedule, important names and numbers, etc. Back up your personal information as well – especially when travelling abroad. Make a copy of your passport or other IDs and keep them separate from your originals. Have more than one credit card and some local currency in your wallet. It is also recommended to have someone in the office as well as a family member or close friend know all the details of your trip in case of emergency. Read up about where you are going beforehand: location of your hotel in relation to your meetings, the upcoming weather forecast, and when travelling far abroad: any cultural differences to pay attention to. A few minutes now will save you hours (or even things not related to time) when it counts.
It may be cliché to quote Jack Kerouac here, but as he says: “Nothing is behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever on the road.” Once you’ve left home for a trip, you’re dealing with everything coming your way. Prepare yourself and enjoy the ride!