I have written numerous blog entries about business travel over the years, in May 2009 I blogged about some the challenges with business travel referencing some of those older entries.
I also recently read an article with some advice for business travellers that I though wasn’t as comprehensive or useful as I would have expected. So, I thought I could probably come up with some tips based on my years of business travel. So here goes …
- Be organised … don’t leave stuff till the last minute. Pick your seat, book your hotel etc well ahead to get best prices, the right timing and the seat/hotel you want.
- If you have not been there before do a little research. Google map the area, look at hotel amenities, look at a local tourist site for restaurant options etc.
- Consider using discount sites like Hotwire to get best pricing.
- Don’t stress yourself out by arriving at the airport at the very last minute. The more experience you have the more clear you become about how long it take to get to the airport, get through security etc. I leave myself time to pick up water, newspaper, snacks once through security.
- Don’t rely on the airline for drinks or food … it might work out fine, but be prepared. Bring your own bottled water and nutritious snack. You need to stay hydrated, and fed!
- Have all of your travel docs together (electronically and/or on paper)
- Create a “reading” file with photocopied/printed articles etc to use time productively (Note an e-reader may do this even more efficiently)
- Create an airplane folder of work items you can “knock off” while captive on a plane.
- Exercise where possible … consider a skipping rope, running stairs, push-ups and sit-ups if there is no gym.
- Travel as light as you can, do not check luggage if at all possible. Some very specific thoughts on travelling light …
- Get light luggage;
- Mix and match clothes eg one suit with two pairs of pants will go a long way.
- Learn to fold efficiently, so things don’t crease
- Pack as few toiletries as possible … use hotel “stiff” where possible.
- If travelling to the same place all the time consider leaving some stuff there, (shirt, tie, pants, toiletries, casual clothes etc)
- Take exercise gear and pack stuff inside the shoes … razor, socks, underwear etc. to save space.
- Think through your stay and don’t take things “just in case” … do you really NEED casual clothes, if so can a pair of jeans and a t-shirt complement your work jacket and shoes?
As I have said many times, business travel can be a real chore but if you do it right then you can minimize the hassles. I’m sure there are many frequent travellers out there who have their own tips and tricks .. feel free to comment!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)