If you are a professional who often makes business trips, then you know how hard the experience can be if you don’t have proper planning for your trip. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to make your journey more bearable.
In this article, we take a look at seven practical tips to help make your next business travel as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
1. Get Your Travel Documents Ready
Not having the proper documents or forgetting your vital travel documents will result in a waste of all your careful preparation. If you’re traveling between countries, the first and most important thing for you to do is to make sure that you get the required documents early. In some countries, you’ll be able to get a visa upon arrival, but for others, you need to have it before being admitted into the country.
Make sure that everything is sorted out before your trip to avoid any last-minute inconveniences. Once you have all your travel documents ready, take a picture or screenshot of each of them with your smartphone. Include all the maps, itineraries, etc. that you may need during your trip.
In case there’s no wifi, you’ll still be able to find your way easily. In addition to that, email yourself a copy of every essential document you’re taking with you, such as ID documents and accreditations, so that if you lose your luggage, you’ll still have access to the documents.
2. Create (and share) a Detailed Itinerary
Your next step in planning a successful business trip is to create a detailed itinerary. Your itinerary is simply a blueprint of your trip that will allow you to stay in control of as many details as possible. This includes transport times, names of the people you’re meeting, travel reservations, hotel addresses, and more.
When creating this blueprint, make sure that you allow yourself a little extra time for relaxing, busy traffic, or for meetings that have either been delayed or overrun. There are a lot of free and paid tools that you can use to easily create your travel itinerary (such as TripIt, or myCWT) and sync it with your work calendar.
You’ll also be able to share it with colleagues or family. It’s important that people always know where you are when you’re traveling for business - particularly if you’re traveling to a destination that is unfamiliar. Use any of the handy little tools mentioned above for communication and efficiency to make your business travel as safe and convenient as possible.
3. Keep Everything in One Place - Digitally
Staying organized is key if you want a successful business trip. The good news is that in the digital age, none of us has to deal with the chaos of trying to handle loose papers. You can easily keep all your documents in one place, from passports and visas to booking confirmations, travel itineraries, and more.
Make sure that a copy of each of your important documents is kept in a secure place, digitally. The best way to do this is by simply scanning the documents and uploading them to your cloud storage. You can use an app like Apple’s Wallet.
This will make things a lot easier for you should you require any of them during your trip, you’ll only have to look in one place for whatever you need. For instance, if you need your boarding pass, you can access it directly from your phone without having to search for the paper ticket.
4. Maximize Productivity During Your Trip
Trying to live or work efficiently without permanent access to mobile devices is proving to be an impossible task these days. While on the go, it’s possible to be without internet access which means your productivity will be limited.
Wifi might be a standard service in most hotels, but it’s still a great idea to bring your own router just to be safe. You can find one in convenient, practical pocket design. This is a particular advantage for travelers with small luggage.
By having your own router, you know you’ll always be connected no matter what. This is an essential tool that will allow you to work on any project, make business calls, or check emails in your room at any time.
5. Don’t Forget Your Electronic Accessories
Taking your laptop or tablet with you will help you be as productive as you can be during your business travel. That is a great way of making your travel time count. Just remember to pack all the relevant adapters and chargers, as well.
These are essential items that are usually easy to get when you’re passing through the airport, but it’s vital to be prepared so you can save money and time in the long run. The last thing you want is to be in a place with no access to these things. This could threaten your important projects and damage professional relationships.
Another option for keeping your devices charged up is to carry a portable charging bank. You can get this in compact sizes that will easily fit in even the smallest bag. A portable power bank may one day prove to be a life-saver and is worth having with you on every trip.
6. Choose Comfort and Time Savings
The main reason for your trip is business, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore leisure and comfort. A steady work-life balance is something that is equally important for your trip to be successful. With better quality rest, you’ll be able to perform a lot more effectively. One of the most important prerequisites for this happens to be accommodation.
These days there are a lot of rental places with increased privacy and more space for you to use. These places really make it easy for you to feel at home away from home so you can totally relax during your visit.
Furnished apartments are replacing chain hotels as comfortable, affordable lodging for business travelers. The time savings and comfort that a furnished rental in the heart of the city can provide cannot be overstated.
When you opt for accommodation that’s right in the city center, it makes it easier for you to find nice places to eat, have a coffee, or do some shopping, and so on. You won’t have to travel as far. An app like Trustpilot can also help you find nice places during your visit to a new place.
7. Coping with Jet Lag
This last tip for successful business travel is particularly relevant for international travelers. Don’t cave in to overly salty or sugary snacks when you are stressed and tired from traveling. To perform at your best in business meetings, you’re better off choosing something that’s filled with vitamins instead. Consider carrying portions of fruits and nuts that you can snack on during your business travel.
In addition to eating right, you also need to get a good night’s sleep. This can be difficult as most of us have problems our first night in a new environment. Make sure you stack all odds in your favor by avoiding tablets, laptops, and smartphones, or any other screens prior to going to bed. This will help you fall asleep faster and get good quality sleep so you’re fresh and ready to tackle the next day.