Business travel; some people love it, some hate it and others long for the day they’ll be able to travel to another country all in the name of work.
For those optimistic travelers, a business trip can be seen as a way of breaking the mundane nine to five routine and provides the opportunity to work in a new, exciting environment – even just for a couple of days. However, for others, it can be seen as an unnecessary upheaval of daily life and more of a chore than a treat. At Christmas, business travel is 10 times more stressful.
Whatever your view, there are many ways to make business travel easier and more rewarding.
By working out your calendar day-to-day, you can focus on the priority meetings but also plan rest and work. For example, if your meeting is in the morning, the afternoon might be a good time to re-charge before picking work up again in the evening. If you’re most productive first thing, try working when you’re fresh. Downloading instant messaging apps such as Slack or creating groups on WhatsApp is a useful way to keep in touch with colleagues, regardless of the time zone.
If you’re a frequent traveler, keep an emergency bag of essentials ready at home, including a charger, toothbrush and toiletries, so all you need to do is add a fresh set of clothes and a laptop, then you’re good to go. Sticking to hand luggage always speeds up the airport process, removing the need to wait for baggage. Some travellers swear by dark clothing. Easier to match and good for hiding stains.
USE YOUR FLIGHT TIME
Take advantage of being ‘switched off’ from the world with no mobile or internet signal, by focusing on tasks which require uninterrupted concentration. Often having the opportunity to step out of the day-to-day will allow you to focus on wider strategy and the bigger picture. Some travelers work for three quarters of the journey, then switch off towards the end to prepare for arrival. Work on your outbound flight but relax on the way home – you’ll have definitely earnt it.
MANAGE JET LAG BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
Jet lag can be a major hindrance to productivity levels while away. Tight schedules can make stopovers impossible. So, if you know you’re returning the same day, make sure you use the flight to rest. For long-haul flights, book one with an afternoon or early evening arrival so regular sleeping patterns can be achieved quickly.
JOIN FREQUENT FLYER SCHEMES
Joining a frequent flyer program can offer a range of various tier-based benefits and privileges. Some schemes help you earn points or miles that are redeemable for free flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals or shopping. Other loyalty programmes can help make your trip more enjoyable. For example, members of India’s premier airline Jet Airways’ program, JetPrivilege, can enjoy benefits such as complimentary lounge access, priority boarding and excess baggage allowance.
EAT & DRINK SMART
Often business travelers prefer to fast to reduce the effects of jet lag. But if this isn’t an option for you, stick with light meals with plenty of vegetables that are easy to digest. Stay hydrated with water and avoid sugary snacks; even if you are craving a quick sugar fix.
When travelling for business, a sense of community is important because otherwise travelling can feel lonely. Some hotels will offer networking evenings, allowing you to connect with fellow travelers and build relationships. If you’re visiting a new city announce it on LinkedIn, or even through an alumni network. You may find people come to you.