If you’ve ever had to travel for work, you know that it can be an unpleasant experience. Luckily, the avid business travelers of the world share tips with each other to make each trip a little more bearable.
Here are a few of the best business travel tips I’ve heard.
- You Only Need a Carry-On. Unless your business trip is a week long, it’s possible to limit your luggage to one carry-on bag. When you keep all your luggage on the plane with you, it allows for a speedy departure from the airport because you avoid baggage claim. It also minimizes the chance of your luggage being damaged or lost during the flight. Just be sure that you don’t have any drinks or full-sized shampoo bottles. Any items that aren’t permitted in a carry-on will be thrown away before you leave the security check.
- Rewards Programs. If you consistently use one airline, hotel or rental car company, you may earn rewards for your patronage. If the entire trip is paid for by your company, this would be a bigger concern for them than for you personally. However, if you’re a business owner, it is something to keep in mind.
- Plan Ahead. Be sure to arrive at the airport 2 hours before your plane is scheduled to board. You may need to allot for more or less time depending on how busy the airport is at the time you’re boarding. If you’re leaving your car at the airport, be sure you know where to park in advance. If you know you’ll need Wifi or charging receptacles during your flight, book a plane that offers those accommodations.
- Dress to Impress. If you’re flying in before a meeting, dress in an outfit you could wear there. If you’re relying on a 30-minute time gap to change at the hotel, you could be late for the meeting if unexpected situations arise.
- Jet Lag. Flying through different time zones can make the days drag on or give you insomnia at night. To minimize jet lag, avoid drinking coffee, alcohol or other stimulants. You should also try to adjust your sleep schedule gradually, if possible. Be sure to set your alarms for the proper time so your body’s internal clock doesn’t sleep through an important meeting.
- Don’t Stress. If something doesn’t go as planned, don’t stress yourself out about it. Even the most important CEOs and business leaders know that travel is difficult. If you planned everything out perfectly and still hit a bump in the road, contact the appropriate people as soon as possible to make them aware of your scheduling issue and apologize for any inconvenience. If you get worked up over the little things, you will only be in worse shape when you arrive at your destination.
If you have some down time during your business trip, it’s okay to explore a new city and pick up some small souvenirs. After all, traveling to a new city is exciting regardless of the reason.