There is an excitement people have when they have an upcoming business trip. You daydream of how productive you are going to be during the trip and believe that you are going to be done with the work in no time. The reality is business travel is exhausting – lack of exercise, disrupted sleep, unpredictable internet connections, and poor food choices, and all of these can make it hard for you to be as productive as you might want. There are times when you will arrive from your business trip feeling exhausted and behind on all your work.
With years of business travel, I have learned some tips and hacks that made my business travels a little easier.
Below are some tips that are going to help you deal with travel challenges and get the most from your business trips.
1. Planning Everything in Advance
Before heading out on your trip, try checking off as many to-do items as possible. Give priority to those responsibilities that are hard to do remotely. Talk to your project team and get updates and upcoming deadlines. It is important to let people know your availability when you travel – when you will be most reachable and when you are completely out of pocket.
Try getting to the airport in advance so you don’t have to rush. When you are done with security, get yourself a cup of coffee and find a spot you can work from before the flight.
When you get to your destination, schedule blocks of evening or morning for work times when not in meetings or in transit.
2. Lightening Your Load
If you are sharing product samples or have a presentation, then ship items to your destination before you arrive. Call the hotel ahead of time to make sure the package has arrived and they are going to hold it.
3. Avoid Wasting Flight Time
If you are not sure whether the flight has WiFi, make sure you write emails so that they will be ready when you get to a place with WiFi. Always save important documents to your desktop. Planes can be a good place to practice your networking skills like starting conversations, listening, and asking questions. This is going to depend on your seatmates.
If you are stick because of flight delays, make sure you have your own MiFi because airports have slow and unreliable internet connections. A MiFi is going to provide you with internet when you are on the move. Buy one if you don’t have one already, especially if you travel a lot. This is a portable device that shares a 3G or 4G connection. You can load it with data then use it whenever you need to use the internet.
You don’t have to waste time when renting a car. If you don’t want to use public transport and platforms like Uber and Lyft, rent a car. Join the loyalty program of the car rental company you like. You are going to save yourself a lot of time because you don’t have to deal with long lines. They will drop you where your rental car is and you can drive off immediately.
4. Organizing as You Go
When going away on business, you are going to get new ideas and bring new contracts and it is hard to absorb all of that at once. The good thing is there are some ways of organizing the ideas and information to make sure you don’t forget about them when you get to your office.
A work time tracker is a great app for the on-the-go organization because you can easily organize new information and sync it with other devices that can be shared with the team. Trello is another option. Add tasks on the phone so you can remember them, then they are going to appear on the Trello board when you start using your computer.
5. Getting a Good Night’s Sleep and Avoiding Jet Lag
Time zone changes, unfamiliar hotel rooms, or happy hours with coworkers can result in poor quality sleep when traveling. The effect is going to compound every day as you try to work in meetings and squeeze in extra work.
If you want to get quality sleep, make sure you wind down early the first night after getting in. if you are traveling to the east coast and your home is on the west coast, eat early and go to bed even if it is still 7 pm at home for you. Avoid LED lighting from devices and alcohol because they can affect your sleep. Bring a travel essential oil diffuser and lavender oil with you because it is going to help you relax and fall asleep. If your sleep cycle is a mess and you can’t sleep, use natural sleep aid with herbs like valerian and melatonin.
6. Know the City before Arriving
Before arriving, check out the place you are going to be staying and what is nearby. Is the hotel a walking distance from the conference center? What mode of transport are you going to use if it is not within walking distance? Check out restaurants close because you might have to meet a client over dinner. You also know where to go if you want to decompress after a long day of meetings and work.
When you take the time to know about the city before you get there, you are going to save yourself a lot of time. You will have more time to focus on your work. Install apps on your phone or tablet that make traveling easier. Some good apps are OpenTable and Uber which helps you with dinner reservation and transportation.
Also Read: 7 Tips To Stay Calm While Traveling
Business trips are great because they allow you to expand your business and also see a city you have never visited before. If you have to spend your entire time stressing about basic needs, then you are not going to enjoy your trip. The tips above are going to help you focus on your goals and not feel stressed, tired, or pulled in many directions. You might end up having a great time during your next business travel with these tips.