Chapter 1: Travel With Confidence and Style
How To Mentally Prepare for Your Next Business Trip
Business trips can be life-changing experiences. You may get to visit new cities, explore new cultures, and expand your worldview. However, without the right mindset, you're likely to waste your trip.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when travelling for business. To help you prepare and feel more confident about your upcoming travel, here are some tips and advice that will make it easier for you.
Understand the Purpose of Your Trip
Seeing the big picture is always important, but so is being able to focus on the details. The purpose of your trip is its beating heart — it’s what informs your goals and metrics for success.
If you’re feeling anxious about the trip, it can help to review why you’re going in the first place. Is it to attend a conference? Are you meeting with prospective business partners? Scoping out a new construction site?
Whatever the case may be, understanding your purpose can help you prepare better.
For example, if you're giving a presentation, make sure to pack your materials. If you’re attending an important event, brush up on the dress code. It’s the little details that matter.
Set Clear Expectations and Goals
Your business trip is undoubtedly important, but it’s also unfair to pressure yourself to be perfect.
Before the trip, clearly outline your goals and list down the steps you need to take to achieve them. Then, give yourself a bit of wiggle room. Because you can’t predict accidents, incorporating sufficient allowance beforehand can help you better handle unexpected situations.
Also, keep in mind that you’re not the only one that should set clear expectations. Your company should also be upfront about their expectations for your trip.
If they’re trying to pack ten days of work into a five-day schedule, make it clear that it’s simply impossible.
Plan Ahead and Book Everything Ahead of Time
What’s more stressful — running around like a headless chicken because you decided to plan your schedule on the fly, or relaxing in your hotel room because you know exactly how much time you have before your next engagement?
It’s an easy contest.
Planning ahead might take more time before the trip, but it’ll definitely bring down your stress levels during the trip.
While you may not be able to control every aspect of your trip, like unexpected flight delays, controlling the aspects that you can will help you feel more confident when you set out.
As a bonus, you can also save money by booking in advance.
Keep It Simple, Make a To-Do List, and Prioritise
Being in a new city is inherently exciting, especially if you’re fond of adventure. As a result, it can be tempting to wander off and hit up every tourist spot along the road.
While bleisure travel is definitely on the rise, it’s still business first, leisure second. Make a to-do list to keep yourself on track and ensure you don’t miss any of your trip’s main goals.
If you have time left over, it can’t hurt to add a few side trips to your to-do list. However, if anything unexpected happens, those side trips should always be the first thing you drop.
The right mindset can help you have a positive experience, so work on it before travelling. If you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, make sure to plan for it and prepare yourself.
Chapter 2: Manage Your Time Efficiently
5 Ways To Get the Most Out of Your Business Travel
Are you a business person who is getting ready to head out on a business trip? Travelling, even on business, is a fantastic way to get all of your ducks in a row.
If you’re a frequent business traveller, you might have your travel checklist down to a science by now. Read on to learn some new tips and tricks that will help you make the most out of your next trip — whether it’s for business or pleasure!
How often is it that you arrive at your hotel in the middle of the day, ready to jet off to your next appointment, only to realise you need something buried at the bottom of the suitcase?
Packing smart is an important time-saver. Keep the essentials (such as IDs, your phone, your wallet, boarding passes, device chargers, adapters, toiletries, medicines, etc.) in easy to reach areas. This can be a separate bag, external pockets, or even just packed at the top of your suitcase.
Underneath, you can pack your items on a day-by-day basis (i.e. your outfit(s) for the day and any additional items). This will help your luggage stay organised and make it easier to unpack at the hotel.
Getting Around & Staying Healthy
Before you even land, you should already have an idea of the destinations on your schedule. Make an effort to research the modes of transportation you have at your disposal.
For example, in some cities, you may be able to rent a bike. Other times, the distance might be close enough to walk. In some cases, you could also take the public transportation system and explore a bit more of the area.
Don’t just default to hiring an Uber or taking a rental car — your other options for getting around can help you stay healthy and save money at the same time.
Eating & Sleeping Well
If your business travel has ever taken you halfway across the world, you’re no stranger to jet lag. The moment you arrive at your hotel, it can be incredibly tempting to just sleep it off.
However, it’s better to stay awake and let yourself adjust to the current time zone and sleep at nighttime. This can help prevent you from waking at odd hours of the night.
Don’t forget to eat healthy either — keeping yourself well-fed will help your brain and body operate at peak capacity.
Socialising on the Road
Depending on how friendly your seatmates are, your flight could be a chance to practise your networking and conversation skills. Conversations with strangers are a great way to brush up on your skills for starting conversations. Asking relevant questions, active listening, and even being friendly and approachable are all ways you can do this.
If they’re not feeling particularly chatty, you can always take the time to go through your emails or messages instead. It’s a good way to kill time while also being productive.
Working While You’re Away (or at Home)
At the bare minimum, your hotel room should at least have a desk to work on. However, if you find that the area’s too cramped, the Wi-Fi is too weak, or you just can’t concentrate in the room, it’s better to find an alternative instead of wasting time trying to tough it out.
Nowadays, there are many coworking spaces available in most major cities. These spaces can also be a good option if you have to host a last-minute meeting.
Travelling for work is a bit different from leisurely travel. This guide will help you get the most out of your trip and make it a more pleasant experience.
Chapter 3: Taking Care of Yourself and Your Wellbeing
The Habits for a Healthy Corporate Traveller
Travelling while working can be tough. If you're a frequent traveller, you know the stress of packing efficiently and keeping an eye out for lost items.
Focusing on work is also difficult when your daily routine is constantly shifting, and meal planning is hard when you're eating out for every meal. This chapter will help you become a healthier traveller by focusing on habit creation and healthy choices for your corporate travel career.
Track Your Sleep
For some people, sleeping in an unfamiliar location is uncomfortable. This can be made even worse if you’re still suffering from jetlag.
A lack of sleep is going to make you fatigued and grumpy, which isn’t the condition you want to be in when you’re on a business trip. To help improve your sleep, consider using sleep tracker apps.
These apps analyse sounds, movement, heart rate, bedtime, wake time, and other data to give you an idea of your sleep quality. Most also offer tips and insights into behaviours (e.g. late-night snacking) or environmental factors (e.g. lighting, temperature) that you can adjust for better sleep.
Consider Your Daily Activity Level
The CDC recommends that adults get at least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity or 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Regular exercise improves your overall health and lowers your risk of some diseases, and that doesn’t change just because you’re on a trip.
If you’re too busy to hit up the hotel gym, try to get exercise elsewhere. You can opt to walk to close destinations, do stretches in your hotel room, take the stairs instead of an elevator, or even park in far corners of a parking lot to lengthen the walk to an entrance.
Make Healthy Eating Choices When You’re on the Road
Coffee might be your go-to when you need an extra kick of energy, but it doesn’t replace water. Your body needs water to regulate its processes, which is why you might feel fatigued or moody if you haven’t been keeping hydrated.
Similarly, buying unhealthy food can be more convenient on the road, but it means your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs. You might also find yourself missing mealtimes.
It’s important to look after your diet while on a business trip. At the very least, you can try packing healthy snacks (e.g. sandwiches, salads) for your flight. Mixed nuts and dried fruits are also a good option for the rest of your trip.
Create Healthy Habits for Your Travels
Small, gradual changes can eventually become solid habits. Here are some examples:
- On long trips, set a periodic reminder (at least once every 90 minutes) to move and stretch. Walk in the aisle or do small exercises (e.g. twirling your foot, rotating your shoulders) in your seat.
- Ration your water consumption (i.e. by 2 p.m., you should have drank six cups) for the day to ensure that you hit the minimum. You can purchase a water bottle that comes with markings that show you what you need to drink.
- Try to schedule your flights such that you get a minimum of six hours of sleep during your destination’s nighttime. If you arrive during the day, fill in your time with light exercise instead of sleeping right away.
The best way to maintain healthy travel habits is by tracking your activities and making small changes to how you travel. This section will help you build a healthier corporate travel routine and become more productive throughout your travels.
Chapter 4: Use a Checklist To Help You Focus on What’s Important
How To Smoothly Navigate Corporate Travel Like a Pro
Corporate travel can be a stressful experience. The good news is that there are things you can do to ensure that your business trip goes smoothly. Use these tips the next time you go on a business trip and you'll be surprised how much smoother your business travel experience becomes.
Travel Light: Packing Tips for Business Travel
Ask yourself: do you really need that extra suitcase for a trip that’s only going to take five days? Packing light is both a skill and an art form. Bringing unnecessary baggage is just going to burden you — you’ll have to carry more bags through the airport, sort through more junk when unpacking, and run the risk of going over the weight limit on the return trip.
Create a list of what you need before packing. Essentials should include business and casual attire, gadgets and their accessories, toiletries, and any materials needed for your trip’s objective. You can also include items that make you more comfortable, like a neck pillow or eye mask.
Also, consider buying a new suitcase if your current one doesn’t meet your needs. A lighter suitcase with more storage options can make packing much easier.
Find and Reserve a Hotel Close to Your Destination
If your hotel is close to the airport but far from every other destination you have, you’re not saving any time. Your hotel is going to be your base of operations during your trip, so you want it to be as accessible as possible.
Map out your destinations and make a list of hotels in the area. Try to consider factors like available transport options (e.g. bus or train stops), nearby businesses (e.g. restaurants, banks, etc.), and other features (e.g. jogging trails).
Prioritise Your Connections
Nonstop flights may be faster, but they do tend to be more expensive. Flight connections are a common sight in any business traveller’s life.
If you have several connecting flights, be sure to list them down and check the window of time you have in between each one. This can help you come up with a plan of action for the trip.
For example, if you only have an hour in between flights, you should focus on navigating the airport and getting through security for the connecting flight. On the other hand, if you have a good few hours, you could sit down for a meal or catch up on some work.
Get There on Time and Enjoy a Smooth Ride
While you don’t necessarily have to show up to the airport half a day early, it’s still good to have an extra few hours.
If you wait until the last second, you’ll feel rushed and stressed right out of the gate. It’s best to arrive early so you have time to deal with any unexpected problems at check-in. After you get through security, you can just relax in the boarding area and keep an ear out for flight announcements.
This is a good time to go through your itinerary again. Make sure that anything you need reserved or booked has been confirmed and that you have a clear plan of action for each day of your trip.
Stay Healthy, Safe, and Secure
COVID-19 changed a lot of aspects of corporate travel management. Many rules have been implemented in airports and local governments to stop its spread. While these rules do keep changing, the general guidelines are the same.
Always wear your mask and wash your hands frequently. Bring along your own alcohol or hand sanitiser. Limit contact with high-traffic surfaces (e.g. door handles). Wherever possible, maintain distance from other travellers.
Lastly, don’t forget documents like your proof of vaccination, medical information, and any applicable forms.
Having the right tools in place for business travel can make all the difference in whether you have an enjoyable, successful trip. Follow these tips to get you off on the right foot.
Chapter 5: Pack Up
The Best Gadgets for Executive Travellers
The best gadgets for business travellers are different from what you might look for in a personal traveller. Your gadget should be lightweight, packable, and easy to take on the go. It should also offer several functions so that it can replace other items you might need while travelling.
The best gadgets for business travellers will help you stay connected with your work, make your travel more comfortable, and even help you avoid unexpected emergencies. This list of the best tech gadgets for business travellers has been tailored to answer these needs and more. Let's take a look!
If you’re travelling to a country with a different plug standard, a travel adapter is absolutely essential. The Epicka adapter covers US, EU, UK, and AU plugs, which covers over 150 countries. It also comes with four USB ports, one USB Type-C port, and one AC socket, which allows you to charge up to six devices simultaneously.
A portable charger can make your life a lot easier when you’re working on the go, as you won’t have to worry about your devices losing battery. The Anker Powercore is a heavy-duty power bank with a 26,800 mAh capacity, enough for charging your phone several times over. It can also charge up to three devices simultaneously, which is a welcome perk if you’re travelling in a group.
To complement your portable charger, the 6-in-1 charging cable from inCharge is a great pick. Its design allows you to connect USB ports, micro-USB ports, USB Type C ports, and lightning ports to each other with just one cable, with the bonus of being portable and lightweight.
Have you ever been unfortunate enough to lose important items on a trip? Tile’s range of products is meant to mitigate that. They have a series of trackers that you can attach to just about anything — your phone, laptop, wallet, keyring, backpack, and more.
You can connect to these trackers with an app, which allows you to find your items by ringing the Tile in Bluetooth range or viewing its last known location outside of Bluetooth range.