Boss Lady

11 tips for stress-free business travel

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Some people love business trips because they provide changes of workspaces and scenery, which can lead to them feeling energised and recharged. And then there are those who find business travel simply something that increases the amount of work and stress in their jobs.

From booking our plane tickets to managing packed working schedules, there are a lot of details that require careful planning and thinking. We have the chance to be away from our usual work environment and meet new contacts. However, we have to travel away from our homes and possibly be in a new time zone, and any unpredicted pressure and problem may occur along the way.

For those who are planning to have a business trip or those who have had a lot of business trips before, here are 11 useful strategies:

1. Make packing a breeze

It is best to prepare what you want to pack at least a week before the trip. In order for you to have everything you might (and might not) need, and to save time on getting them, making a packing list is always a good idea. Be comprehensive to cover all situations – you can always cull back just before you go.

2. Aim for comfort and health

To avoid extra stress and pressure, it’s crucial to enjoy the actual travelling. This means being comfortable, hasske-free and healthy. It is best to do check-ins and automate all frequent flyer numbers online. And it’s a priority to stay fit. Eat healthily before, during and after the flight. Salad, juice, fruit, veggies, and tons of water are always a good choice. Avoid alcohol – it can undermine your ability to cope with time zone changes, and your alertness.

3. Don’t check your bags

The last thing you would want to happen in your business travel is losing your bags, or anything that you take with you. So don’t check your bag if you don’t need to. It is a huge waste of time and it can get lost. Instead, maximize your space with compression sacs. To avoid checking your bag, don’t take things that you will not use on your trip. Strategise your wardrobe to make versatile pieces go from day to night with just a change of accessories. Whenever possible, do a quick hotel room wash and rinse of fast-dry items to re-wear them.

4. Expect the unexpected

Anything can happen – and often does. So leave nothing to chance when doing an important presentation. Take all connectors with you and keep contents on a flash drive as backup. Be prepared for low-tech settings. Consider every possible way to do your presentation in case the way you planned fails — including preparing a spiral bound version of your presentation if you have to (hotels are always happy to do some photocopying for you, or have printers in their business lounges). Be also prepared for high-tech settings. If you find yourself in a conference room with Apple TV, for instance, learn how to take advantage of the technology to elevate your presentation. Email ahead to find out what technology will be in the presentation room, and familiarize yourself with its basics.

5. Always keep an energy bar in your carry-on bag

You never know when you will have an over-time meeting or a delayed lunch. Always bring a snack such as an energy bar, piece of fruit or protein shake in your bag, so you won’t get hungry or be too tired to board your train to catch a conference.

6. Pick the ‘right’ security line

Sometimes, being early at the airport does not save us enough time to beat long lines. It is important to choose the best line – and it is not always the shortest one. You can choose based on the effectiveness of the personnel manning the line and the kind of travellers ahead of you. Avoid large tour groups, big families, and unconventional luggage.

7. Stay connected

When doing business trips, you want to always stay connected to be able to reply emails and respond to phone calls at all times, wherever you might be. Using a wireless USB modem is a smart choice. Another choice would be to use a local SIM card, which offers more flexibility, especially to those with a travelling budget. Take advantage of wi-fi where you can, but only if you are assured of its security. Never do banking, online shopping — or anything else that requires your credit card – on unsecured wi-fi. Ever.

8. Avoid the TV

It is never effective to turn on the TV upon entering your hotel. You are on a business trip. Hence, everything should stay on schedule and you don’t need a distraction that will lead you into wasting a couple hours watching shows on TV. Use the time instead to unwind by reading a book, having a warm shower, or returning your family/friend’s call.

9. Beat jet lag

Travelling often time means having to deal with jet lags. This can complicate business travelling even more. But it doesn’t have to. You can beat jet lag by focusing on three things: time, food and light. Time: reset your watch instantly when you take off and trick your body into believing it is in the time zone of your destination. Food: Don’t eat too much on the way to your trip destination, you will need to eat the right amount of food when you arrive. Light: Never sleep when it’s bright outside and never stay up when it’s dark.

10. Making the most of your week 

Try to make the most of your time focusing on work and mixing it with the right amount of sight-seeing. You don’t want to be overpowered by 24/7 doing work but you don’t want to use too much of your time discovering the place either. Also, break up your work team if you must. It is not professional to have too many late night drinks and hang-outs after hours, because you are still at “work”.

11. Do a post-trip recap

As soon as you get back from your trip, take the time to first clear up your things and unpack. Once you’re done, immediately recap what went wrong with the trip and think what you could do better. Then respond to unanswered emails and voice mails to catch up with what’s happening.

About Loretta Suhero

Loretta Suhero is a young writer and postgraduate journalism student who is passionate about topics related to business tips, news, modern lifestyle, fashion, and entertainment. She has experience in marketing, fashion, event management, and community blogging. Connect with her at https://au.linkedin.com/in/lorettasuhero, https://www.facebook.com/lorettasuhero, and https://twitter.com/chlorettas

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