Travel Tips For Business Travellers
Business trips can be exciting, stressful, insightful, and hectic or any combination of feelings. We have gathered the top tips for business travelers to hopefully minimize any discomfort while travelling and create a smooth and efficient trip.
- Stick With A Single Company
When possible, try to book your airline, hotel and rental car (if needed) through the same company. Bundling usually saves you money and you will collect reward points quicker to use on future travel needs.
Traveling with the same company each time will also reduce the stress of adapting to different rules, prices, etc.
- Research The Area You Are Traveling To
A quick research session can provide you with so much information about your trip and make it much more enjoyable. Do not waste your time attempting to navigate a new city while you are on a tight schedule.
If you are attending a conference hosted at a hotel, look into staying at the same location or very close by. If you must travel to a separate location or client, research the safety of the area for potential spots to avoid.
If you are unable to stay at the same location as your event, think about how you will be getting around the city.
Look for public transportation first as it is usually the cheapest option. Some public transportation is very easy to navigate while other cities have a more complex system so you will have to decide how confident you are with navigating that particular system. Looking at a map of the city’s public transportation online before you arrive will help you make that decision.
If you prefer not to use public transportation, decide if you will need a rental car or not. If you only need transportation to a couple of locations (to and from the airport, for example) then an uber or car-sharing service is a cheaper option but make sure it is offered in the city you are traveling to.
- Keep Bags Light And With You
Packing light is essential on any trip but sometimes not possible when you are traveling with kids or family members. Solo business trips are ideal for packing as light as possible.
Even though you want to pack as light as possible do not forget valuable items. Here are a few things you should think about when packing:
- Leisure Clothing – even on a business trip, you will want at least one pair to help you relax after a busy day.
- Weather-Related Clothing – is it significantly colder/hotter where you are traveling? Will it rain while you are there?
- Your Preference – if you know you get cold easily, bring a light jacket, even in the summer, for times you might get cold inside.
Really analyze what you will be doing during the trip and only pack the essentials. If you can wear a pair of dress pants or a blazer more than once, do it!
You do not want to overpack and end up with a heavy bag to lug around or worse, be forced to check your bag.
This is the ultimate business travel tip, NEVER CHECK YOUR BAG.
Besides additional travel time to check your bag and then retrieve it from baggage claim, you are risking a travellers worst nightmare – a lost bag!
If for some reason you do have to check your bag, keep a carry on with all of your essential items:
- A Change Of Clothes
- Chargers & Electronics
- Business Documents
- Identification & Money
- Invest In A Good Backpack
This goes right along with the last tip but a high-quality backpack and some professional packing skills can replace a carry-on bag altogether. Improve your travel experience by easily being able to carry everything without having to roll it through crowded streets or escalators.
Find a quality backpack made for business travellers. Make sure it has a padded pocket for laptops or tablets. Extra pockets are also good so you can easily organize your travel necessities.
The only downside is having to carry a heavy bag around instead of being able to set it down and roll it. Pack smart and light, and this will not be an issue.
- Have Money And ID Options
It is likely you will be traveling to another country for our conferences so make sure you have your passport and another form of identification just in case. We also recommend making a physical copy of your passport so you can have a form of identification on you without having to carry your passport through the city and risk damaging or losing it. Most hotels have a safe you can lock your passport in once you arrive.
Most of your travel payments will be electronic and made beforehand but you always want to have some cash on you for those few transactions that require it. Some places might not accept a debit/credit card and you will want to avoid searching for an ATM in an unfamiliar city, plus paying transaction fees for withdrawing cash.
Have some of your cash in smaller bills to use for tipping as well.
You will also need to check if the country you are traveling to accepts your home currency or if you will need to exchange it. If you need to exchange it, look up the change fees and reputable exchange locations before arriving.
Storing a backup credit card in a separate bag is also a great idea just in case you lose your purse or wallet. Do not have all of your valuables in one spot. Utilise the safe in your hotel room as mentioned above. Separate credit cards throughout your wallet, purse, carry-on or other travel bags.
- Bring Quality Travel Tech & Chargers
Any experienced traveller knows the importance of a good set of headphones. If you do not have some already, invest in a nice pair of noise-canceling headphones to drown out airplane and passenger noise.
Have a backup pair of headphones in case your original pair break or run out of juice. The backup pair does not need to be as nice as your first pair. Save money and packing space by having a small pair of earbuds you can roll-up.
It can be overwhelming trying to keep all of your devices charged and gathering each charger you will need. See if you can charge multiple devices with the same type of charger. If not, look at investing in a charger with multiple device options.
Also, look for a portable charging device to easily keep your devices running while you are on the go.
Traveling internationally, you will most likely need an adapter as well unless your devices are USB chargeable. Make sure you choose the right connection for the country you are visiting. There are adapters for multiple countries as well if your business takes you to several different locations.
- Download Apps and Content Ahead Of Time
You do not want to have to rely on a Wi-Fi connection or risk using up your data trying to download content on the go. Download any movies, podcasts or playlists that you will want while traveling before you leave your house.
Also, make sure you have any apps needed to stay connected with your family. This is not only for you, make sure your family members have the app or software set up on their devices as well. Have every family member download the app you are planning to use and do a test call before you set off on your trip.
- Stay Organised
Staying organised will help you in every aspect of business traveling. Make sure you have all of your flight, hotel and event information in one location. There are apps to help you manage this and integrate it with your calendar but if you have a physical area to write them down as well, we recommend it. If you lose your phone or the battery dies, you will still have all of this information written down.
Business trips are usually very busy so it can be hard to keep up with expense reports but this is extremely important so you do not end up footing the cost instead of your company.
Dedicate time during or immediately after your business trip to managing your expense reports. Taking photos of your receipts is a smart way to keep track of your expenses.
- Master Airport Security Checkpoints
Airport security can be the most daunting part of traveling because of the strict guidelines and long lines. Do not be one of those people anxiously checking the time every minute, worrying you might miss your flight. Give yourself enough time to get through security and do some research beforehand.
If you can, look up the airport and the average wait time for their security lines. This will help when planning how much time you need to get to the airport and get to your gate. Research the security rules for that specific airport as well. What are the rules for carry-on liquids? Will you have to take your shoes off? Is there an expedited option?
In America, flyers have the option to apply for TSA precheck. This allows you to bypass the main security line and go through less of a check at the actual airport. Applying for this must be done several weeks before your departure date so research the options for the airport you will be traveling through ahead of time.
- Stay Hydrated And Active
Staying hydrated on a plane is tricky because you do not want to have to get up and go to the bathroom very often, especially if you are in an inside seat. It is extremely important, however, because flying dehydrates you which can make jet lag even worse. Even if you are not the biggest fan of drinking water, take advantage of the in-flight drink service or set reminders to stay hydrated.
Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol while flying or match each drink you have with a glass of water to balance it out.
When you do have to get up to use the restroom, go to the one furthest from your seat so you have time to walk and stretch your legs. There are also in-flight exercises you can do to keep your blood circulating.
- Stay Wrinkle Free
While traveling for work, it is important to keep a professional appearance and nothing ruins an outfit quicker than wrinkles. It can be hard to avoid wrinkles while packing and traveling but there are a few options to eliminate them. These are tips to use if an iron is not available.
There are wrinkle-reducing products you can spray on your clothes or you can try the “shower trick”. Hang your wrinkled item on the back of the bathroom door and then turn on hot water in the shower. Leave the water running until steam starts to fill the room. You do not want to leave your clothes in the steam too long or else they can become damp but a few minutes of steam with ease the wrinkles away.
There are many other tips for business travellers but we believe these are the most important to remember to have a successful and stress-free trip. While most of these, you probably knew already or have at least thought about, we hope at least one tip or a piece of one transforms how you travel for work.
Use these tips when you are travelling to one of our upcoming events.
Which of these tips is essential for you? What other tips do you have for traveling during business trips?
Check back for other blog posts on tips for having the best conference experience, building partnerships after the conference and more.