While traveling for vacation has its stressful moments, traveling for work can be daunting. Thankfully, Caitlin offers 7 ways to have a better-organized business trip in this guest post, with the goal to create stress-free travel for you.
What’s stressful about traveling for work?
A recent study by CWT Travel pointed out the top 3 stressors on business travel. The first stress point? It’s the lost time because you can’t get any work done while on the plane or in a hotel. During all this time, your day-to-day chores at home are piling up.
The second stressor is thinking about all the unforeseen events that could delay or somehow compromise your trip. Last but not least, the third stressor is sacrificing your health and routine when away from home.
While we already brought you useful business travel tips here for insights into traveling on the job, there’s more to say on this subject, given those stress points cited above.
So let’s get to the 7 hacks for a more organized business trip that you can start to use ASAP!
1. Pack your business materials
If you’re traveling to close a deal or pitch an idea to clients, you’ll need to stay on top of all your business material, and there’s probably going to be a lot of it. So, make a checklist of all the things you need to bring with you.
The necessary materials will include:
All of which will be on your computer, so make sure you have a reliable one with a fast processor. Also, if you need presentation equipment, check with the hotel or your host in advance as to whether they have everything you’ll need at the destination. If not, then make room in your suitcase for those items too.
2. Your organized business trip: Use the in-between time wisely
As mentioned already, the fear of wasting valuable time while traveling is common among business commuters. And while you can’t function as usual on the plane, in a train station, or at a café, you can certainly take advantage of a portable Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to do a few tasks. To do so, you’ll need to pack an extra battery and a phone charger.
3. Use luggage organizers
Packing light is, of course, the cornerstone of a stress-free, organized business trip. But packing smart is also important.
Once you learn how to pack with packing cubes, you’ll probably never go back to folding clothes in your suitcase. These handy luggage organizers keep your clothes from wrinkling and your stuff logically separated. Then you’ll be able to change outfits and be ready for a meeting in minimal time.
4. Create a precise itinerary and a backup plan
The fear of being late or missing out on a work meeting can double your stress level. That’s why it’s crucial to have your agenda clear and detailed.
To start you on the right path, write down essential information, such as:
- When you’re landing
- The amount of time you need to get to the hotel
- When and where each business meeting, presentation, or social event takes place
- Distance from your hotel to each event’s location
- What time to leave the hotel to make it for your flight home
Moreover, be sure to have an emergency plan in case of flight delays, traffic jams, and similar. Find alternative flights and routes, just in case.
Always leave enough time to get there early too. You’ve come all that way and the last thing you want to stress about is if you’ll make it on time to an important event.
5. Research the destination, culture, and language
Being in a foreign country can often make anyone anxious, especially when you’re visiting in a more formal environment and need to remain professional.
In some countries, business conversation is significantly different from that of the Western world. The things that would seem normal and even expected in your part of that world, such as shaking hands, could be considered insulting in another one.
That’s why it’s always useful to do some light reading about the country’s culture and business correspondence before going away. Furthermore, learning some basic phrases of the foreign language is a sign of respect, and it will also help you to get around the city.
Speaking of getting around, although you probably won’t have much time to sightsee as it’s a job-related journey, do your best to get to know the place you’re visiting and take some time to enjoy being there. Spend any free time efficiently by researching the nearest destinations and the best roads to get to them.
6. Keep track of expenses for a more organized business trip
If this is your first business trip, ask about your firm’s policy on expenses. Make sure it is crystal clear what is the upper limit for spending.
Then collect all the receipts and keep all the biz expenses safe in one place. This way, it will be quick and easy to file an expense report as soon as you get back home.
7. Take care of your health
Somehow, our well-being ends up last on the priority list on business trips. Don’t join this club!
Instead, minimize stress by eating healthy and staying physically active, even while out of your home city or even the country. The routine, of course, won’t be the same as usual, but you can try.
Here are a few health hacks for when you’re traveling for work:
- Stretch and walk while on the plane
- Use the hotel pool, if there is one
- Go to the hotel gym
- Take a walk around the city
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat local fruits and vegetables
- Have light meals in the evening
- Adapt to local time gradually (before the travel)
- Avoid alcohol
- Get enough sleep
These days, a lot of organizations operate on a global scale, which makes traveling for work inevitable. If it’s your first company trip, it likely won’t be your last. By following the tips above, you have the chance of making it as stress-free as possible.
About today’s writer
Caitlin is a bookworm and recreational dancer. She is also a medical student in love with science in all its forms. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and the Universe, Caitlin is researching and writing about various health-related and well-being-related topics.
She is happily addicted to art in all its forms, grilled tofu, and hiking. To see what Caitlin is up to next, find her on Twitter.
What else makes for a more organized business trip?