20 tips & tricks every business traveller should know!
From packing light to keeping a routine. Travelling for business is not all that glamorous as some people imagine it to be. These 20 tips can make business travel more bearable, less stressful and more productive.
- If you’re heading to a new airport, look up terminal maps, food options, shopping, and activities in case you are delayed. Some shopping or a delicious meal will keep your mind off the fact that your flight has been delayed (yet again) and will help to reduce your stress level. Bonus tip: keep an open and flexible mind and mentally prepare yourself for these situations. Life happens and it's not worth the stress, nor the headache. After all, there's nothing you can do about it, so you'd better make to most of it!
- Invest in decent noise-cancelling headphones. They are worth every penny, especially on long flights.
- Pack at least one change of clothing and a few toiletries to take with you on the plane. If your checked luggage is lost, you’ll be glad you don’t have to attend a meeting in yesterday’s clothes.
- While flying, stay hydrated, especially on long-haul flights. Buy a big water bottle after check-in (or bring your own empty flask) and ask the attendants nicely if they can refill it. Reduce or eliminate alcohol and coffee consumption. It will dehydrate you and increase jet lags. Also, your sleep will be disrupted considerably. Instead, drink a cup of chamomile tea to ease yourself to sleep.
- Make sure you have your travel information available in your carry-on or handbag beside your phone. Your phone could easily get lost or break during travel. And the other way around too. Make a digital back up (the cloud) of the important documents (passports, boarding passes, booking confirmations) so you’re covered in the event of loss or theft. Bonus tip: Download your airline’s app, so you can easily access your mobile boarding pass, gate information, and so on.
- If possible try to book with the same airline company (or within the same group) and save up your miles of every flight to enjoy perks and advantages during travelling (upgrades, etc.). Bonus tip: Use Rocketmiles.com or Agoda to book your hotel. These sites allow you to earn frequent flyer points while making a reservation.
- Book directly at the rental agencies' website instead of booking your rental car through the airline to avoid misunderstandings. And download your rental car agency’s app. Many allow you to check in online and skip the counter when you arrive. Bonus digital tip: download offline area maps beforehand or on the wifi to limit your mobile data usage/expenses.
- Invest in luggage: choose a durable piece of luggage and laptop bag. Make sure it has a lot of padding, distributes weight evenly and has sturdy wheels. For a laptop bag, we recommend a strap on the back so you can securely place your bag on top of your luggage on the telescopic handle. This will provide an easy way to carry it all at once without fumbling with different pieces of luggage.
- If possible, use only a carry-on luggage. It’s easier and you don’t need to wait for your luggage at arrivals. In addition, it will reduce the chance of losing your luggage. Bonus packing tip: if you only use a carry-on, you can roll up your clothes to save more place in order to take even more clothes with you! ;) Place your undies and socks (small garments) in a plastic ziplock bag for further luggage organization and easy access.
- Pack workout clothes: working out reduces jet lag, stress and has many other benefits for business travellers. Bonus Workout tip: Why start working out when you are at your destination? Begin your workout even before you board the plane. Walk around the terminal or up and down the plane, roll your neck and shoulder while seated or twirl your feet. Keep your blood flowing with these exercises, even when seated.
- If you are on a long flight, we recommend putting on (or bringing a set of) comfy pants, a loose shirt and a cosy sweater. You will thank us for that tip around the 3rd hour you are seated on an 8+hour flight! Besides, these days, you can find comfy clothes that are also stylish. Bonus tip: Dress in layers so you can easily adjust to the temperature switch between aeroplane and terminal.
- Make a master packing list and use it every trip to ensure you won't forget anything wherever you go. Packing Tip: Pack extra underwear. You never know what happens. So in case, you need to extend your visit, at least you have a fresh pair of knickers.
- Consume healthy food. Buy or pre-pack healthy snacks for your flight and order the vegetarian option for a light and healthy(ier) meal.
- Keep your routine. Follow your home routine on the road, as much as possible. If you are an early riser, book an early flight. Travelling is stressful as it is. Make it easier by sticking to your routine. If you work-out in the morning at home, do the same during travelling. The same counts for your bedtime routine.
- Put electronics, medication, a toothbrush and an extra pair of underwear in your carry-on bag. Bonus tip: Beware to check what kind of plug you will need for your electronics. Should you need another outlet plug, you can buy these in the airport when you arrive (or pre-order them before your flight).
- Save your room number and hotel address in your phone for easy access. Preferably in your notes app for easy access, even without wifi.
- Take pictures! It is advised to take pictures not only as personal souvenirs but as a memory support/reminder. At the airport, take a picture of the location where you parked your car. After a long-haul flight, you might not remember the place exactly. Bonus Tip: Take pictures of the outside of your hotel and any landmarks around it. It will make it easier explaining to that one taxi driver who doesn’t speak any English, where you need to go.
- Check the expiry date of your passport on time. Update it, if necessary, to avoid potential delays.
- Make sure your hotel provides free Wi-Fi, breakfast, flexible cancellation policies, airport shuttle or even a shuttle to the city centre, or other services you might need. This will also prevent you with the shock of additional, unforeseen costs at the end of your trip.
- When you are going to a lunch or dinner meeting in a foreign country, it won't hurt to check the eating etiquettes of that country. Every country has its own culture and it would be unfortunate to leave a rude impression, even if it were only by accident.
These are Summa's tips and tricks for every business traveller, provided by frequent flyers amongst our Summa colleagues. Don't forget these useful tips whenever you are on the road or in the sky. Share them with other colleagues or friends, who are travelling on regular basis. We wish you a safe flight and enjoy your trip!