It’s no wonder that travelling can be a stressful affair when you have to contend with huge waiting lines at the airport, long flights and other general discomforts for a work trip. If you are unfamiliar with your destination, even simple tasks such as finding good restaurants, gyms and entertainment can be a chore. With that in mind, we bring you ten of the best tips to help you make the most out of your working day and have some time to left over to sit back and enjoy the experience of business travel.
Double book flights for important trips
If missing out on a meeting or event is not an option, it may be a good idea to double book your flight for added security in case a flight is delayed or cancelled. Do this by purchasing a fully refundable ticket from a different airline but be sure to double check the airline’s terms and conditions in order to make your claim once you have successfully boarded your intended flight. Most airlines offer fully refundable tickets to passengers who fly business class.
A good way of making sure you have all your essentials in the event your luggage gets lost in transit is to pack a carry-on bag. Include your valuables, clothing and toiletries and medicines if you have any; to make room for crucial items you can skimp on things that can be bought easily at your destination. It helps to choose the right hand luggage that fits the airline’s specifications and to double check how much your bags weigh so that you won’t end up having to check them in.
Arrange your mode of transport in prior to the trip
Chauffeured airport transfers are an excellent way of getting around efficiently and will impress your clients at the same time. It is reassuring to have a pre-arranged limo smoothly take you from airport to hotel in comfort with none of the stress of having to wait for your pick up or wonder if your driver knows where he or she is going. Professional chauffeurs are often friendly, knowledgeable about the local area and are more than happy to assist you in whatever way they can.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle on the move
Staying healthy is even more of a challenge when you are out of your usual environment but by eating and sleeping properly, you will be better equipped to tackle your working day. Arrive refreshed at your destination by maintaining your routine as best as you can – eat, sleep and brush your teeth at the same time you normally would and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water during the flight. On arrival, keep up your healthy habits by preparing healthy snacks such as fruit and yoghurt to carry with you and avoid excessive alcohol and heavy foods. It doesn’t hurt to take a dose of multivitamins to ensure you get all the nutrients you need to power on.
Prepare for any potential or existing health issues
According to a government health agency, there is a 50% that overseas travellers will experience a travel-related illness the most common of which is gastrointestinal infection. For this reason it is best to avoid poorly prepared or raw foods such as milk and uncooked eggs as well as untreated water if you are unsure of the hygiene standards of the place you are visiting. For other medical issues you may have, it is handy to check in with your GP before you travel and obtain all the necessary medications and prescriptions beforehand. Also have a medical check up and find out the closest place for you to get medical attention before you leave.
Use the concierge
Hotel concierges are extremely useful for anything from directing you to the best spas and salons in the area to helping you find the local gym. The concierge at luxury hotels like the Four Seasons or Westin has extensive contacts with top restaurants and can often arrange last minute reservations for you not to mention a better table than you may be able to get yourself.
Make use of technology
There are many handy apps and websites that can make travel a whole lot easier. Try Flightstats.com to check the status of your flight, Tripit, an all-in-one travel organiser and Translate. You can check online reviews to scout local gems or use maps on your smart phone to explore someplace new. To keep track of finances, download a currency converter app.
Learn the local lingo
It’s important to know the basics of the local language if you’re visiting a non-English speaking place. Not only will you be more respected for making an effort, learning a few key phrases such as “please”, “thank you” and “where is…” will help you get assistance if you find yourself on your own without a translator. Brush up on the local etiquette, culture and laws to avoid causing offence especially at business meetings.
Arrange for internet and phone access
For the modern business traveller, steady internet and phone access is crucial to productivity. In more metropolitan places it can be easy to find free wifi hotspots but consider buying an international data plan to ensure that you always have access. Negotiate with your mobile service provider to establish rates as they may be able to set up a deal for you which will save both time and money. You will have the advantage of having an internet connection no matter where you are. If you are unable to obtain a wireless connection, check with your hotel to see if they offer a wired option or have workstations available for rent.
Track your expenses
Having to put together an expense report after an exhausting business trip can be fairly unpleasant especially if you are inputting them by hand. Try using an automated expense app such as Concur Travel & Expense will save you the hassle of gathering bits of travel papers and receipts for your report. Other similar apps include Trip Boss which is an expense and budget travel manager with tip and currency calculators and XpenseTracker which features a mileage tracker, both available on iTunes.