Many people have a romantic view of business travel. But those who actually do it often have a different experience. While it seems like the lifestyle of high-fliers, there are serious costs, such as dreadful food and all-nighters on flights.
That’s where being smart about business travel can help. Taking the intelligent approach can reduce personal costs massively, improving your health and adding convenience to your journeys to make them much more enjoyable. Here’s everything you need to know:
Streamline Your Planning With Apps
The most straightforward way to approach business travel intelligently is to streamline planning with apps. All sorts of software are available to manage your itinerary and even tell you where to go next with notifications on your phone (just in case you forget).
These apps can be particularly helpful if you’re one of those business people with a packed schedule. Many travel apps provide you with helpful information, such as how much time it’s going to take you to get from one place to another, and telling you which public transport or taxi services to use to get there in time.
Some also integrate with Google and other maps services. These provide you with an accurate picture of how rapidly you need to move between locations.
Use Storage Lockers
Another way to approach business travel intelligently is to use luggage storage. Instead of constantly checking into hotels and dumping items in rooms before rushing off to meetings, these lockers make storage significantly more convenient.
For instance, many train stations and bus terminals have locked cabinets you can use for a day or two to keep your possessions. This approach means you can arrive at your destination and immediately head to appointments without having to check in anywhere first or drag a suitcase around with you.
Analyze Travel Data
You can also streamline your business trip by analyzing travel data and observing peak times. Not traveling when it is busy can reduce stress tremendously and give you more time to look after yourself.
For example, many seasoned business professionals choose hotels close to their meetings. However, only the pros evaluate traffic to the destination.
Think about it: that hotel you want to check into might only be a mile from the meeting venue as the crows fly, but morning traffic could mean it takes an hour to get there. That’s exactly the sort of headache you don’t want.
That’s where route planning can help. Even if another hotel is further away, it still might be a better option if it avoids the traffic.
Take A Travel Pillow
Another pro tip when traveling for business is to take a travel pillow with you. These can be life savers on long flights.
As most business travelers know, traveling business class isn’t always an option (which is a shame). Fortunately, these wrap-around pillows can prevent your head from lopping uncomfortably, keeping you upright in your seat, even if you nod off.
Take Sleep Aids
Aside from a travel pillow, taking various sleep aids can also be extremely helpful. These make it easier to get some shut-eye on the flight and adjust to new time zones.
The best food is pistachios. These contain melatonin, a natural sleep hormone.
Another good option is NR. Taking this supplement in the morning might help to regulate your body clock, giving you the energy you need to adjust to the new environment.
You might also want to take earplugs. Not all airlines provide these, so having some in your pocket as a backup can be extremely helpful on the red-eye.
Learn Local Customs
Traveling in the West as a business leader feels quite generic. However, if you venture further afield, then it is a good idea to learn some of the local customers. Otherwise, your business escapades could turn into a nightmare.
Ensure you understand how business culture works in foreign countries. It is very different in Japan and the Congo than in the US or the UK. For instance, in Japan, it is customary to bow before a meeting and be deferential in your dealings. Charging in and negotiating hard might undermine any agreement.
Leverage Travel Policies
You also want to leverage travel policies in your business to maximize the effectiveness of sending yourself or other people long distances. Again, you’ll need to balance the costs and benefits of the approaches you adopt.
For example, some businesses insist that employees use a company card for travel expenses and sustainability. This enables better tracking of payments and more accountability.
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