By Meredith Wood

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Digg
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Planning an efficient business trip can use “how to” tips. 

Most business communication can be done via email, phone or any number of communication apps and tools. But there are times when opportunities and building relationships needs to happen face-to-face. 

 

Traveling for business can be exciting and rewarding. But it’s not without its own set of concerns. Making travel arrangements, packing and getting on a plane and flying are just a few of the things you’ll need to focus on.

 

Here’s how you can get the most out of your business trip and travel efficiently.

Problems That Business Travelers Face 

Even the most seasoned travelers can run into problems that quickly turn a productive business trip into one that’s frustrating and filled with delays.

 

Some of the problems facing business travelers include:

 

  • Staying healthy. Getting sick both during your trip and when you return home is common among business travelers.

 

  • Feeling stressed. Traveling, attending meetings and almost 100% focus on work can lead to higher levels of stress.

 

  • High cost of travel. Frequent travel can be expensive and includes costs such as plane fare, accommodation and cell phone rates.

 

  • No downtime. It may seem glamorous traveling to other countries – but when it’s a trip for business there never seems to be any free time to explore and enjoy the sights.

 

Whether you’re traveling on your own or with business colleagues, planning for your trip ahead of time can alleviate some of these problems. Use these tips to learn how you can make your business trip a success.

 

Most business communication can be done via email, phone or any number of communication apps and tools. But there are times when opportunities and building relationships needs to happen face-to-face. 

 

Traveling for business can be exciting and rewarding. But it’s not without its own set of concerns. Making travel arrangements, packing and getting on a plane and flying are just a few of the things you’ll need to focus on.

 

Here’s how you can get the most out of your business trip and travel efficiently.

 

Before Traveling

It’s all in the planning. Before you travel, have everything arranged and in order. This way you’re ready for the unexpected. These tips are some of the ways that you can be prepared:

 

  • Prepare business materials.  Make sure you leave plenty of time to order extra business cards or any other business materials that you may need on your trip. 

 

  • Sign up for frequent flyer benefits. Take advantage of all of your travels by earning miles and other rewards. There are also airline-specific cards that could be a great option if you fly to the same destinations frequently. The different cards cater to different types of travel (i.e. domestic vs. international), so keep that in mind as you choose.  

 

  • Pack light. Only put into your bag what you absolutely need. If possible, have everything fit into one carry-on bag — not having to check luggage can save you time and frustration if your checked bag were to be misplaced.

 

  • Pack a wellness kit. Build a kit of wellness products to keep you healthy. This can include vitamins, supplements to boost your immunity and hand sanitizers. Consider adding a small diffuser to the kit so you can use essential oils for relaxation in your hotel room.

 

  • Plan your itinerary. Using an itinerary is going to keep your trip organized. Consider using a travel app that syncs with your work calendar to help maximize your time. Items to include in an itinerary include flight information, hotel address, nearby restaurants, business contacts, scheduled meetings and activities for your free time.

 

  • Consider cost-saving alternatives. If you are on a tighter budget, look for alternative lodging like Airbnb and transportation like ride-sharing and group shuttles.

 

  • Prepare travel documents. Have all necessary documents organized and easy to access, such as tickets, passport and driver’s license. Make photocopies of your passport and license and store them in a separate bag or pocket in case of loss or theft.

 

  • Skip the lines. You can avoid security lines by signing up for services such as Global Entry or TSA Precheck. These services let you pass by long lines and avoid the wait. You’ll also be able to get alerts about any possible flight delays or cancelations and updated weather reports.

 

  • Take the early flight. Booking flights early in the day mitigates the risk of delays or canceled flights that can keep you from getting to meetings on time. 

During Travel

Travel, whether for business or pleasure, can be challenging. You want to have a comfortable and stress-free flight that gets you there feeling none the worse for wear. It’s possible if you pay attention to these details:

 

  • Early check-in. Before you even head to the airport, check-in online. You’ll save time and the annoyance of standing in line.

 

  • Airport lounge membership. With a membership, most major airlines have a lounge where business travelers can relax away from the crowds.

 

  • Healthy snacks. Frequent flying is hard on your health. Eat right by buying or packing healthy snacks.

 

  • Sleep essentials. Bring what you need to help you sleep – earplugs, a neck pillow, headphones and an eye-mask. Even if you’re not sleeping, these items can keep you comfortable and help you relax.

 

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water can help with jet lag and make you feel more alert.

 

  • Avoid alcohol. Say no to the cocktails – drinking alcohol when flying can make you sleepy and cause dehydration.

After Arriving

After you’ve arrived at your destination, what you do and how you spend time can have a big impact not only on your productivity and efficiency but also on your well-being and health. Use these strategies to get the most out of your business trip:

  • Make time to decompress. Travel is stressful, even more so when you’re traveling long distances. Take some time to de-stress and have a few hours to yourself before you jump into any meetings.

 

  • Stay fit. Sticking to your fitness routine can keep you healthy, help with focus and productivity and reduce stress and jet lag. You can do this by scheduling your workouts into your itinerary. Using the hotel gym, walking to meetings or making time for a drop-in yoga class are all ways you can stay fit when traveling.

 

  • Keep a healthy routine. As much as possible, stick to a routine that’s healthy. Get plenty of sleep and opt for nutritious meals and snacks. Stock the hotel fridge with quick to grab snacks, such as fruit, yogurt and nuts.

 

  • Plan a ‘bleisure’ trip. A growing trend for business travelers is taking a day or more of vacation at the beginning or end of the business trip. This way you can combine business with pleasure and take advantage of already being in a great location to relax and explore the new surroundings.

Use the travel tips above to help make your business trip productive and successful. Planning ahead, packing right and focusing on what you need to stay healthy can help you streamline business travel whether you’re traveling near or far.

BIO 

Meredith Wood is the editor-in-chief at Fundera. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade, and is sought out frequently for her expertise in small business lending. Meredith’s advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, and more.