When I co-founded STM Goods twenty years ago, I never expected long-haul travel would become such an integral part of my work life. As the business has expanded to three offices across the globe, there’s hardly a month when long-haul travel isn’t part of my schedule.
Juggling a fast-paced business, family life and monthly travel commitments is always interesting. After years of practice, I have learned how to use business travel time to maximise my productivity, rather than hinder it. After twenty years, I’ve learned a few things, and I’d love to share my top productivity hacks for the long-haul travel game.
Give yourself some time to breathe.
The outbound flight is a great time to decompress and save up the energy to hit the ground running on arrival. The return flight home is a good time to then plan and strategise what needs to be actioned post-trip.
Utilise apps to stay on top of different time zones.
The meetings don’t stop when the travel starts, and this can often mean that conference calls are stretched across several continents. Time Buddy is a helpful app to keep on top of different time zones. You can load locations and time zones of regular contacts, making it easy to schedule meetings within certain time frames.
Use a personalised travel itinerary.
TripIt is a great app that helps save time by organising an itinerary quickly and easily. Whenever a confirmation on a flight, hotel or reservation is received, just forward it to the TripIt email and it will populate a schedule.
Keep your power portable.
For long-haul flights, one top tip is to always travel with a portable power bank. It is a lifesaver and means that work can always be done, wherever. When working in transit, tethering to link devices is also effective to ensure online access on-the-go!
Make time to explore.
If time permits, utilise the hours before and after work commitments to look around the local area. Whether that’s grabbing breakfast at a local cafe or exploring a night market after the working day is done. It’s a great way to get a sense of what’s happening on the ground, which can help with building local business relationships.