Traveling for business is exciting, but it’s far from being easy. Sleeping on planes, dealing with delayed flights, and constantly struggling with a jet lag is unavoidable.
Now, experienced business travelers have already gone through most of these problems and learned how to overcome them effectively. But, for inexperienced travelers, this may be a serious problem that may hurt their performance and the results of their business trip.
So, what are the most common business travel issues and how to handle them?
Let’s find out!
Use Your Business Trips to Network
Your business travels are a great opportunity to connect with your business contacts and prospects and cement your business relationships. You may be able to visit a long-time business partner or even talk to a potential client face to face. This is where LinkedIn steps in. With it, you can sort your connections by their location. You can even write a status on LinkedIn, informing your contacts about where you are and inviting them to meet with you.
Conferences and seminars are also a great chance to meet authority figures in your niche. Talk to them openly and always go beyond the conference or industry topics. Your goal is to make a good impression and build stronger connections for future needs, such as a potential partnership, collaboration, or employment. Give them your email address, ask them to add you on LinkedIn, and prepare your business cards so you can exchange them with other conference attendees. Professional networking is critical for your success, as you can never know who your potential clients, partners, or employees may be.
Bring the Right Gadgets with You
As a seasoned business traveler, here is what I learned. Choosing the right gadgets will make your trips more pleasant. In addition to your smartphone, laptop, and tablet, here is a brief list of tech gadgets every business traveler should use:
- Noise canceling headphones let you get a quality sleep on a plane.
- An external battery pack with multiple USB ports so you can charge several devices at once.
- A wallet tracker that is connected with your phone and helps you find your wallet in case it goes missing.
- An extra USB or charging cable are essentials for any business trip.
It’s always a good idea to buy your tech from reliable, large tech equipment providers, as they provide exceptional customer support in multiple locations. For example, big brands like AT&T have hundreds of stores across the US and even have a store locator to help you find the nearest AT&T store. In case your tech crashes right before the presentation or you cannot check your emails from your phone, getting the instant customer support from a credible source is of paramount importance.
Prepare for Delays and Stay Connected
No matter if you’re a newbie or an experienced traveler, you will constantly encounter various unpleasant situations you didn’t plan for. For example, dealing with layovers or delayed flights may be extremely frustrating.
However, this doesn’t mean you should sit desperately at the airport or call your office to reschedule your meetings. Instead, prepare yourself for such situations ahead of time.
As you’re taking your laptop, tablet, or phone with you, greater delays give you the opportunity to complete your tasks remotely and shorten your “to-do” list waiting for you at the office. If your company uses project management tools like Basecamp, Trello, and Asana, it will be easy for you to access your urgent projects from the airport or your hotel room and start working on them. You could also upload your critical files and folders to Google Drive or any other cloud provider you’re using. Check your email regularly and use Skype or Slack to stay connected with your coworkers while waiting to feel less disconnected.
If there is no coworking space in your vicinity, you can always use Yelp and similar local business directories to find coffee shops with proper internet connections in your vicinity.
Sleep Comfortably (even if You’re at the Airport)
There are those easily adaptable people that can sleep in uncomfortable chairs at airports. They don’t even mind sleeping next to strangers. If you’re one of them, you’re golden. However, if you’re not, well, that’s a problem. Unfortunately, great flight delays are an inevitable part of every travelers’ life.
Luckily, there is still a way to turn you delayed flight to your advantage. For example, some airports offer sleeping rooms you can access for a fee. Check their availability and reserve the one on time when the need arises. This fee ranges, but it’s definitely worth the investment. Comfortable chairs, a desk for your laptop, and the isolation from crowds may help you relax and prepare for the flight properly.
The first rule of packing for a business trip is to pack light. First, checking your luggage at the airport takes time. Therefore, the larger your luggage is, the lengthier your departure and arrival process will be. You don’t want to be late for an important meeting due to such trivial problems. Second, checking large baggage can be expensive and your company will probably want to avoid such unnecessary costs. Finally, losing luggage happens, so try to reduce your packing list to the bare minimum.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Bring only a small carry-on with you. It’s light, it’s on wheels, and it will help you pack your clothes efficiently.
- As for clothing, choose neutral colors that can be easily mixed and matched.
- Shoes are the bulkiest item in your baggage, so try to stick to one or two pairs.
- Your hotel will provide stuff like a shampoo, a soap, or a conditioner. Therefore, take only those toiletries the hotel doesn’t provide.
Over to You
Business trips can be fun and relaxed, when planned properly. Whether you’re an experienced traveler or you’re just starting off, these tips may help you overcome the major business travel roadblocks. Sure, when it comes to traveling for business, there are no one-size-fits-all rules to follow. Instead, adapt these tips to your needs and preferences to avoid stress and focus on what really matters.
How do you prepare for your business travel?