How to make the most of business travel
Business travel is something some of us love and some of us hate. This usually depends on our circumstances. When we are young, free and single then business travel is a great way to see the world, meet new people and experience different cultures. On the other hand, if you have a partner and a family then business travel can often take you away from the people you love.
Whatever your views on business travel, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your trip:
1. Plan in advance whenever possible
If you’re responsible for booking your own business travel arrangements then this might be something you put off until the last minute. But don’t. An efficient business trip starts way before your flights are booked.
If you know about the trip in advance then avoid sky-high prices by booking your flights as early as you can. This will also give you a chance to shop around for accommodation and stay somewhere a little more adventurous than the cookie cutter city-centre hotel.
2. Go off the beaten track
As far as we know, there are no rules that say you can’t have fun on a business trip. If you’re going to be abroad for a few days and have some free time to spend away from the office, try and book somewhere a little off the beaten track. Not only will this approach help you save money on the cost of city centre accommodation, but it will also give you the opportunity to explore an area you’ve never been to before.
3. Don’t let it affect your routine
When staying in a foreign country or even a hotel here in the UK, many business travellers simply put their lives on pause and resign themselves to a meal in the hotel restaurant and an evening in front of the TV. If anything, working away from home should mean you do more, not less with your free time.
Why not take yourself to a local restaurant and enjoy some authentic local cuisine, or stick to your usual exercise or leisure regime? After all, just because you’re in a new city, it doesn’t mean you can’t go out for a jog.
4. Stick with the same airline
You might chop and change your airline based on the price, but if you’re a frequent flyer, you should seriously consider the benefits of sticking with the same company. Free baggage, airport lounges, free upgrades, priority boarding and air miles are just a few of the advantages of becoming a loyal customer.
But blind loyalty is not always the best strategy. If a flight is significantly cheaper elsewhere then you consider whether the benefits are really worth it.
5. Don’t pick up costly bad habits
Pretty much everything you can buy at an airport is going to be significantly more expensive than it is on the high street. That includes currency, hire cars, food, drink, magazines and everything in between.
When you travel regularly, the cost of buying from airports can quickly add up. It might be more convenient, but do you really want your money to line the pockets of an already unfathomably wealthy organisation rather than your own? Simply picking up the items you need before you reach the airport (and not at the service stations, they’re just as bad!) is the sensible solution. Pro tip: if you are using a credit card, use the one that picks up miles and rewards when you points when you pay for everyday purchases so you can collect rewards even when you are on the ground.
6. Avoid jet lag if you can
If you’re a frequent flyer then you can spend a good proportion of your time blighted by jet lag and feeling less than your best. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the impact of this perennial problem.
Drinking lots of water, disinfecting everything in sight and wearing lots of layers so you can remain comfortable despite the temperature changes on board the plane will all keep you in good working order. Here are a few more tips to help.
7. Make sure you get your sleep
Sleeping in different beds is one of the many things that become more difficult the older you get. At home, you have the perfect bed size, firmness of mattress and bedtime routine. These are all things we become accustomed to, which can make it difficult to sleep when they’re not there.
While you can’t take your mattress with you, if you have a particular pillow you rely on, ear plugs or eye masks, these can all help you sleep in rooms that may be noisier or lighter than you’re used to. Essential oils can also help. Just adding a few drops of lavender or chamomile to your pillow can reduce stress and enhance sleep quality to keep you at your best.
Are you a frequent business traveller? How do you make the most of your trips away? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.