Travel broadens the mind and enriches the soul, but there’s a big difference between traveling for business and traveling for pleasure. For one, business travel is much less spontaneous; there’s usually a schedule to follow, an important meeting to attend, or a big event to go to. And so, preparing for a business trip requires special considerations.
To help you plan for your next business trip, we’ve put together a list of 7 helpful tips from frequent travelers.
Packing for a business trip is not the same as packing for a holiday; you can wear pretty much anything you want on vacation, but you have to dress smartly for business meetings and work functions. So, be sure to pack a pair of smart pants or a skirt, a couple of dressy tops or formal shirts, a suit, and nice shoes. It also pays to pack an elegant outfit that you can wear at events and parties. Furthermore, you should pack a spare change of clothes in your carry-on luggage as an extra precaution, just in case your checked-in luggage gets lost, or if you experience a wardrobe malfunction.
Stay in a Centrally-Located Hotel
Business trips are usually short and packed with work-related events and activities. To make the most out of your trip, stay in a centrally-located hotel. This way, you’ll be close to many of the city’s main attractions, and you won’t have trouble commuting to and from the different sites. Unfortunately, good city-center hotels can be quite expensive. So, if your trip is more than a few days long, find a short-term rental that can provide you with comfort and luxury at a more reasonable price.
Book Nonstop or Direct Flights
Work trips can sometimes feel like a chore, and the last thing you want is to spend hours in transit waiting for your connecting flight. This is why it’s best to book a nonstop flight that will take you from your departure city to your destination without any stops. The second best option would be a direct flight. Direct flights will also take you from your departure city to your destination but will make a stop elsewhere in between.
Most major airlines allow travelers to check-in online before their flights, and some will even send you a reminder email notifying you when virtual check-in is open. According to this premium economy review of cathay pacific, checking in ahead of time enables you to review all your flight details, skip the long line at the ticket counter, and speed up the luggage drop-off as you’ll be going directly to security. Most airlines will allow you to check-in online between 24 hours and 90 minutes before your flight.
Prepare for Jet lag
The difference in time zones can throw your body’s internal clock into disarray and disrupt your sleep cycle, which, in turn, will make you unable to concentrate, let alone work. Adjust your internet clock a few days before you leave by gradually shifting your sleeping and eating times to coincide with those at your destination. You should also opt for flights that will arrive during the day, and try to sleep on the plane.
Join a Frequent-Flyer Program
Frequent executives who travel regularly could benefit greatly from the significant savings and discounts offered by frequent-flyer programs. A frequent-flyer membership will award you with points each time you fly. Depending on the number of points you accumulate, you can redeem them for a free plane ticket, an upgrade to business or first class, or other rewards. But recently, there are rumors that American Airlines will remove its awards chart and shift to dynamic award pricing.
Take the Time to Explore the City
Just because you’re traveling for work reasons doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. Try to disconnect from the stresses of business and explore the new destination whenever you can. It pays to look up the hottest restaurants, pubs, sights, and attractions ahead of time so you can tailor an itinerary around your preferences and time constraints. If you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, check popular platforms such as TripAdvisor for different authentic, local experiences.
Between handling work, finding a decent hotel, and dealing with different time zones, business travel can be a tiring ordeal for many people. However, with the above expert tips in mind, you can rest assured that your next business trip will be a lot less exhausting and a lot more comfortable. One last word to the wise, the key to the success of any travel, whether it’s for business or pleasure, is to plan ahead and cover all the bases before you set foot in the airport.