Nothing can be more stressful for some people than business travel; it’s just not the same as taking a vacation for yourself, especially when there are so many details to keep track of including your itinerary. But with a little bit of planning, you can make your business trips feel like a vacation or at least, as easy as one:
Prepare as early as possible
Book your flight, hotel, and transportation reservations as soon as you can to avoid sold-out situations. Keep your confirmations together in your carry-on bag. If you’re traveling to an unfamiliar city, purchase a good street map it can save you time and help you determine the best mode of transportation to your hotel and appointments. Barnes & Noble offers a wide variety of maps and travel booklets to every major destination. You may also be able to download and print maps by doing a search online for your destination city’s official website.
Don’t bring more than necessary
Try not to overload your suitcase with clothing and items that you won’t need. Consider investing in a versatile, travel-friendly suit or dress and pack a more casual outfit and comfortable walking shoes to wear during the time you’re not on a business-related appointment. Check with the hotel you’re staying at to find out if they provide hairdryers. Also, don’t forget to check the weather for your travel destination to ensure you bring appropriate clothing. Weather.com provides an accurate 10-day forecast for any location in the world.
Keep a permanent supply of travel toiletries on-hand if you travel frequently
One of the more time consuming tasks of packing is putting together toiletry items and transferring your favorite shampoo and skin care items to small containers. If you find yourself traveling often, buy your favorite drugstore items and put together a toiletry package ahead of time instead of waiting until the night before a trip. Then keep it replenished and handy to throw into your suitcase the next time a trip surfaces.
Drink in Moderation
Be mindful of your alcohol intake while traveling. The drying environment of an airplane combined with alcohol’s diuretic nature can lead to dehydration and exacerbate jet lag. Save the drinks for meals with clients or the return flight and limit to one or two servings. During a business trip you want to keep your mind clear and present a professional image to colleagues, customers, and anyone else you come into contact with. Now is not a good time to party into the wee hours of the morning.
Stash Some Emergency Snacks Into Your Carry-On
You never know when a flight may be delayed, or you may arrive too late at your hotel to order room service or something from a restaurant. If there’s room, take along a few non-perishable snacks in case you need an emergency nosh: packaged nuts, dried fruit, crackers, energy bars, vegetable juice and bottled water provide protein and fiber to fill you up until you get obtain a proper meal.
Keep Receipts Together
If you need to keep track of travel expenses for company reimbursement, bring along a secure envelope or folder to keep a copy of your hotel bill and receipts for transportation, meals, and anything else you’re not paying for. Keeping receipts together will make filling out the travel and expense report much smoother and faster when you return.
If Possible, Take Time Out For Something Fun
If you have time during your schedule, try to set aside an hour to do something fun for yourself that you would do on a vacation. Think of it as a reward for accomplishing what you set out to do during your business trip. Check out a nearby tourist attraction, or relax in the hotel pool or Jacuzzi. Even strolling a park in an already familiar city can help you see things about the area that you may have never noticed before.
And don’t forget to keep your eye on the prize: a much-needed vacation thanks to the frequent flier miles that get racked up during business travel. Then you can impliment these new rules to make sure even your fun trips go as smoothly as possible.