10 tips to maximize your efficiency on a business trip
Forget vacation travel: the end of summer is here, and for many professionals, that means it’s time to get ready for the usual round of business trips. Unfortunately, these often high-pressure events are rapidly becoming even more stressful as geopolitical tensions are forcing airports and airlines around the world to ramp up security.
Nevertheless, it’s only logical that you want your business trips to go well. You don’t want to be stressed out and exhausted when you get to your destination, nor when you arrive back home again. And here’s the good news: you don’t have to be! The following tips will help you navigate business travel efficiently:
1. Fly with the same airline whenever possible. Using the same airline means you’ll typically depart from and arrive at the same terminal on each trip, so you’ll know your way around. That makes parking, checking in, and getting to the departure lounge a lot easier. Plus, as a great perk, you’ll rack up a bunch of frequent flyer miles!
2. Keep a separate set of toiletries you only use for business travel. Ever had that sinking feeling when you arrive at your destination, only to find out you forgot your toothpaste? The best way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to keep a separate set of toiletries just for travel. Make sure to replace anything that runs out as soon as you get back home.
3. Don’t pack prohibited items. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) maintains a list of things you can’t take on a plane because they’re considered a possible threat. Examples include scissors, razors, and aerosols. You can find a full list here (note: the different tabs list the various categories).
4. Keep your phone and laptop charged. Keep your chargers in your hand luggage, and if you notice the battery on either device getting low, plug them as soon as you’re near a power outlet.
5. Bring a change of clothing in your carry-on bag. Clumsy fellow travelers and turbulence often cause spills and stains. Even if you’re only going on a short day trip, be sure to have a change of clothing in your carry-on bag in case of emergencies.
6. Check in online. Reduce your travel time by checking in online. It’s quick, easy, and reduces the time you need to spend at the airport before your flight leaves.
7. Use an app to store the details of your trip. Apps like Passbook for iPhone allow you to store all the details of your flights, hotel reservations, and other travel arrangements on your phone for easy access,
8. Dress to get past security. Security will ask you to remove your belt and shoes, as well as anything metal. Speed up this process by wearing slip on shoes, avoiding metal accessories, and keeping your belt in your carry-on luggage until you reach your destination.
9. Use the business lounge. Regardless of how prepared and efficient you are, you’ll almost always have to spend some time at the airport. Turn long waits and delays into productive time by using the business lounge to catch up on work. Be sure to use their secure WiFi to reduce the chances of your phone or laptop getting hacked.
10. Be prepared for international travel. Make sure you have a valid passport and if necessary, a visa. Even if you plan to use your credit card for everything, bring some cash in the appropriate currency for tips and minor purchases. In addition, arrange your transport to and from the airport, the hotel, and your meeting ahead of time, for example by using a shuttle service or arranging for a car to pick you up. Finally, make sure you know where the U.S. Consulate is in case you need any help while abroad.
Business travel can be tedious and tiring. But if you keep these tips in mind, you can minimize the chance of running into problems or delays, maximize your efficiency, and greatly enhance your chances of having a successful business trip.
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