Those of us that don't take business trips weekly may envy the people that travel weekly to the Golden Gate, the Big Apple, or the Sunshine State for their job. It's a win-win situation, right? Attend a meeting for a few hours in the morning, then it's off to play and explore the city, eating local cuisine or catching some rays.
Well most times it's not all that glamorous. In reality, traveling for business purposes is a lot more stressful. Planning those never-ending itineraries, booking already booked flights and packing a week's worth of suits and shoes into one rather small carry-on are just a few of the hassles associated with business trips.
We have comprised a list of five ways to make sure your next business trip is efficient and as stress free as possible.
1. Always keep a packed bag
If you are a frequent business traveler there is no better way to jump start your stress-free trip than with an already packed bag. This saves time packing, keeps everything organized, and you are always ready to go. Keep the essentials in there - your passport, extra money, toiletries, and a spare phone charger - so when you are planning the trip the night before all you have to do is throw some work (and play) clothes in there and you're set and ready to go.
2. Spend time planning your itinerary
There is nothing more stressful than not knowing exactly what you are doing and when. Spend extra time the day before your trip planning your flight, transportation, lodging and learning where the business meeting will be held. Keep a notebook or a document on your iPad with contact information for everyone attending the meeting. If your flight gets delayed or you are stuck in traffic you want to be sure you can contact someone and let them know you are running behind. After planning for business you can then plan for pleasure. Pick out a restaurant you'd like to try, a monument to visit or a museum.
3. Avoid red eye flights
I repeat, avoid red eye flights. Although sometimes it seems like you can run on "e" most of the time, business trips should not be one of those instances. Get some sleep and take a morning flight, you'll be rested when you get to your meeting and much more alert. Your colleagues, and body, will thank you!
4. Stick to a routine
Jet lag is one of those pesky business trip downers, so make sure you stick to your daily routine to ensure that it doesn't get the best of you. If you typically wake up at 6 A.M. to make an 8 A.M. meeting do the same while on your business trip. Traveling disrupts the body clock, so if you stick to your routine you will remain fresh and focused.
5. Save some time for play!
After a long grueling week of business meetings and seminars, treat yourself to some play time. Walk around the city, shop, eat the local fare and enjoy the perks of getting to work in a new city for the week. Even the most busy business person should take some me-time.
Traveling can be made into a dreaded venture. Don't let the stress of a trip ruin the discovery of a new and exciting place. Embrace the conflicts and keep an positive attitude and your trip will be a breeze!
Labels: business, business trips, meetings, planning, stress-free, travel