Traveling for work can be a mixed bag at the best of times.
Sure it’s exciting to see new places and tell your friends you can’t hang out because you’re working in a major European city that day. But if we’re being honest, most trips are spent sitting in terminals and board rooms stressed that you haven’t done enough preparation.
To make these trips easier to manage and much more enjoyable, we’ve put together a list of five great travel tips including ways to save money and quick packing advice for those who frequently find themselves out of town for work for the reasonable travel expensive use.
Save money on your travel expenses
Business trips aren’t cheap, as your boss probably lets you know while he flips through your expenses. It’s another question if you run your own business. If you can find a way to cut costs on them you won’t just earn good favor with the higher-ups, but make the whole trip much easier.
There are a few ways you can make your trip cheaper without sacrificing any luxuries. For example, you could use a fuel card to save a considerable amount of money when you’re frequently making long trips in the car for work. Fuel cards don’t just give you access to great discounts on your fuel but collate all your driving expenses into one easily accessible account, which will make you much more popular with the accounts department at the end of the month. If traveling by air, consider empty leg flights which some providers like Jettly offer. These are flights offered at a discount because someone else has paid for part of the journey, however the plane’s journey back would be empty..
Another option is for your business to invest in telematics systems that allow them to monitor vehicle and driver performance so that they can make changes to optimize travel costs. If you want to find the best way your business can save money on travel, take a look at iCompario to get a reliable comparison and choose the most suitable option.
Keep essentials packed between trips
If you travel for work a lot, this is a great little life hack.
Look, we know you probably leave your packing until the morning of the trip, spending the early hours running around your home looking for your travel toothbrush and best suit. It doesn’t have to be that way though, and we’re not even about to tell you to get more organized and pack light.
Okay, maybe we are in a way. But you don’t have to have everything perfectly laid out the evening before and you can get a stress-free night’s sleep. That’s unrealistic.
Keeping a separate suitcase packed with all your business trip essentials is a great little way to make sure you’re never left wanting in the hotel or boardroom. Keep your toiletries, charger, business cards, and even backup coffee (the stuff in the room never lives up to standard) in there ready for each and every trip. It’ll save you vital packing time and be a great security blanket should you miss something off your checklist.
Don’t forget to pack beyond the essentials though! You don’t want to find yourself with an hour to enjoy the pool and only have your suit on you.
Do your research
The golden rule for all traveling is ‘do your research.’
Whether it’s a quick break or six months exploring Asia, having no idea of where you’re going, what to expect, or where to find help is never a good idea. Even if you consider yourself a bit of a nomad.
Before you head out on a business trip, it helps to know the essentials. Where is the hotel? How far is the meeting from the hotel? Do I need to rent a car? Where can I grab a bite to eat before?
We’re not saying that you need to have an itinerary with everything planned out to the second. But knowing what options you have will make the trip much less stressful and give you the confidence you need to impress at the meeting. Think you’re close to a deal and want to seal it over dinner? Good thing you checked for the best restaurant in town before you left.
You’d do the research on the client or partner you’re meeting, so why not give the location the same respect.
Take a break from work
When you’re on a business trip it’s expected for you to be more business than trip and with good reason. But sometimes, after all those hours jetting across the country (and the world) it’s worth taking the time to actually enjoy your surroundings.
You might have a tight budget and an even tighter schedule, but there will always be some time and space for you to enjoy your temporary surroundings.
Schedule your meetings as early as possible so you have some time to play with before your flight. This way you won’t spend the first few days or hours on the trip entirely focused on your prep-work and can take in the sights and sounds of a new location.
If you don’t make this divide between work and play you’ll start to get burned out on business trips very quickly, which can cost you amazing opportunities in your career.
If it’s non-essential, use a video chat
Less of a tip on how to get around Milan or snag a free coffee in the airport and more one to print off and leave on your manager’s desk.
Some meetings could just be an email, and some business trips could just be a video chat.
Yes, sometimes you need that face-to-face meeting and handshake to really hash out a burgeoning deal and boost your own credibility in the company. But if remote working has taught us anything, it’s that video chats can be just as effective a means of communication.
So why not take advantage of technology and save your time and the business cost. Between the expense of traveling, accommodation, and celebrations after the meeting, it makes a big dent in your business’ outgoings to take business trips. Do you really accomplish more by being there than you would by taking an hour out of your day to drop into a quick Zoom call? Save the trip for special occasions and big moments.
Next time you’re packing your bags and setting your alarms for a business trip make sure you take a final look at these top tips. They won’t just improve your experience of the journey, but your work/life balance.