If you’re frequently on the road for work, use these tips to make the most of your time away from home.
Business Travel Packing Tips
1. Use only carry on bags. Lugging a large suitcase through a foreign city or having your luggage lost before your destination is no way to start a business trip. Pack light to keep all your belongings in your allotted carry on bags.
2. Keep essentials packed between trips. Having extra toiletries, chargers, office supplies, and business cards already in your bag can save you time each time you travel.
3. Pack dress shirts in plastic garment bags. The plastic bags your dry cleaning is delivered in can help keep shirts from wrinkling in your suitcase.
4. Include casual clothes, not just suits. Having business-appropriate clothing is important. However, you’ll likely have time to explore your surroundings on foot and have a casual dinner one night. Packing gym clothes is also important.
5. Pack with security checkpoints in mind. Depending on where you’re traveling to, you will have to follow various security protocols. Your liquids and electronics should be easily accessible.
6. Invest in good luggage and accessories. A suitcase that is easy to pack and maneuver is worth the investment. A small digital scale that fits in a side pocket can help you avoid costly charges for a suitcase over the airline’s weight limit.
7. Pack items that help you sleep. Prioritize a pillow, headphones, or eye mask to help you sleep while at a hotel or on the plane. A good night of sleep is more important than a fourth pair of shoes.
8. Products like packing cubes can help you stay organized so you can easily find items when you need them. Each cube can hold a day’s outfits or contain a particular type of garment like evening wear or swim gear for that nighttime dip in the pool. Cubes can also keep dirty clothes sequestered from clean ones and make packing the morning of departure less chaotic!
Tips for Smooth Business Travel
9. Join rewards programs. Take advantage of your corporate travel to gain points or miles on your airline, hotel, or travel credit card of choice. You should also choose a credit card without foreign transaction fees.
10. Charge electronics before you fly. Your phone, laptop, and tablet should all have plenty of battery to help you pass time productively in the airport and on your flight. You won’t need to fight for an outlet at your gate either.
11. Use programs that speed up your travel. Check in to your flights online and print your boarding pass before heading to the airport. Apply for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry to gain access to faster-moving security and customs around the world.
12. Book non-stop flights. Layovers lengthen trips. A two-or three-hour stop mid-trip can mean spending an extra day on the road, waking up earlier than necessary, or having a suitcase that didn’t make the same transfer you did.
13. Pay for an airport lounge membership. Most airlines provide lounges with plenty of food, outlets, and quiet space for a reasonable cost. Spend your time waiting for your flight away from the hustle and bustle of everyone waiting for your flight.
14. Print important confirmation numbers. While no one likes to think about losing their phone, it is possible to run out of battery just as you need your boarding pass or confirmation number. Print your itinerary and keep a copy in each of your bags.
15. Find (or pack) healthy food. Travel is hard on your body, and you need to continue to do your job well on the road. Packing or buying healthy snacks will help you stay well while traveling.
16. Use a travel management company (TMC). TMCs can help your company save money and optimize business trip itineraries. They can also simplify expensing and other forms of record-keeping required by business travelers.
Tips for More Business Travel Fun
17. Combine business and leisure. Add a few personal days to the beginning or end of a business trip to make it a “bleisure” trip! Bleisure trips are cost-effective and can help you be at your best personally and professionally!
18. Make more time for fun. Business trips can be stressful, especially when there are multiple locations or venues to visit. Plan ahead or use a travel management company to optimize itineraries. Renting a car instead of using ride sharing apps or waiting for cabs can save a lot of time and money.
19. Skip the hotel gym but don’t skip working out! Instead of staying on hotel grounds, use your daily jog as an opportunity to explore your surroundings. Research which areas of a location are safest and consider sticking to public areas like parks. Let family members or coworkers know you plan on venturing out on your own.
20. Find workspaces that double as leisure spaces. Hotels are converting rooms into WFH spaces complete with thoughtful amenities to accommodate the remote work revolution. Perks could include discounted meals and relaxing surroundings like poolside cabanas.
21. Avoid jet lag. Jet lag can really throw a wrench in your trip, especially when traveling internationally. Trying a melatonin supplement or any one of these tips can help you overcome jet lag and better enjoy your downtime.
22. Explore your hobby. Expand your horizons by researching what connections your destination has to your favorite hobby. Maybe there’s a museum dedicated to your hobby’s history or a unique retail store devoted to selling hobby-related products and services.