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Business travel is all about efficiency. And being efficient means adopting new routines, avoiding distractions, and prioritizing your time. Carving out time to focus on key business objectives starts with improved time management, productivity, and preparation.

But it isn’t all about the grind. It’s about making the best of your business trip, which can also mean finding time to unwind during a whirlwind schedule. Take that conserved energy and pour it into a successful business trip, whether you’re attending an important event, meeting important people, or negotiating a major deal.

Consider how to use travel time effectively to make the most of your travel agenda. Well-spent personal and professional time while away can pay big dividends, even after your trip is over. Take what you learn about efficiency and tweak it for the next time for an even more successful trip.

1. Choose Better Travel

Whether you travel a lot or business travel is split evenly among several members of your team, getting off on the right travel foot often means taking off on the right flight(s). But using travel time effectively doesn’t happen by accident. An in-house travel team or travel management company brings strategy and planning into booking value-focused travel itineraries in addition to comfortable and conveniently located accommodations.

At the end of the day, ROI determines the real value of business travel. Improving ROI entails a thoughtful approach while supporting employees who travel often in their ongoing mission to deliver game-changing results.

2. Communicate with Your Team

It can be easy to feel like you are on a proverbial island when traveling alone for business. Just like when you are at the office, you’ll need to lean on colleagues and support staff when the stakes are high.

Make sure your coworkers know your business travel schedule, including any personal time you plan on taking (especially for a “bleisure” or “flexcation” style trip). That way, they’ll know not to disturb you when you’re unavailable or on personal time. You’ll also want to clarify who they should contact with questions or urgent business matters in the event you are unreachable to avoid any miscommunications or customer service snafus.

3. Pack for Any Circumstance

Your business packing list should include everything you might need during your trip, from an extra professional outfit to prescription medications. Having extras in your bag will help avoid an inconvenient trip to the dry cleaner or the drugstore.

Details matter and dressing to impress can be the difference between closing a deal or getting the dreaded “check back in six months.” Having an alternative outfit can help you feel confident if one of your other options doesn’t feel quite right.

In addition to extra outfits, consider adding these to your business travel packing list to ensure you’re comfortable, rested, and focused:

  • Quality headphones
  • Portable phone charger
  • A neck pillow
  • A personalized travel backpack
  • Travel workout gear
  • A sleep mask
  • Teeth whitening products
  • Spare shaving tools
  • Pain relief and allergy creams

4. Get to Know Your Destination

Research your business travel destination before you leave. Have a general idea of the neighborhood’s layout, how long it should take to get to your hotel from the airport, appropriate restaurants, and safe routes for outdoor exercise. Know what landmarks and tourist attractions are near your hotel or meeting venue too, in case you have an unexpected bit of time to wander around.

5. Use Technology

Let technology make your job easier on the road. Download apps, like Evernote and Slack, that give you a space to quickly jot down thoughts and communicate with your team when your laptop isn’t in front of you. Plan ahead to make sure you’re connected when you need to be, whether it’s learning how to use your phone’s hotspot, confirming high speed WiFi in the hotel room and on the flight, or adding a tablet to your employer’s phone plan. Make sure any document you may need during your trip is available via cloud-based file storage so you can access it from any device.

6. Make a To Do List

Start by writing down all the items you need to accomplish on your trip to stay on schedule at the office. Divide this large list into more specific lists you can accomplish in the small chunks of time you’ll have to yourself during flights, in the hotel room after dinner, and between meetings and other events.

7. Set Up a Work Space

Some business travelers work really well from the couch, others need the white noise of a coffee shop, and some prefer to replicate their office space in their hotel room. Make whatever space you need to be productive happen. Ideally, this is a space you can leave set up. That way, it will be waiting for you when you’re ready to work.

Hotels are accommodating the remote work revolution by setting up spaces ideal for a WFH experience while away. Choose hotels where quality food, beverage, and recreation options are on the premises so quick breaks can keep you near your workspace instead of having to go off campus to decompress.

8. Plan Working Lunches

Make your meal times, including lunch, dinner, and drinks, more productive by using them to connect with others in your destination. This could mean a client meeting, catching up with peers at your company’s second location, introducing yourself to new hires, or in person networking with online connections.

9. Take Care of Yourself

Jet lag, shifted routines, and daylong meetings can take a toll on your health, and therefore your productivity. Get enough sleep, pack healthy snacks, and fit exercise into your schedule to remain healthy during business travel. Beat jet lag or just get a better night’s sleep by avoiding too much caffeine, screen time, or heavy food.

10. Rest and Recharge

Fitting as many items as possible into your business trip may seem productive, but it can leave you feeling tired and unmotivated, especially when you get back to the office. Use business travel as a time to explore a new place and recharge, which will make you more productive in the long run. Make it easier to get to know your host city with a hotel downtown, rather than by the airport, so clearing your mind can be as easy as a quick walk to a noteworthy destination.

11. Bring a Piece of Home With You

As far as movie cliché go, the kids’ teddy bear stowed away in business travel luggage is one of the best. During times of stress, having a little reminder of what it’s all for can help ground and motivate you. Family photos or an old award could give you a little boost of calm and confidence at the moment you need it most. Packing something sentimental is great but so is something routine. Pack your favorite at-home coffee, laundry detergent, or a room scent plug-in to bring the tranquility of routine and familiarity on the road with you.

12. Get Your Mind (Temporarily) Off of Work

Many well-rounded professionals that balance work and life well find ways to quiet their minds while recharging for work. Business travel destinations can be full of opportunities to explore a hobby or engage in personal growth. Perhaps something about the area makes enjoying your hobby extra special. Maybe a museum or retail store is dedicated to your area of interest or favorite pastime. Relieve a little pressure and feel like you did something fulfilling beyond work to feel refreshed when you return to a project.

Find Out More

To find out more, please fill out the form below or call +1-716-862-7748 to contact one of our dedicated travel experts.

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