Traveling for work can be exciting. It offers a break from our daily routines and can often help us get out of a rut we may have been stuck in with our work, giving us a renewed interest and vigor for our job. On top of this, it often lets us see parts of the country or even the world we might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit.
If you’ve ever traveled for work, however, you know that it can also be stressful and cause a whole lot of extra worry on top of the usual weight of the job. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. With the right amount of planning and precautions, you can easily chip away at the stress of traveling for work. Today, we want to help you do just that by revealing our top tips for traveling for work. Follow these, and we think you’ll agree – your next business trip just might be the easiest one you’ve ever taken.
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Business Travel Hacks
When it comes to traveling for work, there’s plenty of room for things to go wrong, and plenty of cracks for important details to slip through. Most of us are adept at one or two of the major areas for concern, but we may not be so proficient in another area. For example, maybe you’re an ace packer and always know how to bring exactly what you need, but you’re not so great the practical management of transportation. Or perhaps you’re unbeatable at managing travel and accommodations, but you haven’t the first clue how to optimize your trip for safety.
We’ve broken down our list of tips into different categories. Browse the entire list for info on how to have the best business trip all-around or focus solely on the areas where you know you could probably stand some improvement.
Packing Tips for Your Business Trip
Constantly over- or under-packing? Always forgetting phone chargers and essential overnight gear? These are the tips for you.
1. Stick to Carry-on Bags
Whether you’re traveling by airplane, bus or train, there will usually be an option to store at least one bag in the baggage compartments, while also keeping one small bag with you in your seat. And while nine times out of ten, you’ll get the checked bag back safely, there’s always the chance that something goes wrong and your full-size bag goes missing. If this is where you packed essential travel items, this can quickly put you in a sticky situation. Avoid this possibility altogether by packing everything you need in your carry-on. This way, you ensure your trip gets off to a smooth start.
2. Keep the Essentials Packed Between Trips
Do you travel for work regularly? If so, it might be worthwhile to leave your bag halfway packed at all times. Keep things like toiletries, office supplies, extra chargers for all your electronics and business cards in your suitcase always. This will save you time whenever you pack and ensures that you’ll never forget these crucial items. All you’ll need to do is throw some clothes in the bag, and you’ll be ready to hit the road.
3. Pack Light
The more items you cram into a bag, the more difficult it becomes to find the things you actually need and the more likely it is that items will become wrinkled, tangled or damaged. Instead, try to pack only what you know you’ll need. Rather than grabbing clothes at random and hoping there will be enough outfits to get you through your trip, carefully plan every day and what you’ll be wearing. Then, pack only these items and one extra change of clothes, just in case.
4. Protect Dress Clothes
Dress clothes, particularly dress shirts, are extremely prone to wrinkling when you store them in small bags. One of the best ways to prevent this is by storing them in plastic garment bags such as the ones you receive from the dry cleaners. This way, they’ll look a little fresher and more ready for business when you put them on.
5. Don’t Forget Casual Clothes
Just as it’s important to have suits and dress clothes packed for the day, remember that you won’t want to wear these all day. Once your meetings are finished, you’ll likely want to explore your new city or hang out in your hotel room and relax. Be sure to pack casual clothes that will be more comfortable for these relaxing activities.
6. Pack for Bedtime
Nothing makes for a worse trip than the inability to sleep. If you’re tossing and turning in your hotel room all night, this will have ripple effects throughout your trip. To ensure a good night’s sleep, be sure to pack whatever items you know you’ll need to sleep soundly. This might be as simple as packing comfortable pajamas, or it might mean making room in your bag for a specific pillow or eye-mask. Whatever you need to sleep well, make sure it finds its way into your travel bag.
Logistics Tips for Your Business Trip
Once you’re packed, it’s time to deal with some of the more logistical questions that inevitably arise when traveling. For everything from staying entertained on the plane to eating along the way, here are some of our best tips for making the traveling portion of your trip the best it can be.
1. Join Rewards Programs
If this is a one-time business trip, it may not be worth the trouble of signing up for rewards programs. If you regularly find yourself traveling for work, however, it’s almost certainly worth your time and energy. Plenty of airlines, airports, hotels and credit cards offer travel rewards programs that eventually add up to all kinds of perks and benefits that can help you save money and even upgrade to better accommodations. Do a little digging, and you might be surprised what kind of programs you can uncover.
2. Charge Electronics First
Flights are often long and leave you wishing for a way to entertain yourself. Electronics are a natural way to keep yourself from being bored, but they’re only an option if you’ve kept them charged. To prevent your laptop or phone from dying halfway through the flight, make sure to charge these items directly before you leave. This will ensure maximum battery life and maximum entertainment hours.
3. Avoid Layovers
Sometimes, a layover is inevitable, and there’s no way around it. If you’re ever faced with the choice between a nonstop trip and a layover, however, always choose the nonstop flight. Layovers lengthen trips significantly and often result in long hours of essentially dead time where you can’t do much but sit and wait in a crowded airport.
4. Print Travel Documents
There’s nothing worse than taking screenshots of all your confirmation numbers and boarding passes, confident that you can simply pull out your phone to show them at every checkpoint, only to have your phone’s battery die at this crucial moment. Avoid this potential disaster by always printing out hard copies of these documents and keeping them in a secure and easily accessible pocket of your bag. This way, you can be sure they’ll be there when you need them.
5. Eat Healthily
When on the road, it can be tempting to grab whatever junk food is quick and easy and eat this to keep yourself going. But traveling is hard on the body, and eating loads of junk food only makes it harder. Try buying or packing healthy snacks instead. You’ll find that you sleep better, feel more alert and are more ready to take on the challenges of your trip when you eat this way than if you’re constantly indulging in sugary or salty snacks.
6. Beat the Jet Lag
If you’re traveling to a new time zone, the jet lag can be hard to shake. Our best tips for doing so involve avoiding both alcohol and coffee on the plane and instead drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Once you’re on the ground, be sure to adjust your watch and the clock on your phone, as this will help you psychologically adjust to the difference. From there, your best bet is to try to make it to at least 9 p.m. before you fall asleep. If you take naps or try to go to bed before then, you’ll only worsen your jet lag.
Safety Tips for Business Travelers
Worried about business travel security? You’re not alone. While the odds of anything unsafe happening on your trip are slim, it’s a worry that nonetheless creeps into many of our minds. The best way to beat this fear is to take extra precautions that further lessen the likelihood of anything going wrong along the way. With this in mind, here are our best business travel security tips.
1. Always Bring Backups
While it’s unlikely that you’ll be robbed on your trip, it’s best to be prepared for every eventuality. If someone does happen to steal your purse or wallet, the loss of credit cards and personal identification can be devastating. One of the best ways to safeguard against such an event is to carry backup credit cards and copies of your identification in a separate place from where you store your other ones. That way, even if you should get robbed, you won’t be at a total loss of these essential items.
2. Don’t Give out Personal Information
Most of us know the obvious — don’t go telling complete strangers your name, phone number and home address. But there are plenty more places where this advice applies. For example, don’t give out your hotel room number. Think about what personal information is visible on your luggage tags. If you’re traveling alone, particularly if you’re a woman, do your best not to advertise the fact that you’re by yourself. You never know who might be listening.
3. Let People Know Your Plans
A great way to stay safe while away from home is to lay out a basic itinerary ahead of time and share it with one or two close friends or family members. Then, ask them if you can check in with them every day or so. This way, they know that every day they hear from you, you’re still safe and doing well. If they go a whole day without hearing from you, on the other hand, they’re alerted to the fact that something may be wrong.
4. Stay off Social Media Until You Get Back
We know you can’t wait to post about the grand time you’re having and the beautiful view from your hotel room, but try to refrain until you get back from your trip. When you post that you’re out of town on an overnight trip, this has the potential to alert people that your home will be empty and unguarded until your return. By waiting until you’re home to gush over the trip, you avoid creating this potentially dangerous situation.
5. Secure Your Hotel Room
Whether you’re in your room or going out for the day, always leave the door locked and hang the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign from the door. As an added precaution, carry a door wedge with you in your suitcase whenever you travel. When you’re in your hotel room, wedge this beneath the closed door. Now, anyone trying to enter your room with a spare key will be unable to do so without causing a commotion and alerting you to their presence.
6. Blend In
Nothing makes a person an easier target than when they look out of place. If you seem confused, are asking for directions and look willing to trust anyone, you’ll be an easy target to take advantage of. Instead, make every effort to plot your routes ahead of time so that you won’t get lost. Try to avoid stopping and staring at the sites in a way that marks you as a tourist, unless you’re traveling in a group for safety. If you do become confused and need to look up directions, duck into a coffee shop or store to do so instead of pausing on the sidewalk.
7. Be Mindful of Traveling Companions
While this tip applies to everyone, it’s especially relevant for female employees traveling on business trips. If you’re traveling with a male co-worker who you don’t know well, remember to treat him with the same level of caution that you would treat any male stranger. It’s possible that your co-workers may see after-work hours on your trip as an opportunity to spend your time however you please, and invite you for dinner or drinks. Remember, however, that this is a business trip, and not an appropriate time to pursue romance. Avoid entering situations that could become unsafe or may make you uncomfortable altogether by keeping things professional and business-like for the duration of your trip.
Learn More About Safety Travel Solutions Today
Traveling for business often means traveling alone. And while traveling alone is something many of us do without incident, it’s also true that traveling alone raises the risks that come with traveling. This means it’s extra important to take safety precautions. Here at Towne Tracking, our solutions keep lone workers safe no matter where they’re traveling through the use of a simple app.
Using this app, employees can check in once they arrive at their location safely, and can even call for assistance at the touch of a single button. Through solutions like these, employers and employees alike can both feel a little more secure about the safety risks of traveling alone for business. Learn more about how Towne Tracking can help you on your next business trip and don’t hesitate to contact us today to get started.