10 Aug Maximising your time on a business trip

Transform those hours on the road: with a bit of preparation & some advice from our savvy travellers, you can enjoy a more productive, efficient and restful trip. Here are our tips for maximising your time on a business trip.

Before you go

List your objectives for the trip – Be specific about what you want to get out of it, people you want to meet, relationships or business opportunities to progress.

Simon Kennaugh of global manufacturer Brokk, is a regular traveller to the US, Far East and Europe. For him, preparation is key to a smooth and efficient trip: “Build in travel and transfer times from your accommodation and meetings and always leave plenty of it – delays and bad traffic are a fact of life”

Try and identify slots in your day to check email and when you might have free-time to deal with urgent requests from your office. Make a detailed schedule of where you need to be & when. Print or email this to yourself and make sure colleagues have a copy or access to your calendar.

“There’s nothing worse than wandering the streets looking for a good restaurant – especially if you’re with clients. Search TripAdvisor for restaurants close to your meetings and play it safe – filter only those with four or five stars”

At the airport

“Check in for your flight online and if you can, only take hand luggage – with wheels; even the lightest shoulder bag becomes a pain when you have carry it for hours“ Simon Kennaugh, Brokk

Avoid waiting for the car park shuttle, take a cab or share with colleagues & get dropped right at departures. Stock up with miniatures of your washbag essentials & breeze through check in & security.

If you travel to the USA regularly, the Global Entry program allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States and may save you time queueing.

Try to use the same airlines and accommodation whenever you travel and if they have a loyalty programme use it! You will often get loyalty points, enjoy the use of lounges and are more likely to be upgraded.

While you’re away

Use travel time to clear your inbox or digest all those trade press magazines you never got round to reading. If you are delayed, use the time to call family or pick up some gifts to take home.

If internal flights are cancelled, be creative and consider alternative routes or modes of transport: Taking a train or hiring a car might be a viable option.

Even if you don’t have WiFi you can draft emails to send when you are back in a hotspot. Can’t bear to be off-line? You may want to invest in a personal WIFI device to avoid charges in airports or hotels.

Call us killjoys but avoiding too much rich or carb-laden food, sugar & alcohol will help you sleep & wake up rested & ready to do business.
Don’t mind company? Sharing a two- or three-bed apartment with colleagues will save money on multiple hotel rooms; preparing a light meal to share will drive down your expenditure and a comfortable sitting room will avoid the temptation to sit in the hotel bar all night!

Businessman and woman discussing together while looking at laptop in office

Arrange to have breakfast or eat evening meals with your colleagues – set aside 30 minutes to debrief from the previous day and ensure you are all prepared for the day ahead.

Avoid a mountain of expense receipts. Free apps such as Hello Expense or Expensify will help you keep track of expenditure while on the road and scanning or photographing receipts as you go will save you time when you get back.

Sources
www.travelodium.com
https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry
http://hello-expense.android.informer.com/
https://www.expensify.com/
http://www.businessinsider.com/13-things-business-travelers-should-pack-in-a-carry-on-2013-2?op=1&IR=T
http://blog.corptrav.com/5-time-management-tips-to-maximize-business-travel

Victoria Jackson

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