The opportunity to travel for work may seem like a dream-come-true, but can often be a massive source of stress for unsuspecting travelers.
Think about it. Between catching connecting flights to fighting off feelings of boredom and isolation when flying solo, there’s more to traveling for work than meets the eye. That said, the experience can be both rewarding and exciting for those who plan ahead and know the steps to take to stay productive.
If you’ve been tasked with traveling for your job or are looking to better buckle down on your business trips, keep the following four tips in the back of your mind.
Stick to Your Schedule
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s absolutely vital that you are well aware of your schedule beforehand when it comes to catching flights, checking in and getting rides to and from the airport.
Always give yourself extra wiggle room in your schedule for unexpected delays: while you rely on others to be on time on your behalf, the responsibility to show up where you’re supposed to be falls on your shoulders. If you find yourself in a situation where your schedule gets thrown off due to a delay, don’t freak out. You can actually get compensation for delayed flights depending on your specific situation.
As an extra line of defense, also consider setting up a calendar with notifications and reminders to keep you on track, all of which can be done on any smartphone with the help of Google.
The less you have to worry about in your bag, the better. This allows you to swiftly get through airport security and leave your room with peace of mind. When you condense your luggage and pack lightly, you don’t have to constantly worry about what you might have left behind. You can always pick up small items such as toiletries at a local pharmacy or grocery store if necessary.
Sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to fit everything into a carry-on bag, but by assessing wants versus needs on your trip you can make it happen.
Sort Out Your Internet Situation
In short, you need to have a backup plan when it comes to staying connected to the Internet. For example, what happens if you need to attend a virtual meeting mid-flight and the airplane wireless is busted? What if the same situation happens in your hotel room?
For starters, make sure you have your smartphone setup for tethering as a last resort for Internet access. Also, scope out potential coffee shops and remote work spots with public Wi-Fi that can serve as places to get down to business.
Get Your Rest
It may be tempting to enjoy the local nightlife or stay out late during business trips, but again it’s crucial to stick to a schedule. Allow yourself a bit of extra time to catch some shut-eye, especially since adjusting to different hotel rooms can have an impact on your ability to fall asleep.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of sightseeing, but don’t sacrifice your sanity as a result of lost sleep. The more well-rested you are, the more you’ll be able to focus when it’s time to work.
Again, work travel can be an absolute blast if you’ve got a game-plan in terms of staying focused. With these tips and mind, you can actually enjoy your travel on the company dime instead of stress out about it.