Travelling can be stressful at the best of times, let alone when travelling for business. In this scenario, you aren’t usually rewarded with a lovely beach and a cocktail waiting after the flight, and you may be worrying about that important presentation you have to give! So it’s important to keep your cool, travel light, and use your time productively in order to have a stress-free business trip.
Plan in advance
Of course, it doesn’t always end up this way, but one of the best ways to avoid stress is by planning in advance.
Make sure you have your flights sorted, any paperwork or visas in order, and all your travel documents in one place. Not only that, but getting to the airport early is a no-brainer. After all, it’s not surprising that more than 20% of people worry about airline delays or cancellations – so for a stress-free trip, get there with plenty of time to spare in case the worst happens.
Pre-pick your wardrobe
Whether it’s a two-day trip or a week-long getaway, make sure you plan your wardrobe to avoid any last-minute delays or panics when getting up on the day of travel or during your time there.
Pack light, and choose essentials that work with every scenario. Depending on your business, this could be a classic suit, a chic blazer, a classic pair of smart jeans, and proper shoes. And, of course, outfits for those evening dinners. For even more organisation, plan your outfits daily too, so when you wake all you need to do is head down for breakfast without trying on multiple things.
Always pack the essentials
Phone charger, laptop charger, pens, notepad, toiletries, money and ID – making sure all of these are packed safely in your carry-on for the duration of your travel time is essential for your trip.
Don’t go overboard on unnecessary items; just pack what you need in your immediate bag, and ensure any tech is fully charged. This will save any fumbling around in the airport for a charging point (not always the easiest to find), and enables you to keep in touch with the office before you embark and when you land. Plus, it means you can spend some time on the go working on last-minute tasks without worrying about running out of charge.
Advance check-in is a great way to start any business trip off in the right way.
Take the time to just relax, brush up on that last-minute presentation, or just read a new book to put your mind at ease ahead of the trip. If you’re travelling alone, use the extra time to enjoy a coffee and people watch, or wander around the shops. If it’s not on business time, you can use the extra hour or so to pretty much do whatever you please – just what you need before a busy few days!
Plus, not only does it give you the gift of time, but it also helps negate the potential stress of getting through check-in and security in a rush, so you have more time to focus on the job at hand.
Carry-on luggage only
Forget huge suitcases, unless you’re jetting off to the Caribbean for three weeks (which is, of course, unlikely) – choose carry-on luggage only when embarking on your business trip. Not only is it easier and lighter to transport, it also means less waiting time as you won’t have to check any bags in and wait for them on the other end.
Check with your airline prior to departure that you have the correct size for carry-on, and if the flight is set to be a busy one, make sure you get to the gate early. This really helps reduce the possibility of the overhead lockers getting too full too quickly, and carry-ons subsequently having to go into the luggage hold.
Choose productive in-flight entertainment
Forget the latest blockbuster or that binge-worthy TV series – make that in-flight entertainment productive whilst you have the opportunity.
If you’re off for a big meeting, take the time to look at that presentation with fresh eyes, or ways you can add something more valuable. Or, do some research on the country or area you’re travelling to, research the best restaurants or things to do if you have time whilst you’re there, and impress those on the other end with your new-found knowledge.
However you decide to do it and wherever you’re jetting off to, make the most of your time travelling and try to relax when you’re not working – it’s the best way to avoid unnecessary stress.