To the uninitiated, business trips can seem the ultimate work perk. Sure, the idea of a few days or weeks abroad at the expense of the company sounds like the ideal dream; however, those in the know realize that work trips are frequently plagued with logistical problems. The adage, “Never mix business with pleasure,” was perhaps never truer than when applied to business trips and trying to find a balance between personal time and work commitments can be a challenge.
Nonetheless, with a little planning and insight, you can apply hacks that will make your time away much smoother. If you find yourself frequently traveling in your job, try this short list of tips and tricks to maximize your time and make that next business trip more productive.
If you need a transfer, pre-book it
There’s nothing worse than stepping off a long flight only to be met with a busy taxi queue. If you know you’re not being picked up at the other end of your journey, consider pre-booking a private transfer or taxi to save you jostling for attention in the typical airport taxi rank melee.
Double-up on everything
If you frequently travel in your job, chances you will have forgotten your toothbrush, computer cables or mobile charger at least once on an important trip away. Rather than leaving things to chance, try having two sets of everything you need for home and away.
So, for example, have two toilet bags filled with everything you need – leave one at home and keep the other permanently in your suitcase. The same applies to anything else you need at home or on the road, e.g. chargers and cables, etc.
Pre-book airport parking
Rather than leaving things last-minute, think about planning the smaller details of your trip well in advance – including the parking arrangements at your departure airport. Options for airport parking have changed considerably in recent years with independent operators shaking up the industry and offering lower prices/improved facilities compared to the official airport parking services.
Companies like online parking specialists ParkOn offer pre-booking at over 200 airport parking lots nationwide. Short business trips frequently involve early morning flights when we’re not at our best so leave the hassles for another day – book your airport parking space well in advance for a trouble-free outward trip.
Keep a spare credit card in your suitcase
You’re far more likely to misplace your wallet or purse than you are your suitcase. Keeping a spare credit card in your luggage can be a lifesaver, particularly if you’re unlucky enough to lose your personal items or have them stolen.
Put markers on Google Maps for important places
All-too-often it’s easy to arrive at your hotel then go out straight away for a meeting – completely forgetting the directions back to your accommodation. Try putting a marker into your cell phone to allow you to find important locations quickly and easily. The same can apply to good restaurants, bars or shopping arcades – anywhere you think you might want to revisit later in your trip.
Make room for downtime while you’re away
There’s often a temptation to work every hour of the day when you’re on a business trip, taking calls or sending emails between important meetings. Most people realize non-stop work just leads to burn-out and, the truth is, you’ll perform far more effectively and productively if you give yourself regular breaks. Make a list of what you hope to achieve on each day of your trip and, when you’ve reached your goals, take some time out for some equally important R and R time.