Tips for business travellers in 2016

The world of business can be both fierce and competitive. Despite our many communication methods, meeting in person still remains one of the strongest ways to communicate.

shutterstock_174347726There are many other reasons why you may have to travel in relation to business. You could be attending an event, or a presenting at a conference that demands your attendance abroad.

Doing a good job can be stressful enough, but when it comes to travelling for work, further stress can be created. If it’s not the lengthy waiting times, it can be how long it actually takes you to reach your destination.

With all this, it can be easy to overlook a few simple things that can make your travelling much more relaxing and rewarding.

The following tips can help you travel in comfort, while picking up a few rewards along the way.

It pays to know the difference between non-stop and direct flights

This tip is not meant to be condescending, but it can be so easy to confuse the two when making flight bookings that you could end up travelling longer than you need to.

A direct flight may have an intermediary stop at another airport while it picks up other passengers. Although this is quicker than changing flights, it still impacts on your free time.

A non-stop flight will see the plane carry out the journey in one sitting, which isn’t only more comfortable for you, but it also takes up less of your time.

Ensure you know what rewards are available

When you fly frequently for business, it’s very easy to overlook what rewards could be available to you when you travel.

Some business people may travel long-term, and as such, should look into the airline’s frequent flyer program. Evidently, you will need to use the same airline in order to gain these rewards, but you could find yourself upgraded free-of-charge, as well as being given access to cheaper flights.

Many airlines will offer other incentives for your loyalty, so it can be worth doing a bit of research before deciding which airline you should travel with.

Try and travel light where possible

Regardless of whether you’re travelling to go on holiday, or for business, many experience that horrible feeling where they feel they’ve forgotten something.

It’s perfectly understandable that people take more than is needed when flying. However, taking additional baggage means you will be waiting in the baggage halls for some time.

Hand luggage is a much easier and quicker approach, as it can be simply taken onto the aeroplane with you.

Try and pack only what you need, and select clothes that can be mixed and matched into a number of different outfits. Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can also help you slim down your luggage.

If you’re not sure as to how much luggage you should take with you, why not come up with a checklist for each visit?

You could also invest in some scales so you can be sure that your hand luggage doesn’t go over the weight allowed.

Always look for upgrade opportunities

Many people in business may already travel business or first-class, but if you’re travelling economy, there are a few things you could do to try and get an upgrade.

Being polite and dressing smartly can do wonders for you if the economy class has sold out, as the airline will be more likely to place you on a business class flight for the price of an economy flight.

If your ticket carries a Y or B booking code, then an upgrade may be possible if you’re part of the airline’s frequent flyer program. Again, a little bit of research can help you approach the airline in the correct way, thus increasing your chances of an upgrade.

Try and book some leg space with your seat

While ‘leg space’ isn’t an additional extra you can book, booking the right kind of seat can ensure that you have a comfortable fight without feeling too cramped.

Those looking to get some additional space should aim to book seats that are situated in the front row, or on the emergency exit row. Anything within the middle will see you surrounded by other seats, therefore giving you less space.

Ensure that important documentation is backed up

The loss of a passport is nothing short of frustrating, but backing up your passports, along with other travel documents, can make ordering replacements a much easier endeavour.

Thanks to the introduction of cloud storage, services such as Google Drive and Dropbox are ideal for backing up your articles, with easy access given via a PC or app.

Save Time Queuing at the Airport

The Global Entry program is something that has been a standard with US airlines for some time, the process has since been rolled out to UK citizens, although there are criteria to meet.

This program allows for passengers to pass through security quickly, and as such, some information is required from the passenger before they are accepted.

You first need to register to apply at GOV.UK and pay £43 processing fee, if you pass the background checks you will then be directed to the Global Online Enrolment System.

A further fee of $100 will be required, along with a face-to-face interview. Although this may seem cumbersome in the first instance, it can benefit some flyers and save them time in the long run.

Ensure you don’t miss important updates

In an ideal world, all flights would leave the airport without incident. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that stop this, such as technical faults all the way through to the weather.

Ensure you download the airline’s app to receive notifications about your flight so you can plan accordingly. If you don’t have access to a smartphone, then you can visit the airline’s website, or register for email alerts.

Stay connected with business travel wi-fi

Staying connected to the internet, whilst travelling too can be tricky and a costly affair. Business Travel Wi-Fi from Tep is now available in over 80 countries. Being online 24/7 can help to make sure you keep up to date with business related communications as well as keep you abreast of all the relevant travel information for your trip.

This small daily investment can be a godsend in making your business travels as productive as possible.

Tackle the jet lag

Jet lag can leave us flustered and tired, but in some instances, it can be a state-of-mind.

As such, you should look to alter your watch, as well as the time on your smartphone, to your destination’s time before you leave. This should help your body clock adjust to your new time zone and stop any mistiming.

Invest in technology to help you unwind

While travelling can throw up a number of obstacles, it can also offer you an opportunity to unwind.

Invest in some technology that mirrors your interests. For example, avid readers could take a tablet or e-book aboard with them, whereas fans of music may want to invest in an MP3 player.

This not only helps you relax, but also helps you pass the time in a more pleasurable manner.

Make it as comfortable as you can

It can be difficult to know what kind of experience you will have when you first fly, but after a few trips you may find that there are a few ways in which you can make your journey more comfortable.

For example, you may want to take a tennis ball onto the plane, which you can roll beneath your foot, which will keep your muscles supple and your blood flowing.

You may also want to invest in a small pillow or a blindfold, pretty much anything that makes your flight more comfortable.

These tips look to help benefit you moving forwards, but the more you fly, you will find that you are able to come up with your own bespoke plan that takes the pain and stress out of flying.

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