Jet-setting to a new country every other week, experiencing new and exciting cultures and never living the same day twice sounds like a dream, but the reality is far less glamourous. Between the stress of endless airport security checks, the health implications of frequent flying and living a lonely life in a hotel room, business travel can be gruelling.
With years of experience under his belt, founder of travel comparison website Compare and Choose, Alan Lynch, shares his top tips for how you can embrace life as a business traveller.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
Regardless of whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, preparation is key to a successful trip. This includes everything from what you pack to when you arrive at the airport and how you get to your hotel. For a business trip, it’s always best to pack lightly in a compact carry-on suitcase, as this will prevent any unnecessary delays at security and at the baggage carousel. When it comes to timing, you should always arrive at the airport in advance and opt for an airport transfer, rather than an Uber or taxi. Pre-booking a transfer is much more convenient than chasing down a taxi at the last minute, as you can relax knowing your ride is awaiting your arrival.
Be proactive in-flight
Whilst it’s tempting to kick back, relax and enjoy some in-flight entertainment, there are more productive ways to spend your time in transit. Everyone has those little tasks that seem to get pushed to the bottom of their to-do list and mid-flight is the perfect time to tick these off. You’ll be distraction free for hours and end, it’s the perfect opportunity to prioritise tasks that aren’t just focused on business development.
Make the most of your free time
Even if you aren’t headed to a tropical paradise, you can still take some time to explore the destination. Whether it’s organising a tasting of the local cuisine with your colleagues, immersing yourself in the country’s history at a museum, or just having some ‘you time’ at the spa, taking a step back from the business chit-chat is essential for your mental well-being.
Don’t stray from routine
Whilst it’s important to enjoy some socialising when you’re away on business, it’s important that you don’t make a habit of making unhealthy decisions. Regardless of where you are in the world, it’s important that you make a conscious effort to eat healthily and exercise, as you would at home. Adopting a morning routine is a great way to maintain some consistency when you’re travelling. Try hitting the gym first thing and don’t let yourself be tempted by the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Having some morning will-power will free up time for flexibility in the evenings.
If you’re a frequent flyer, there is no reason why you can’t maximize these air miles for personal use. If you regularly fly with the same airline and stay in the same hotel chains for business travel, you can acquire points throughout the year. These can be redeemed on personal trips, so you can treat yourself to a holiday, virtually free of charge!