Sounds like heaven: travelling the world, meeting a few customers or colleagues, sleeping in the most beautiful hotels, all at the company’s expense. But as beautiful as it sounds, many business trips are sometimes not at all.
In contrast to private trips, business trips require different arrangements. While for private trips the duration of the stay usually outweighs the time of the journey, this is often the opposite for business trips. For only 1-2 hours of appointment, you travel a total of 10 hours and shall then still look reasonably presentable. Pooh.
Therefore, it is important to plan a business trip well.
Don’t despair: Here are some tips on how to make your business trips as pleasant and stress-free as possible.
Travel with hand luggage only
The size of an approved piece of hand luggage in the airplanes is usually enough to be taken care of for up to 3 days. In addition, most airlines allow you to take an extra handbag or laptop with you.
Use this space the best you can. This will save you time at the beginning and end, which you normally would need for checking in and picking up your luggage from the luggage belt.
An efficient technique for space-saving packing is the roll-up of garments. This applies to underwear, shirts and trousers. Also socks can be turned into small balls and put into shoes. This way you can take advantage of even the smallest corner.
For a suit, business shirt or costume, which should arrive at its destination as crease-free as possible, you can take a clothing bag with you, which you can carry in your hand and stow away easily in the airplane.
Tip for wrinkled garments:
Sneaky wrinkles can be removed by a very simple method: Hang the wrinkled garments on a hanger in a bathroom with a closed window and turn up hot water. Leave the hangers there for a while. The water steam smoothens the clothes without having to iron them.
Keep the most important in your suitcase
It is frustrating to forget your toothbrush or shaver, especially on spontaneous business trips. Frequent travellers therefore ought to keep some basics in their suitcases at all times. This way there are no basic things missing and you can plan your business trip easily.
Put liquids and technics on top
Stow the plastic bag with liquids in your luggage in a way that you can quickly take it out of your hand luggage at the security check. The same applies to a laptop or tablet. In some countries, you may also be asked to turn on your laptop. Make sure the battery is at least a little charged. Which brings us right to the next issue.
On the road
Download the airport app
Frequent flyers are usually familiar with the system by which many airports are built. With a little logic, they quickly find their way around. Nevertheless, it makes sense to download the apps of the respective airport or to get an overview on the website of the respective airport beforehand. This way you can easily find what you are looking for and don’t wander around for too long.
Use free wi-fi
Most airports also offer free Wi-Fi for a limited period of time. If your EU roaming is not valid in a country, you can still log on to the Internet and use it.
Swiftly through the security checkpoint
Nothing puts a stop to things like the security check. During rush hours, the queue is almost endless, and unorganized travellers only sort out their things on the conveyor belt. But you can avoid that.
If you have a choice, choose a line with other business travellers in it. They are more experienced and will quickly handle their things on the conveyor belt. Queues involving families or children tend to take longer.
All security checks require belts and jacket-like outerwear to be removed. Empty your pockets from metallic objects beforehand, then you will save the stress with the additional check. If you wear shoes without metallic components, with flat soles and if possible without laces for the flight, the metal detector won’t strike and the nice security gentlemen won’t be tempted to take a closer look at your shoes. Time saved again.
At some airports, however, the shoes have to be taken off completely. So to be on the safe side, come with shoes that can be put on and taken off quickly.
Tip: By the way, it is worth buying a pair of high-quality shoes for such appointments. High quality shoes can often be worn all day without becoming uncomfortable.
The ultimate tip for security control: friendliness. In case of doubt, you will always reach your destination faster. This applies especially to the airport.
In the airplane
Buy noise-cancelling headphones
The most important aspect of flying on a business trip is a comfortable environment. No matter if you want to prepare for your upcoming appointment on the plane, take a nap or just relax: the secret weapon here are noise-cancelling headphones and a sleep mask. I myself even use earplugs to treat myself to a little nap. Arriving well rested at your destination is the best preparation for the coming obligations.
Since the air in the plane can get very dry, it is important to drink a lot. Water, of course. At most airports in Europe, the Heinemann Duty Free Shops now offer 0.5l water from Christinen for 1.00€. You will find the silver packs mostly around the checkout. Avoid alcohol on board. It has a different effect up in the air and causes unnecessary sleepiness.
Get some work done
On the plane it is the perfect time for a last preparation for the appointment or for other tasks. Whether laptop, smartphone or tablet: everything that has to be done offline can be done efficiently in this time. I myself have a folder on my laptop in which I link to things that can easily be done on a business trip at that time. This saves me valuable time on the ground, which I can use in a different way. For a little sightseeing, for example.
In the train
Look for sockets
In trains there are many places that have a socket. This is convenient for working on a laptop. Usually 4 seats have a socket, in the 1st class each seat has its own socket. If you have to make a phone call while travelling, be careful not to sit in the quiet section when booking your business trip.
Find space in the bistro car
Especially irritating are overcrowded trains or train cancellations where your reservation is no longer valid in the replacement train. You can usually find some peace and space to work in the bistro car. Just order a drink and sit at a free table. You’ll see, you can often sit here for the whole trip without any problems.
During the meeting
During business lunches with your partners or customers, simply drink a lot of water when drinking alcoholic beverages. This way you can keep up with drinking, make connections and don’t have a hangover the next day.
Have snacks at hand
Having a few (healthy) snacks in your pocket is a nice thing all over. But especially if you have a busy schedule in a foreign place, a packet of nuts or a muesli bar can sometimes help. Instead of having to fall back on fast food, small snacks quickly provide energy. Make sure they are not too unhealthy or rich in sugar. Otherwise you’ll achieve the opposite: you’ll be exhausted sooner.
Do you have any more business travel tips to make them more enjoyable? Share them with us.
Also published on Medium.
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