This article is approximately a 5-minute read.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How to prepare for a business trip so that you can be productive
- What you can do on the plane to be productive
- How you can be productive after you’ve reached your destination
Let’s get into it, shall we?
Productivity Tips for the Business Traveler
When it comes to traveling, there is a decided difference between traveling for business and traveling for pleasure and leisure. Even so, just because business trips are just that - for business - frequent travelers can still make those trips as stress-free and productive as possible, all while still getting their work done.
Before embarking on a trip, there are some things a businessman should keep in mind before the trip, while traveling to the destination, and while actually at the destination.
Here are some productivity tips for business travelers.
Before the Trip
Tip 1: Keep Toiletry Items Packed
By keeping toiletries packed away and ready to go, travelers won't have to worry as much about making sure they have everything they need. This can eliminate the forehead-slapping realization that one has left his shaving cream at home and will have to hope the hotel has some available.
Keep everything you want to take with you packed away inside of a bag like a Dopp kit to grab and go when needed. In order to do this, just buy an extra set of everything and keep some in your bathroom and the rest of it in a bag by your luggage.
Tip 2: Portable Phone Chargers Are Crucial
When a businessman has an important business meeting to get to right after landing at his destination, he might not have time to run to the hotel and charge up his phone before getting there; chances are, the phone was used for emails and calls before getting to the airport, meaning the battery could be low if not dead.
Ensure that running from the airport to the conference room is simple and fast by always carrying a portable phone charger. These battery banks can plug right into the phone and keep it at top capacity all day long.
Tip 3: Book a Wi-Fi Enabled Flight
Making the most use out of your time on the plane is important. Having access to the internet while in transit is crucial if there is a desire to use that down time to catch up on work, respond to emails, work on spreadsheets, or do any other office-related tasks while enjoying the distraction-free environment of a plane ride.
When looking for a flight to take, there are options that explicitly state whether or not Wi-Fi will be available on the flight, either for free or for a price. Make sure that the flight that is chosen has this option.
Tip 4: Plan Out Any Meetings
It’s important to think about what sort of meetings and conferences you will attending before packing for the trip even begins. If the trip is a busy one - or is even just in a large city - the meetings might be spread out all over the place. When this happens, getting lost on the way to one or the next is commonplace.
Rushing around and showing up late because you didn’t know the way to a conference is unprofessional and makes a person seem ill-prepared for the task. Map out where the meetings are before arriving to find paths from the hotel and even from meeting to meeting.
Tip 5: Plan Outfits Accordingly
If a businessman has to get off of the plane and head straight to a meeting, he needs to be prepared to look the part, even if he’s been traveling all day.
It’s a good idea to find apparel that’s comfortable enough for travel, yet professional enough to look presentable on arrival. This often includes finding clothing that resists wrinkles and creases so they don’t occur while sitting down.
By planning these out ahead of time, businessmen can have some go-to business travel outfits that they can just grab and go before they leave. This will also save time on packing.
On the Plane
Tip 6: Noise-Cancelling Headphones Are a Businessman's Best Friend
You can’t expect peace and quiet wherever one goes, even on a plane. There are always going to be excitable tourists, a crying baby, or a chatty seat-neighbor who wants to talk about the family they are on their way to see or the vacation they are headed to.
Noise-canceling headphones can keep the noise out to allow better focus on work that is to be completed on the plane. Even if there is no desire to work and one simply wants to relax, noise-canceling headphones will offer plenty of silence for thinking.
Tip 7: Try to Relax
While it’s important to take care of urgent matters in downtime on a flight, it’s also important to go into a business trip with a clear head. If one's life has been too hectic where it might seem impossible to focus on work, then can be helpful to spend some time on the flight in quiet thought.
A flyer is tens of thousands of feet above the rest of the world when in a plane; he can leave his worries on the ground for a few hours, clear his head, and prepare for the busy week to come.
Tip 8: Be Sure to Eat
When stressed about work or the upcoming meetings, basic things such as eating may feel like they have to come in secondary to other aspects of traveling.
Forgetting to eat can pose more problems than just feeling hungry; when a person is hungry, it is hard to have energy to travel once he’s at the destination, and hunger makes it difficult to think about much of anything, let alone about the business that needs taken care of once they have arrived. Eat some of the food offered on the plane or bring snacks.
Tip 9: Make Lists
Sitting quietly in a plane provides plenty of time to think. If a person would rather not think about leisurely things and would instead prefer to stay on track, making lists is a good way to spend time.
Lists can be made about all of the things that need to be completed on the trip, or lists can be made about things that need to get taken care of once they get back home. In the quiet, things might come to a person that he might not think of in their day-to-day lives.
At the Destination
Tip 10: Think About the Hotel Room Carefully
When on a business trip, obviously you won't be spending every waking second in meetings and at lunches. There will be times that travelers find themselves in hotel rooms with nothing to do. Whether they hope to catch up on some work, prepare for that crucial meeting the next day or just get some rest and relaxation, having a quiet room to do that is key.
At the hotel or before you arrive, ask for a room that is on one of the higher floors--the top floor, if you can--and that is away from elevators to offer more quiet time.
Tip 11: Avoid Jet Lag by Adhering to One Time Zone
When traveling to a new place, it may seem like an exciting time to try and see the sights and enjoy the nightlife. But, at the end of the day, a man traveling for business is there for just that--business. If travelers want to be at their most productive, you may want to just stick to living in one time zone.
For instance, if they live in New York, when traveling to Los Angeles, they should still stick to back-home schedules, such as going to bed at nine and waking up early if they have to, such as at four or five. This will prevent fatigue and keep them on the top of their game, mentally and productively speaking.
Tip 12: Use City Transport
Trying to find a way around a city someone has never been to is tricky. It requires using up cell phone battery by depending on GPS, and having a dead battery in a strange place is never good.
Furthermore, in some places, driving is tough due to the traffic volume. For that reason, it's a good idea to rely on public transportation like buses, trains or even Ubers and Lyfts to get you where you need to go. It will also help to get the traveler familiar with the city he is calling home for a few days.
Tip 13: Tip the Staff
Staying at a hotel for more than a few days means travelers will be getting to know the hotel staff. Whether that means room service, the front desk or the housekeepers, get the best experience possible at your home away from home by tipping generously and being generally kind and patient. It can go a long way.
Tip 14: Enjoy Downtime
Last but not least, on this list of business travel productivity tips, it is important to stress that having a few quiet moments between meetings goes a long way. Travelers should take some time to collect their thoughts between meetings to go into the next one with a clear head.
Business trips don't always have to be stressful. There are ways for businessmen to optimize their time spent away at work to make it as close to a pleasurable trip as it can be without actually going on vacation. Hopefully these tips can set them on the right path.