Business travel is an unavoidable part of the business lifestyle. Whether you are a CEO, VP, or any other title at your company, you will undoubtedly fly across state lines to sit in dull conference rooms only to return home to leave for another 6 am flight. I know this may sound terrible but it doesn’t have to be. You can make business travel more enjoyable. Here are 10 ways you can make your next business trip a breeze.
1) Don’t Overpack
First and foremost, don’t overpack. It is easy to get carried away while packing for business travel but try to pack like you would for a weekend trip. If you stuff your suitcase full of clothes it will be hard to fit everything in the overhead compartment which makes boarding the plane more stressful than it needs to be.
Ideally, you’ll need to bring your business attire for your meetings, comfortable day and night-time clothes, undergarments, socks, a jacket, and leather and casual shoes. Don’t forget to bring the essentials such as your travel documents, first-aid kit, and some personal care products. I also make it a point to bring extra ports and batteries for my gadgets as a backup solution.
2) Upgrade Your Seat
If your company is footing the bill for your business trip, why not upgrade to a better seat? Most airlines have different levels of ticket prices depending on what kind of seat you want. You can get anything from extra legroom to flatbeds so if you are lucky enough to upgrade your airline seats, go for it!
Upgrading your airline seat can add more comfort and convenience to your business trip. You have more room to relax and enjoy the flight, as well as tackle business-related matters such as last-minute paperwork or read an inspirational or sales and marketing book without disruption. I always bring my knee support pillow for a more comfortable sleep during my trip.
3) Book Your Hotel Outside of Downtown
Relocating your hotel during business travel can greatly improve your stay. Many downtown hotels are centrally located near convention centers and airports so the location is prime, however, these places tend to be very expensive. If you have a company card, go for it. If you’re on a tighter budget or a light sleeper, book a hotel outside of downtown. It will be quieter for better sleep, and the traffic will not be as bad. You won’t have to worry about where to park or recovering your car from a tow truck pickup. Another thing to consider is renting an apartment. There are plenty of exclusively furnished apartments for rent, and they are a great choice as they come with the convenience of a hotel and the feeling of home. You’ll get high-end furnishings, housewares, and appliances, as well as all utilities included in the rent cost.
4) Download Movies or Entertainment Ahead of Time
Make sure your laptop has enough space for the movies and other entertainment you’d like to watch on your trip. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve boarded a plane looking forward to watching that movie I never had time to watch only to realize I never properly downloaded it because I didn’t have enough space for it in the first place. Before your trip, clear the amount of space you need on your devices and make sure they download correctly.
5) Indulge Yourself in a Book or Magazines
I’m not a regular reader and I don’t usually read magazines either. When I’m traveling it’s a whole other story. Traveling is tough so it gives me an excuse to crack the book I know I’ll never finish but now I’m feeling slightly more informed. That feels great on a business trip where getting things done usually doesn’t go as planned. Spilling over the pages of a beautiful magazine with a Starbucks in hand? It makes me feel like a kid again.
5) Pack Healthy Snacks
This may sound strange but you would be surprised how often people forget to pack snacks. Whether your flight is delayed or you are simply stuck in the airport for too long, there’s nothing worse than being tired and hungry only to find that the only things left at the airport are overpriced mediocre food. For this reason, I always bring healthy snacks with me just in case I run into any issues.
6) Have a Meeting at a New Location
Sometimes, the best way to have a productive meeting is by going someplace new and inspiring. A lot of people don’t think about this but instead, they just go into a conference room for hours on end without considering how awful it may look. By finding a new place that you have never been to before then you will not only have a more productive meeting, but it will also be more enjoyable overall.
You can book a meeting in a high-end restaurant with a beach or mountain view. Beautiful sceneries can inspire and encourage creative thinking. They bring a sense of freshness, a positive mindset, and a good mood, thus, reducing the stress and anxiety of the attendees.
7) Tour the City
I’m a tourist at heart so whenever I visit a new city I always try to find the local tourist hot spot or an attraction nearby that I can spend my time at. While this isn’t necessarily productive it helps me feel refreshed and ready for another day of meetings. Sometimes, it’s nice to get away from the office and just relax so getting some fresh air and exploring a city is always fun.
You can bring your professional camera and take beautiful shots of the place. This way, you’ll also have worthwhile travel memories that aren’t business-related to share with your family and friends at home
8) Eat at a Local Restaurant
I love supporting local businesses by eating at them. When it comes down to business dinners, people are always looking for something different so why not put yourself out there and try something new? You can’t go wrong with a local restaurant or food truck. If you want to make an impression then ask the concierge at your hotel where are some great places to eat. They always have the inside scoop so they should be able to help you out with knowing what’s local.
9) Catch up on Sleep
Sometimes, the only thing an attendee wants to do is go back to their room and sleep all day. I’m that way too sometimes but I enjoy attending meetings and networking at these events. If you’re tired and not feeling well, close your eyes and rest up for the next day because attending a meeting with red eyes is never a good look.
10) Talk to the Attendees One-on-One
Networking at conferences can be tough but there are ways around it. I know this may sound like something hard to do when you’re in a crowd of hundreds, but it is possible. Be sure to talk to the people sitting next to you and engage them in conversation. Get their contact information and keep in touch with them after the event has ended. If you make friends during these events then they will be attending more events in the future and you will have someone to talk to during these events.
It’s important to make the most of a conference because it helps you feel productive and refreshed. These 10 tips will help you enjoy your time at the conference but also get things done as well. By doing this, you can learn something new while rewriting what you know about how these types of events work. I hope that these tips will help you attend more conferences in the future and that they will make each one feel as productive as possible.