Your flights are booked, your bag is packed and your itinerary is full to the brim. You just need to turn up, right? Well, that’s a good start, but there are plenty of ways to bolster your business travel, making sure you get the most from each trip. Here, we share five ways to get more bang for your business travel buck, both professionally and personally.
Business travel involves plenty of support players – think airlines, hotel chains, car hire services, credit card companies – and they’re all keen for a slice of your budget. With so many offering incentive and loyalty programs, it pays do your research. Or you could let someone else to the research for you. At Flight Centre Business Travel, dedicated Travel Managers have the industry nous and connections to secure the best rates and loyalty benefits. There are plenty of ways your loyalty could be rewarded including free upgrades, streamlined services, rewards points and VIP access. For your business, some perks might make more sense than others. Either way, the combination of groundwork and know-how adds up in the end.
Given the dynamic nature of business, it’s not always possible to plan ahead when it comes to travel, but when you do have the benefit of considered preparation, there are some great travel hacks that will boost your business trip. Where relevant, schedule flights strategically to minimise jetlag so you can hit the ground running. Pack smart, ensuring any frequently used items are easily accessible and don’t forget your chargers and a healthy stack of business cards. If you plan to work on board, download important documents in advance – a good idea even if you’re expecting access to wifi. This doesn’t always pan out. Speaking of downloads, is your global roaming sorted? You might also want to update your phone with any relevant business and travel apps? (You know, the ones you had to delete after the last trip to free up some storage space!)
Talk to strangers
Business travel is a fantastic source of genuine networking opportunities. It takes a little effort, especially if you consider yourself an introvert, but it gets easier with practice. Here are a few simple tricks: strike up a conversation with the traveller next to you on your flight; arrive early to business events and use the spare time to meet others; never eat alone, instead aim to convert every meal into a new connection. Still struggling to make the first move? Why not make a game of it. A two-night trip requires two new contacts, for example. Build from there and before you know it, you’ll need a new Rolodex (a truly dated reference, to be sure, but you catch the drift).
Business travel removes you from the comfort of a regular routine. A new sleeping environment, unfamiliar meals habits, the demands of new people and surroundings – the shift can leave you feeling drained. You can help sustain your productivity by maintaining some consistency. Start every day with coffee and a newspaper? Do the same on the road. Exercise at home? Make it a priority while you’re away. For lengthy trips, book accommodation with kitchen facilities to keep meals – and your mind – fresh. Simple touches can make a big difference.
Take a break
Travel can be stressful, and business travel can be particularly demanding. Be sure to take time to relax, even if it’s just a moment between meetings to take stock. Better yet, take the time to absorb the city you’re visiting, especially if you’re a first-timer. If your schedule allows, tack on an extra day or a weekend and do your destination a little more justice. This will help you refresh and return to the office inspired. It’s a win-win.
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