By Susan Payton
Whether you’re flying across the country for a business conference or planning to work remotely on a beach in Bali, traveling can make getting work done a little stressful. Implement these best practices to ensure your business travel does more good than harm.
1. Line Up the Apps & Tools You Need
I could write an entire book on the travel apps that make my life easier, but suffice it to say there are plenty, and there’s an app for anything you could need to do on the go. Start with your travel-related apps. Hipmunk is helpful for getting notifications when a flight price goes down, and of course, every airline has its own mobile app that makes checking in at the airport stress-free.
If you’ll need to communicate with people while you’re away (especially if you’re going to be overseas), download Google Hangouts or Skype to avoid paying astronomical phone charges. And make sure you have a mobile hotspot, because, trust me: high-quality Internet is not a given anywhere in the world. If you want to keep up with your social media while traveling, download Hootsuite’s app and maybe Instagram if you want to share photos of your trip. If you’ll need to deal with your finances, look for your bank’s mobile app, as well as one for your accounting platform (I use Freshbooks).
2. Build in Exercise Time
I know that when you travel, you tend to get off of your regular schedule, but I also know how that feels: like crap. So stick to your exercise routine as best you can, and settle for less if necessary. I like to take a yoga towel so I can, at the very least, do some stretches after a long flight in the hotel room.
You’re exposed to a ton of germs when you travel, so keeping healthy needs to be a top priority. Hit the hotel gym, if only for a 10 minute walk on the treadmill. Take a dip in the pool. Get to bed early. Take your vitamins. That way, you won’t get slammed with a nasty cold when you return from your trip.
3. Pack with Your Goals in Mind
If you’ll be at a meeting shortly after your arrival, make sure everything you need for that meeting is at the ready. That means charging your laptop beforehand and putting your presentation or other files you’ll need in an easy-to-find place. You can even load up those documents toward the end of your flight so that all you have to do is open your laptop when you arrive.
Keep other things handy, too. A comb, toothbrush, and lipstick in a side pocket of your carry-on make it easy to freshen up after hours in the sky. If you’re checking a bag, consider putting a change of clothes in your carry-on just in case your bag doesn’t connect with you upon arrival (that never happens, does it?).
4. Spend Some Time Meditating
Travel in general can get a person keyed up, and if you’re headed to a high-pressure event or meeting, you might have even more anxiety. This is the easiest tip in the world, yet so few business travelers take the time to do it.
Close your eyes for a few minutes and breathe deeply. You don’t have to do it for 20 minutes if that’s too much for you. Just take some time to block out the sounds around you (including that screaming baby) and focus on what you want to achieve in today’s business endeavors. Feel free to repeat throughout your travels.
Business travel can have such a positive impact on your company, but can wreck your body and mind if you let it. These few simple practices can help you stay prepared and stress-free the next time you travel.