No matter the size of your business, it’s likely you’ll have to travel at some point. There may be conferences to attend, partners to meet and clients to impress.
Whether you fly, drive or take the train, travelling for work can be exhausting and stressful. We offer tips for staying calm, collected and centred on the business at hand.
Double-check your travel and accommodation reservations a week or so before you leave, and build a comprehensive work plan around the estimated time or times of arrival and departure.
List exactly who you’ll be meeting and when, and confirm the dates and times of each meeting a couple of days beforehand. Try and avoid tight scheduling, as delays are inevitable.
Always create a concise checklist of all the business materials you’ll need, and ensure you have sufficient mobile data for the duration of the trip. If you’re travelling overseas, it may be more cost effective to buy a local SIM card. Explore your options, and where the closest retail outlet is to your point of entry or hotel.
Pack smart and pack light, especially when travelling to more than one destination. If you’re travelling by air or rail, try and fit all your clothing and gear into one bag that can easily be stowed in the overhead rack. Lost luggage is one source of stress that can easily be avoided by travelling with hand luggage only.
A frequent traveller tip is to invest in duplicates of important items – phone and laptop chargers, a toothbrush and toiletries. It’s a good idea to leave them permanently in your travel bag for the next business trip.
Tap into technology
An easy way to familiarise yourself with a new travel destination is to tap into technology. You’ll find mobile apps – such as London’s Tube Map app and New York City’s MyTransit apps – that provide real-time information and scheduling of public city transport services.
Apps like Trivago compare the best room prices at the top hotels with a swish of the fingers. Uber and Lyft unlock on-demand access to high end taxi services.
If you need to make last-minute flight reservations, make use of a smartphone app to book and pay on the move. Also, a GPS is invaluable for finding meeting locations, especially in cities that you’re not familiar with.
Expect the unexpected
Plan for the unexpected, and you’ll be well-placed to cope with all eventualities. Sometimes, flights do get cancelled or delayed, luggage does go astray or people get horribly lost in unfamiliar places.
The trick is to give yourself more than enough time to get from one destination or meeting place to another.
Whatever happens, stay calm. Anxiety isn’t helpful. When you’re in a heightened state of anxiety, you’re more likely to make poor decisions. A high level of stress is also a health risk.
Take a deep breath, focus and, with a steady mind, make use of whatever means you have at your disposal to resolve the issue.
Exercise unleashes endorphins – those feel-good chemicals that make the world around you appear tranquil and pleasant.
When travelling for business, make a concerted effort to integrate exercise into your day, whether it’s walking to the next meeting place or using a hotel’s swimming pool or gym. You’ll feel positive, confident and on top of your game.
The Workspace offers affordable, centrally located serviced offices and co-working in South Africa’s key business hubs. Our coworking facilities are especially convenient if you travel for business, allowing you to pay as you go to use comfortable, professional office facilities. For more information or to book a tour of one of our branches, call us on 0861 250 259 or contact us online.