In the best-case scenario, business travel can be inspiring and entertaining. You’ll get to meet some new people, see a new place, and enjoy some time away from the scenery to which you’ve grown accustomed.
But for most people most of the time, travel is stressful and uncomfortable. You’ll be running on a tight schedule to meet with important people for important meetings and you might be in cramped conditions dealing with unpredictable scheduling issues along the way.
Fortunately, there are some easy strategies that can help you stay comfortable while traveling for business.
The Requirements of Business Travel
Business travel can make it difficult to stay comfortable, for a few different reasons. You’ll be juggling multiple priorities at once, including:
- Maximizing personal comfort. Obviously, you want to maximize your personal comfort. But it’s not always possible to break out the pajamas and slippers while trying to preserve the image of your company.
- Staying professional. You will need to balance your personal comfort with your professional image. Even if you’re not yet meeting with an important client or partner, you could be giving other people an impression of your brand.
- Remaining on time and available. You also have to coordinate your schedule to remain on time and, potentially, available to the rest of your team. It may be tough to keep this in balance with your other priorities.
Important Tips to Follow
These tips can help you stay more comfortable as you travel for your next business trip:
- Give yourself more time (when possible). Any time you can, give yourself more time for traveling. Instead of scheduling a meeting for an hour after you land, give yourself several hours. Instead of packing everything into three days, give yourself four or five days to take care of everything. The extra space between events will reduce the potential impact of scheduling issues and unexpected delays. It will also give you more time for sleeping, bathing, eating, and just relaxing, so you can be at your best where you need to be.
- Invest in the right bags. The right bucket bag, suitcase, or other satchel can make a big difference in your traveling comfort. Not only will it allow you to look professional and stay organized, it can also help you keep all your essentials and desired items accessible throughout the trip.
- Stay organized. It takes effort and discipline to stay organized while traveling. You might have extra snacks or pain-relieving medication to improve your comfort during the trip, but if you can’t find these items when you need them, they’re essentially useless. Make sure you know where everything is at all times.
- Look for frequent traveler programs. You’re probably already aware of this tip, but you may not be taking advantage of it. Always look out for frequent traveler programs with hotel chains, airliners, and other companies you encounter along the way. If you prove yourself to be a loyal customer, you could get access to tons of free upgrades and special privileges.
- Upgrade your headphones. Whether you’re a music lover or you just like staying up to date on the latest political podcasts, you’ll be much more comfortable traveling with the right set of headphones. Higher quality headphones can give you an immersive audio experience, and if you spring for noise cancelling technology, you can also filter out unwanted noises like the roar of an engine or the snoring person next to you.
- Have a plan to stay hydrated. Inadequate hydration can make you feel miserable no matter what the other circumstances are, so it’s important to stay hydrated throughout your trip. Bring a water bottle and make it a point to drink from it consistently, while refilling it every time you get a chance.
- Give yourself backup plans. Nobody likes being caught without a charger or without essentials like toothpaste, so always have a backup plan. Bring alternative items with you and locate convenience stores near your accommodations.
- Watch what you eat (and drink). Finally, be careful what you eat and drink on the trip. The wrong choices can make you feel bloated, groggy, or totally inebriated. Limit your alcohol consumption, avoid caffeine before bed, and don’t eat too much junk food – even if it happens to be convenient. Turn to fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods instead.
Different people have different traveling styles and different preferences, so some of these tips may not work for you specifically and there may be strategies unnamed here that could make a huge difference in your traveling comfort. Make sure you experiment with different strategies and approaches until you find a combination that works well for you.