Every office needs a good planner. These are often the most reliable people and the ones we turn to when things go awry. In business travel, planners want to have everything in place before departure. While this helps with organization, it can also lead to frustration should an itinerary get disrupted.
If you’re a planner, think about these suggestions before your next trip:
- Chart options for each stop on the itinerary. Anyone traveling with you will appreciate the flexibility, and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing each plan A carries a plan B.
- Plan time to relax or explore. Literally write it into your schedule.
- Bounce ideas off the road warriors in your office. You may find they have some you hadn’t thought of that can lighten your travel.
The moniker is self-evident, although different business travelers may worry about different things: getting to flights on time, making sure the hotel room is ready prior to arrival, ensuring the trip is successful.
Worriers can borrow from planners when it comes to business travel:
- Outline clear, easy tasks for the trip, so you remain productive from point A to B.
- List things you can control for the trip and those you can’t. Having a clear picture will ease your mind, and you’ll find you control more than you realize.
- Arrive early for all activities, but provide a plan for using that extra time should it be extended—i.e., clear your inbox, update your LinkedIn, or even grab coffee for the group.
Homebodies simply don’t enjoy being away from familiar environs. If they had their way, they’d rely on email or video-conferencing to complete work “away” from the office. But sometimes, business travel is inevitable.
If you’re a homebody, consider these tips prior to heading on your way:
- Pack items that remind you of home or the office, whether it be trinkets or small pictures; consider bringing your favorite local brew of coffee.
- Set aside time during your schedule to check back in with what’s going on at home.
- Unpack upon arriving at your hotel; using the dresser and closet will make it feel like your room.
Traveling for business can be intimidating for even the most experienced travelers, let alone those heading out on their first business trip. Young professionals have a tendency to like to figure things out on their own, but a little advice can only help rookies start their careers on the right path, such as:
- Ask around before departing, especially if your coworkers travel often for work. When you return, record what you liked and didn’t like on the trip.
- Jot down goals, prioritizing small ones first, then progressively adding more comprehensive ones.
- Have a clear understanding of your budget and how to expense purchases. Staying under budget on your first (or one of your first) business trip(s) will sit well with your higher-ups.
The Road Warrior
Road warriors have business travel down, but there’s still room to learn new tricks. Changing up your routine can reinvigorate travel-weary veterans who maybe lack the vigor of younger colleagues. If you’re a happy creature of habit, then stick with what got you there. But if you’re looking for a way to spice up your business travels, read on:
- Branch out in cities you travel to often. Find off-the-beaten-path restaurants to eat at, neighborhoods you have yet to explore, or landmarks to hit.
- Explore different transportation methods: If you usually rent a car, rely instead on public transportation; bike or scooter places using ride-share options.
- Play games to keep things light, from phone apps to self-made scavenger hunts.