Traveling for business is an all-encompassing enterprise these days, for the road warriors and novice business travelers alike. Many, without travel policies to work off, are on their own. That’s a good thing, because it means more opportunities to personalize your trips—but this can also be quite daunting.
Consider this your all-encompassing guide to help make business travel seamless and stress-free, from what apps and podcasts to download and shoes to wear, to what to do during downtime at the airport, how to make your hotel room feel more like home, and much more.
Read on to make the most of your next business trip, and don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest news and stories from BusinessTravel.com
Planners like to have their itineraries locked in place, but they should add flexibility when applicable. Your coworkers will appreciate it, and it could give you peace of mind should your all-important plans change.
Worrier need not be a negative label, especially if you offset your travel anxiety with structured plans. Worriers should outline clear, easy goals to hit and map out what they can and can’t control. Talk to the planners and road warriors for more advice.
Homebodies should do their best to mimic home settings on the road: Unpack right away, bring trinkets, and pack your own coffee. While travel may never be your thing entirely, the more you can personalize it to match your home preferences, the more you’ll enjoy it.
Young professionals are ambitious, but they like guidance. If you’re a rookie, poll your colleagues with more travel experience to get their thoughts on nailing a business trip. You’ll be thankful and will build confidence to tackle the next one on your own.
Adding a few tricks—such as finding off-the-beaten-path restaurants or traversing the city by bike or scooter—can break up the monotony of travel for even the most weary road warriors.
For a more in-depth breakdown of business traveler types, check out What Kind Of Business Traveler Are You?
Everything from unpacking luggage to reading an article specific to your industry can make you feel productive on a trip, so it’s a good practice to write these goals down—no matter how small—and cross them off as you complete them.
Plan a business trip around your preferences to create an environment you’re comfortable working in on the road. From hotel amenities, to rental car choice, to flight times, there’s flexibility at almost every stop of business travel.
Packing efficiently isn’t just about fitting everything into a carry-on or including the right-sized toiletries. It’s about optimizing the space to help you get the most out of your business trip.
Learn more about these helpful pre-trip protocols. Read 3 Quick Tips To Prepare For Your Next Business Trip
Being productive on the road starts with organization. Either manually or with the aid of an app, keep the details of your trip in one place. This way, when you want to know the check-out time for the hotel in reference to your departing flight, you can do so with one touch rather than two or three.
Unbridled business travelers should explore loyalty programs that work best for them. You will find you can use your travel for work to subsidize your personal vacations. Beyond credit cards and hotels, Uber, Lyft and Airbnb all now have business offerings.
There are plenty of apps on the market with both free and subscription offerings for keeping track of business travel expenses. Two apps for expensing business travel stand out in the field: Expensify and Zoho. While keeping physical receipts is still a good practice, these make tracking expenses a breeze.
Planning meetings, especially those that take place away from the office, can go a long way in easing the burden of traveling, while setting clear goals for the trip. When you return, debrief with your colleagues and chart your likes and dislikes to build up a reference for future travels.
Take a deeper dive into how to better organize your next business trip with this useful checklist: Best Practices For Managing Business Travel Without A Travel Policy
By presenting his theories and bringing on experts to discuss—and often challenge—them, entrepreneur Rich Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, levels himself with his audience. You’ll take away business advice and hear firsthand that there’s always more to learn.
What’s going on in the economy? How does it affect your business? Stay up-to-date with these quick-hit episodes that cover current events or offer retrospectives on some of the most transformative economic events in world history.
Educational and inspirational, the EntreLeadership Podcast will leave you thinking—in a good way. Take in the lessons and apply them to your everyday life. There’s more than just business here.
These are tailor-made for the business traveler. Have a short layover? Want to learn as you pack? Need a soundtrack for your morning hotel routine? Throw on an episode of TED Talks Daily and learn on the fly.
Well, the “should” can be misleading. Should you really know how a Ouija board works? Probably not, but now you’re curious, and you can find out on a spooky episode of this podcast. It’s the podcast made to defeat awkward silences.
The name says it all. Alie Ward takes a comedic approach to all the ologies, the studies of whatever you can think of. Learn about vexillology (flags), saurology (lizards), or acarology (ticks), and share the info with whomever will listen.
Learn more about these incredible podcasts, and where you can get them, with this helpful guide: 12 Must-Listen Podcasts For Your Next Business Trip
Business travelers often need to adjust on the fly in unfamiliar territories. Useful apps, therefore, play a crucial role in their work lives. Here are some common problems for business travelers and apps that provide solutions.
Check out LoungeBuddy, which enables you to see what lounges you have access to. If you have an American Express card, you can purchase time at participating lounges as well.
Download Transit, an app that charts public transportation and suggests routes in 104 cities across the United States.
Road warriors will find Expensify indispensable. Take pictures of your receipts and upload the details. It also includes integration with popular accounting programs. Expensify was named “The Best Business Travel App” by Business Insider.
With HabitMinder, you can set three fitness goals (with the free version) and track your progress hitting them each day. Goals include physical activities, like walking and stretching, to good habits, like hydrating and eating healthy.
Ready for more recommendations? Check out 14 Apps To Consider Before Your Next Business Trip
A shoe that’s made for walking and looks good with every outfit is essential for business travelers. Here are four styles to check out, all less than $150.
Easy to slip on? Check. Formal look with a casual feel? Check. Great in indoor and outdoor settings? Check. The Sperry Authentic Original expands any business traveler’s wardrobe. Get a pair and thank us later.
The Nike SB Zoom Bruin combines the comfort and cool of skate shoes with the look of something a little more formal. You’ll feel good rocking them with board shorts or jeans and a blazer. The smaller swoosh hints at the balance the sneaker giant has found with its skateboarding collection: undoubtedly Nike but a little more understated.
A shoe that comes in 23 colors is always green. That’s because the company makes one of its signature models from 100% recycled plastic bottles. It’s a 21st-century concept that you’ll love: a great looking shoe that helps the environment.
In an ironic twist, not many people associate a company built on comfort with having a great selection of shoes. But here we are. Dr. Scholl’s has a number of offerings that fit the casually formal description with the Freestep Laceup Sneaker (for men and women) standing out.
Discover more incredible footwear for your next business excursion with this in-depth guide: 12 Shoes Business Travelers Will Love
Stick to carry-on luggage. Sign up for TSA Pre-Check. Check in online rather than at the airport. And, if you don’t have TSA Pre-Check, know which security lines tend to be the longest, especially in airports where you can walk between terminals once cleared.
Staying active in the airport is relatively easy for any traveler: choose the stairs over the escalator; skip all moving walkways; if time permits, walk the length of the terminal or explore other areas of the airport.
If time constraints limit your ability to explore a city’s food and drink scene, don’t worry. More and more airports are bringing local favorites—chains and dives alike—to their terminals, allowing travelers to get their fill on the go.
While Uber and Lyft offer business plans, they aren’t always the most reliable transportation options to save on time. From airports, taxis are often the most efficient in this regard.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of essential airport tips, check out 5 Airport Tips For Business Travelers
You’ll feel organized from the start, setting the tone for the rest of your trip. Plus, getting your clothes out of your luggage early will help keep them from wrinkling and may save you time with the iron.
Nothing will make you feel at home like the smell of your favorite coffee brewing early in the morning. The routine will put your day in motion while making you feel accomplished. A bonus: Should you adventure out to sample local brews, you’ll have something to measure new flavors against.
Organizing your clothes is one important step to making your hotel feel like home. Organizing your work materials is another. By plugging in your laptop at the desk, you’ll have a ready-made workspace to turn to should you retire to your room with tasks still left to complete.
Sleeping on the road in a bustling town isn’t the easiest thing. While companies like Bose produce wireless sleepbuds that play soothing sounds, you can get a similar effect by listening to sleep-aid stations on Spotify or Pandora. Learn to set the sleep timer on your phone: In the clock app, set a timer and change “When Timer Ends” to “Stop Playing.”
Learn more useful advice on how to make your hotel room match the comforts of home with this in-depth post: 7 Hotel Tips For The Business Traveler