According to Zippia, there are 1.3 million business trips taken annually around the United States. This means that more than likely on domestic trips near and far there are several business travelers on each flight. In 2022, I traveled extensively, and it took a toll on me. I am a homebody and I love home, but I had to learn quickly how to make HOME away from home.
Anyone who travels for work knows that it is not just fun and games. There is much prep work that happens before, during, and after your trip. From the prep work that happens weeks before your trip, remembering your stakeholders’ names, practicing your presentations/statistics, and don’t forget those expense reports! If we are not careful, we can get consumed and forget our personal well-being. I learned tons last year and will share some tips on what can work for you as you travel for work and business.
BUSINESS TRAVEL MUST-HAVES
BUSINESS TRAVEL TIPS:
Prepare – This is key when it comes to business travel. I think it’s easy to get carried away in our day-to-day, that we forget to plan for our trip. This helps to decrease stress while we navigate the airport and our destination. I will admit this hasn’t always been my strongest suit, but the more I prepare the less stressed I am.
The night before your trip go through your travel plans (ie. the time your flight boards and takes off, there have been times when I misread my boarding pass and thought the time my flight took off was the time I was supposed to board. Let’s just say I missed a flight last year. It’s easy to get things mixed up when you travel extensively.
Make a note of items you need to pack (ie. packing list) and go through it the night before to ensure you have everything packed.
I didn’t know how IMPORTANT luggage was until I started traveling routinely for work. This backpack I purchased over three years ago is still in good shape. I highly recommend it! You can check it out here.
2. Pick a quality hotel
Depending on your company policy, they will have a selection of preferred hotels to choose from. Keep your company policy and rules in mind and select the best for your comfort. You don’t want safety, an uncomfortable experience, or a location to throw you off. A good idea is to look at photos and photos of the surrounding area. I also like to use TripAdvisor to get honest reviews from travelers.
You don’t have to be someone who exercises regularly to implement this in your schedule. There are so many benefits of exercise and getting steps in or doing a strength workout can do wonders for your mental health. It can also help you get your mind off of any meetings or presentations that you might have. If you are anything like me, presenting can take a lot out of you.
Research the hotel you have selected or are interested in and see how their gyms are. I know we can’t always be picky, but I like knowing there is a peloton in the hotel I’m staying at. You can check out this website that has a list of hotels that have a Peleton (some even have the option of having a peloton in your room!)
4. Take Photos of Your Receipts
When you get back home the last thing you want to do is try and find all your receipts from your work trip. A great tip is to take a photo of your receipt after you receive it. Some apps like Concur have an option where you can upload it right to the app. It will save you time and the headache when you need to complete your expense report.
5. Get Out of Your Room
I know it’s easy to stay in your room and it makes sense after a hard day. It’s nice to find community when you travel while you are away from your loved ones. Whether that is people watching at the hotel bar, sparking a conversation with a stranger or heading to a local coffee shop, it’s good to get out when you can!
6. Stick to Your Routines
Be flexible AND don’t forget to stick to your routines as much as you can. This means going to sleep on time so you will be refreshed and ready to go for yourself and your clients.
At times it can be hard to fall asleep in your hotel room. When you can and if it is offered, request turndown service at your hotel. When I am unable to sleep, I also love listening to ocean sounds or a Peloton meditation on their app.
7. Enjoy yourself
Business travel can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Find ways to take in a new or frequent location. From finding a new restaurant, learning new things about the city, and opportunities to explore after hours. You can work hard and PLAY too 🙂