1. Pack Light
I have never seen my father travel on business with a bulky suitcase. He says it is easier to utilise the laundry at the hotel, than carry around a heavy suitcase. He always carries basic clothing, medication, toiletries and important documents in little pouches to keep them organized. One thing he never forgets is to check the weather to wherever he’s travelling to, so he’s not stuck without a jacket when it’s snowing outside!
- Make a travel check-list on Excel spreadsheet, which helps you organize and include the most important items and rule out the extras.
- Check the weather at your destination, and pack accordingly.
- Neatly fold all clothing, to keep it from getting wrinkled so that you are ready for next morning’s meeting.
- Carry disposable items, like slippers, socks, toiletries, etc. to save on space. For instance, one time wear slippers, socks, toiletries, etc.
2. Scheduling Your Business Trip
My dad once told me that he had been on three time zones in a week. Business trips are all about back-to-back meetings, work and a hectic schedule. To ensure that by the third day of the trip, you are not exhausted, sleep-deprived and entirely unproductive, he recommends planning your trip smartly.
- Arrive a day or an evening prior to your meetings so that you get a good night of rest and are oriented with the surroundings.
- Join loyalty and frequent flier programs with airlines. This gives you access to airport lounges where you can rest and the points give you lots of other benefits as well. Talk to locals or read up travel guides about the place you’re traveling to.
3. Planning The Meetings
Frequent business travellers often experience many new and unknown situations, in a short span of time. While it would take only half an hour or so to travel 25 kilometres in Dubai, and you’d be pulling your hair out in frustration! So, the time between two meetings should be enough to take you from one place to another.
- Ask the people at the local company about the time it takes from one location to the other, so you can plan accordingly.
- Chart out routes using tools like Google Maps.
- Charge all your electronics the night before.
4. Pick The Right Hotel
My dad says that all hotel rooms, beyond a point, look the same. So he pays a lot of attention to where the hotel is located and what facilities they offer. Stay is extremely important for a bleasure getaway.
- It is best not to stay too close to the airport, unless you only have one meeting in the city.
- Choose a hotel equipped with a good business centre, with basic facilities where you can access mails, print presentations, boarding passes, etc. Avoid the embarrassment of looking for a printer before your big presentation!
Hotels without free Wi-Fi – strict no no!