There are two different types of travel: Trips you take for business and trips you take for pleasure. The purpose of the latter is to relax, while the purpose of the former is to work. While a business trip has an element of stress, you can strike a better balance between stress and relaxation, and be more productive as a result, if you take the following tips for business travel to heart.
Present Yourself Well
When you travel for business, you are the representative of your company. The way you conduct yourself could mean the difference between persuading someone to invest in business or become a new client or losing an account to a competitor. Therefore, not only must you hold yourself to your usual standard of professionalism, but you must also observe any laws or customs in the place that you are visiting. Research your destination beforehand to be sure that you are confident in your presentation and respectful of your hosts.
Keep Detailed Records
If you are traveling on behalf of an employer, you must keep detailed records of all the expenditures that you make while on your trip. You should be able to account for every penny of the company's money that you spend. If you're self-employed, you need an accurate record of your travel expenses for tax purposes. In either case, it is a lot easier to keep track of your expenses as they happen than to have to account for them after you return home. Sometimes the receipt may be obscure or confusing. If so, jot a note describing what the expenditure was for when you receive it.
Sleep on the Plane
International travel across several different time zones can play havoc with your internal clock. At the same time, you need to be awake and alert when you reach your destination, or your performance could suffer. If you are flying during what would be nighttime hours at your destination, this presents an excellent opportunity to sleep. That way, you are awake and refreshed in the morning when you arrive at your destination, and your body clock may be easier to adjust to local time. Aids such as noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs can help you get the deep sleep you need regardless of where you are sitting on the plane.
Pack Carry-on Bags
If you check luggage, you run the risk of it becoming lost or delayed to your destination. This is frustrating in any circumstance and may cause you to lose face with your local contacts when it comes to your business meetings. Therefore, you should only bring carry-on luggage on your business trip. Pack light to be sure you have everything you need without having to check any bags.
Make Good Use of Downtime
Though you are on a business trip, not every moment has to be devoted to working, food, or sleep. When you have downtime, you can take the opportunity to walk to a local attraction or work out in the hotel gym. Your use of downtime can help to clear your mind, which in turn can help your productivity.
Get Travel Insurance
While your company covers expected business expenses, you are responsible for any unforeseen costs that may arise. Therefore, you should never take a business trip without travel insurance coverage. Though you have to assume the cost, the expenditure can be deducted from your taxes as a business expense. If your job requires you to take frequent business trips, it may be worthwhile to purchase annual coverage rather than having to get a new policy for every trip.
Travel insurance isn't the only extra you can take advantage of to make business travel easier. You can also take advantage of programs such as Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check to get through airport security more quickly and join rewards problems to make your business travel more beneficial. A credit card without foreign transaction fees also helps to make your life easier.