To some people, the idea of being paid to go to some far-flung destination by a company sounds like a dream. But for many business people, the reality of travel for work quickly stops being exciting and becomes a trudge with a lot of “time sinks” that waste valuable minutes and hours that could be spent doing other things. While the occasional business trip might be a welcome change of pace, when you live out of a suitcase for long enough, the novelty wears off, and efficiency starts to matter more and more.
That’s why we’ve compiled some of the top tips for business travelers to make working trips a bit more efficient and bearable.
Watch Your Health
The only thing worse that being sent abroad to do a lot of work is to get sick while you’re there. You need to take care of yourself, but, as a traveler, you’re exposing yourself to a lot of possible contagions, from the tray you place your meal on in the airplane to the local water in some cities where it may be unsafe to drink.
Always wash your hands more than usual when you’re traveling to get rid of possible bacteria, drink plenty of bottled or other safe water when you’re on the go, and bring your own painkillers like Aspirin or Advil if you have them.
Use Modern Travel Expense Software
Probably the single most tedious thing about business trips is expense account notation. If you’re lucky, your company will simply issue you a company credit card, and you can make all your purchases with that. If you’re not lucky, you’ll be spending your own money on things like meals, transportation and other miscellaneous expenditures, and you’ll have to present receipts as proof of spending in order to get reimbursed.
In the old days, this meant having to fill out a tedious report—with receipts—at the end of the trip. Today, modern expense report software lets you use your phone to take snapshots of receipts as they’re handed to you. Take advantage of modern expense report techniques and get this tedious, but necessary process out the way as quickly as possible.
Use Only Carry On Luggage When Possible
For shorter business trips of just a few days or less, it’s quite possible with smart packing to limit yourself only to carry on, personal luggage. If you spend any amount of time in airports, you’ll realize how much time this can save you. You no longer have to go to the luggage carousel to wait for the rest of your bags to arrive, and you have far fewer things to personally carry yourself or lose.
Of course, longer trips may necessitate the use of more luggage, but when you’re being sent to another part of the country or world to do a job, just how much extra baggage do you actually need to get the job done over there?
Take Advantage of Reward/Frequency Programs
If you’re going to be logging a lot of miles in the air, or staying at a lot of hotels anyway, make the most of it. Loyalty reward or frequent user/flier programs will quickly add up for business travelers. Take advantage of these programs and rack up those points so that you can spend them on something for yourself, or your family, like an actual recreational vacation, or an upgraded flight for your own personal trips. If you’re going to work hard for your business, you may as well enjoy the perks that come afterwards and make the most of them, so sign up for those programs and start building up points.
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