Tips to streamline business travel

Travelling for work is no longer an option for many of us. 5am wake-up calls, bleary eyed reporting at airport security and the repercussions of too many airport kiosk meals can leave the best of us dreading the next trip. Maximising technology and streamlining your packing process are steps that can put you at ease, avoiding unnecessary last minute hassle. Travel in style and comfort with our tips below:

Company travel policies
Research your company’s travel policies. There might be perks that you are unaware of, like travel clubs and lounges with a corporate membership. This is a one-time investment in research that will pay dividends as you jet set around the globe.

Choose your carrier with care. Look up records of delayed flights, it will save you the pain of missing that all important conference. Maybe the airline has priority check-in? Save precious time and move seamlessly from cabin to boardroom. Make a list of your priorities and see which brand fits the bill.

Travel rewards
Lufthansa, Air Canada, United Airlines and many more are members of the Star Alliance. There are similar groups that you can be a member of, translating into air miles and travel perks that are not isolated to one carrier. Look up the destinations that you frequent and become a member of exclusive clubs for perks that pay well into the future.

Remember you are essentially a spokesperson for your company. Make a kit of business cards, pens or other merchandise that can be handed out when you network.

Pack by look. Pre-plan for the trip from head to toe, laying out each outfit with jewelry, bag, and shoes that match. The benefit is to ensure you travel light, taking only that which is needed.

Unless it is an extended work plus pleasure trip, there is no excuse to check in baggage. If it is a two or three day trip and your carry all is bursting at its seams you are doing it wrong. Unpack and reassess - do you really need that extra pair of boots?

Invest in polished travel accessories; you don’t want to move from the airport to client headquarters with a tattered bag exposing its contents!

Go digital
Scan all important documents, it will save you a lot of anxiety in case your check-in baggage has left for another destination without you! Be prepared with the hotel phone number or company host as airport internet connectivity can play spoilsport at times. Keep backups of your presentation on a pen drive or upload it to your cloud. Ensure you have multiple ways to access the information, online or off!


Local culture and customs
Learn words like ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ in the local language - it shows you’ve made an effort. Similarly, familiarise yourself with local customs and titles: is there a particular way to address someone in a senior position? What is their dining etiquette? Do some reading to avoid an embarrassing faux pas!

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