Business Travel Tips

Business travel takes you away from home and loved ones and can cause all sorts of unexpected issues. Make your travel easier with these time-tested tips.

1. Sleep smart
Dark circles under your eyes aren’t good for business. Many road warriors know that lack of sleep will most definitely yield bags under your eyes, and those are never good for business. The only fix is to ensure that you get a sufficient amount of rest. So, the best thing to do is to carry eye masks and earplugs. Wax earplugs are better than the little foam ones. They are often sold as a swimming accessory and work well to mute noise, snoring and annoyingly chatty airline passengers. Invest in a blow-up pillow to sleep soundly on planes. They also prevent your hair from messed up while you sleep, and now most of the airlines are actually charging for use of a pillow.

2. Carry rations
I guess you can say that we didn’t know how good we had it until it was taken away. The airlines used to give us all kinds of snacks and goodies, but now they just starve us. If your flight is delayed or has mechanical problems, you may spend hours on the runway or circling in the air while your stomach is screaming. Airlines offer little more if any than the tiny, salty rations of peanuts or pretzels for most flights. Carrying something simple like a piece of fruit or a granola bar of some sort will help.

3. Wake up right
Hotel alarm clocks and wake-up calls can be very unreliable. Pack an inexpensive sport watch with an alarm and a stopwatch. The stopwatch is useful for your workout on the exercise bike in the hotel fitness centre or to time your bubble bath. Better yet, save yourself the task of packing one more item and use you smart phone as an alarm.

4. Pack lightly
If you need to be dressed in business attire for a meeting the same day you travel, wear it on the plane. Always assume your luggage may be lost and be prepared. Don’t put yourself in the awkward and expensive position of being dependent upon taxis and tip-hungry porters. Pack the least amount of clothes and shoes you think you can survive on. You can wear the same mix-and-match outfits day after day. Leave room in your bag for a few things you might buy or are given while on your trip.

5. Take dark clothes
They don’t show stains, wrinkles or dirt, and work for most situations.

6. Use Mobile Receipt
Odds are that you are going to make a lot of purchases throughout your trip. Receipts for air travel, taxis, hotel stays, dining, etc will add up quickly and you know that they are necessary to submit your expense report. If you have a smart phone, simply download and use the Mobile Receipt application to prevent you from being mired in paperwork. No more cut and pasting, stapling or faxing. To capture a receipt, snap a photo and assign an expense category. In seconds, Mobile Receipt automatically crops, rotates and scales the image as if you carefully photocopied each one in your office. You then have the ability to email an automatically generated professional looking expense report to one or many individuals.

7. Communicate with home
It is unproductive to leave messages on answering machines. In order to ensure that you’ll talk to an actual person and not a messaging machine, coordinate the best times for you to reach your family and friends. Also, keep in mind the time differences if you are on a different time zone. Email is not as personable, but if you are traveling internationally and do not want to pay the ridiculous rate, an email is better than nothing.

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