In a world where transactions often cross borders, business people worldwide need to travel to close deals. While those who need to travel can select from a broad variety of methods, figuring out which one is pragmatic can feel challenging. To understand how to create a more efficient business travel experience, it’s worth taking onboard a few expert tips.
Examine the advantages of each method
The way you need to use the hours you spend traveling will vary between each journey. For example, some business journeys may call for nothing more than speed. If that means jumping into a car and driving until you reach your end destination, then do so. However, many people now like to use the hours they spend traveling to complete work. Others will need to rest before arriving at an important meeting.
If you feel as though your journey is an opportunity to get some work done, choose a transport method that makes doing so easy. While you may wince a little at the thought of paying for a business class train or plane ticket, it’s worth considering whether doing so makes financial sense. For example, if you’re facing an eight-hour journey, would each hour you spend working translate to earnings that eclipse the cost of your ticket? Or, if a meeting is particularly important, is it sensible to pay for a flatbed on a plane rather than one that leaves you sitting upright?
Cast an eye over onboard facilities
Again, using planes and trains as an example, is your first choice provider offering a work-friendly service? Some of the productivity-boosting features you may want to look for include:
- Free WiFi that lets you connect with colleagues and clients while on the move
- A free food service that maintains your energy levels
- Priority boarding and disembarking that reduces your time in security queues
- Lounge access so you can work before your journey begins.
While all of the above features may seem like a luxury, they become essentials when you’re planning a profitable and efficient business trip.
Select routes that provide the best contingency plans
Whether you’re traveling by road, air, or sea, you need to acknowledge that the best plans can go awry. Factors such as weather, staff shortages, and technical faults could lead to you missing your connection. As a result, you need to form contingency plans.
For example, if you’re choosing between different airlines, do they have a policy on missed connections? Some of the bigger names (such as American Airlines and British Airways) will automatically check you onto the next flight. In many instances, their crew will tell you what the contingency plan is before you disembark. Also, how many connections does the airport you’re traveling through provide? Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, London Heathrow, and Dubai International Airport send out dozens of flights to connections worldwide each day. Smaller airports may not.
Choose accommodations that meet your needs
The most efficient business travel experience will provide three things:
- You’ll feel well rested
- Traveling from your hotel to other locations is easy
- Working at your hotel is simple
Although it’s reasonable to try and economize when selecting accommodations, always make sure that doing so isn’t to the detriment of your business trip’s goals. Aim for hotels with reliable room service, blackout curtains for odd sleeping hours, and comfortable furnishings. There should be ample parking or great public transport connections where you are staying. As for work, at the very minimum, you need a reliable WiFi connection and a spacious desk. If possible, try to book somewhere with a business lounge.
Engage in a little business travel self-help
Finally, determine what it is that you can do to make your business travel efficient. If you know you don’t sleep well, take earplugs, an eye mask, and sleeping aids (if appropriate). Carry your mobile device everywhere and pack a portable charger to compensate for long hours away from a plug socket. Always create a work schedule and make sure it’s realistic enough to stick to. Last, but not least, make a note of your essential business contacts in the area so you can reach them with minimal fuss.
The more you travel, the more you can develop the perfect business travel strategy that works for you. Try these tips but keep adjusting your journey. Mastering efficient business travel is worth it.