Some people look forward to traveling for work, while others dread it because of the inevitable hassles they’ll encounter during their trip. Business travel doesn’t have to be a nightmare and most hiccups are easy to avoid with a bit of preparation.
Here are 11 smart ways to simplify your business travel.
1. Utilize Travel Apps
Cell phones have evolved from a way to stay in touch into pocket-sized mobile computers capable of running someone’s entire life. These devices are the perfect tool for traveling, whether the trip is for business or pleasure-related.
Download some travel apps that can make planning and taking a trip easier. It’s easy to book a flight, reserve a hotel, obtain a rental car, or find a map of public transportation in the destination city with nothing more than the push of a button.
2. Invest in a Multi-Device Charger
Electronics make our lives more accessible, but they’re only as helpful as their battery life. A cell phone or laptop with a dead battery is nothing more than an expensive paperweight. At the same time, travelers don’t want to load down their carry-on with every charger known to man. Invest in a multi-device charger that can keep everything powered without taking up space.
For international trips, pack a power converter, since many countries use unique power outlets. While the United States relies on 110 V alternating-current (AC) outlets for most of their devices, most international destinations use 220 V direct current (DC), which can fry American electronics without a converter.
3. Pack Smart
It’s tempting to pack everything a traveler could need simply because it’s impossible to know what they might need until a situation arises. Resist this temptation. Instead, be smart about packing. Consider using the 1-2-3-4-5-6 rule when packing. If the trip will last a week, this means packing:
- 1 hat
- 2 pairs of shoes
- 3 skirts/shorts/pants
- 4 shirts/blouses/tops
- 5 pairs of socks
- 6 sets of underwear
This list details what the average person will need for a week-long trip. The details will depend on the traveler and it doesn’t include items like suit jackets or blazers that might be necessary for business travel. Still, it’s an excellent baseline to prevent overpacking.
4. Consider Private Airfare
Hopping a commercial flight might be the most cost-effective option, but it also opens the doors to delays and other problems. Travelers have no control over their fellow passengers, and all it takes is one unruly individual picking a fight with a flight attendant to delay or even cancel a flight. Considering private air travel is one alternative.
Hiring a private jet might be more expensive for a single flight, but it’s an option that can help save time and money when used regularly. There are no security delays or threats from unruly passengers when traveling on a private jet, and hopping from one destination to the next means it’s possible to save money on hotels and overnight accommodations.
5. Opt for Direct Flights Whenever Possible
Flights with layovers might be less expensive than direct flights, but if sticking to a tight deadline is essential, those direct flights are the better option. Plus, if one flight is delayed but the connecting flight takes off on time, travelers could find themselves stranded in a random city, hours away from their ultimate destination.
The practice of “skiplagging” – booking a cheap flight to a destination, only to get off at the layover city and stay there instead – was a popular way to save money for travelers. Still, airlines have been cracking down on these flights and even banning people for this behavior.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Things don’t always go according to plan, no matter how detailed the itinerary is. Travel insurance can provide an additional level of protection in case of injury, baggage loss, trip cancellation, or other variables that can throw a wrench into the works.
For companies concerned about the financial impact of a canceled trip or the safety of their employees as they travel to distant destinations, travel insurance should be essential to simplify business travel.
7. Obtain International Driving Permits
International travel has challenges, from needing passports and visas to updated vaccinations and medical approvals. For short trips, hailing a cab or calling an Uber is a cost-effective way to get around, but it can get expensive for extended stays.
Most countries don’t recognize a U.S. driver’s license, but an international driving permit gives travelers the ability to drive a rental car in most countries worldwide. Additionally, this is a more recognizable form of ID than a U.S. driver’s license, which can be a valuable tool for anyone who needs to show identification in a foreign country.
8. Keep Track of Receipts
Keeping track of receipts is essential for travelers who can expect reimbursement for expenses at the end of their trip. Unfortunately, this usually results in stuffing a stack of receipts into a pocket or folder and sorting them out at the end of the journey.
Skip the hassle and opt for a receipt and expense-tracking app. These use the phone’s camera to snap a picture of the receipt, so there’s no worry about losing it or having to keep track of it for the duration of the trip.
9. Invest in a Prepaid Roaming SIM Card
International calls might not be as expensive as they used to be, but there’s also no guarantee a U.S.-based SIM card will work for international travelers.
Instead of relying solely on Wi-Fi to stay connected, consider investing in a prepaid roaming SIM card. These cards offer the best of both worlds: international roaming without worrying about paying a monthly fee if the card is only in use for a few days.
10. Try to Only Use Carry-on Luggage
Baggage fees are getting more expensive every year. Travelers may be able to check their first bag for very little, but additional bags add more payments – and the heavier the load, the more it costs to bring the luggage to its destination.
Whenever possible, try to pack small and stick with carry-on luggage. Choose a carry-on bag that’s small enough to meet the airline’s requirements but large enough to carry everything necessary for the trip. Backpacks are popular because it’s easy to sling them over a shoulder. Oversized briefcases can also be an option if there’s enough room inside for work necessities and clothes.
11. Get Some Sleep
The business world is global, leaving many people jetting around the world at all hours of the day. Get plenty of sleep to help stave off jet lag and make it easier to stay fresh and alert for whatever falls on the itinerary.
Traveling for business might be part of the job, but that doesn’t mean it must be a hassle. These recommendations can help simplify your business travel the next time one of these trips shows up on your schedule.