As play and work become more intertwined, traveling for work becomes more and more common. In addition, as the world economy continues to expand, companies are beginning to recognize the importance of traveling and are adopting policies to enable employees to use their time off to travel abroad for business.
I’m sure your usual image of how traveling for work can be like is traveling in suitcases, feeling exhausted and tired and general boredom that could be threatening to your mental well-being and your personal relationships.
Studies show that those who are required to travel regularly for work most likely suffer from mental health problems and loneliness, as well as unhappiness in their relationships with family and friends but this doesn’t have to be so, traveling for work should not be a boring affair. We all know that traveling for work is stressful. But there are ways to make the experience a little more bearable, so you can get the most out of your next business trip.
Traveling for work tips
If you’re a professional, you’re likely to travel for work at certain point in your career, these business travels are essential. However, being away from home for long durations of time can be exhausting and difficult. If you have the right mindset it can be less painful and even more pleasant. It’s important to know how to manage it before you attempt it as a first time traveler. Here are some traveling for work tips to help you do better:
Make sure your hotel is comfortable and close to your meeting location
Make your hotel room feel like home, unpack and let yourself relax as you would live at your apartment. I know the days are not so many but that doesn’t mean you should live in your suitcase or duffel. Make sure your hotel is near where your meetings would be held, this will help avoid traffic issues as you can’t tell the traffic situation in the city. Sometimes comfortable hotels require extra cash, spending more for your comfort is worth it. You don’t want to be stuck in a hotel with heating issues, lack of enough ventilation, or poor soundproof.
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Pack with Considerations
Pack accordingly to suit your trip. Pack to suit the time frame. A long trip will require more outfits and luggage and for overnight travel, just carry-on luggage would suffice. Bags with wheels and laptop storage are always preferable when traveling for days. If you are traveling for work between different destinations, always consider where your internet access will come from as you would not only need it for work but to communicate with family, sort out your toiletries. For your expenses, minimal or more cards and currencies should be considered according to the time frame.
Never Neglect Family and Loved Ones
This is just as important as prepping for your next presentation at that meeting or packing for the trip. Work can be demanding and being on the phone or the hotel wifi can be quite pricey, we know, whatever the case may be, you should never make the mistake of staying away from family or loved ones. Make provisions to stay in constant communication with your family and friends. Schedule calls, preferably video calls; this is why it is important to check into hotels with fair wifi access charges, and where your schedule is tight, never forget to drop text messages.
Tour and Entertainment
Never forget to tour the city, take pictures, and record moments and any entertainment you can afford while on the trip. Yeah, we know you are traveling for work, but letting down your hair and catching some fun is one way to a sound and healthy mind, away from the pressure of work.
Keep Records for Future Reference
Keep records of every expense and details of what you got right or wrong on your work trip. This will help you plan better ahead for the next trip and relieve you of stress and the burden of repeating the same mistakes.
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Pack a Comfort Creature or Item along from Home
This can be your pillow, your essential oils, and diffuser, stuffed bears or whatever creature and item would help you relax and feel at home, away from home. A cheap vlogging camera can help you keep record of all major events throughout your trip.
Network and Make New Friends
I know you would love to stay focused and uptight to be productive but no, you should make new friends. Make good relationships with the locals, waiters, and your driver, try to learn a few things about the resident’s culture and history. Network with people and prospects, and this is why you should never forget to pack your business cards.
Look on the Brighter Side
This might be your first time traveling for work, or you may be tired of traveling for work regularly because it deprives you of your relationships and often leaves you a bit cranky after each travel experience, well you may have to start looking on the bright side on a work journey from now. This will boost your mental health and make you better equipped for work while traveling.
Think about the possibility of new relationships, the excitement of discovering new things, culture and places, trying out new meals, meeting new prospects, and the general chilling at resorts. Traveling for work may not be so bad after all.
Seek Positions that Warrant Work Travels
You love the idea of work travels and would like to go on a few work trips, seek out positions in the organization that would require you to travel. You can also volunteer to handle some projects for the organization.
Figure out what it will Cost to Travel for Work
When traveling for work, most times it is always the organization that funds your work travel expenses. But if you are a private business owner, or simply on a private job that requires you to travel, especially creatives often known as backpack travelers, you should figure out what it will cost to travel for work before traveling for work. Things like the cost of hotel reservations, wifi access bill, rental car expenses, meals, parking, upgrades, baggage fees, and other extras, should be properly researched. The financial burden should not add to the pressure of leaving your loved ones to embark on a work trip and the negatives.
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Create a Work Trip Packing CheckList
You have finally been chosen to travel for work in your organization, or you are a first-time work traveler, who owns a business or even a regular work traveler who finds traveling for work not so much fun, then you should consider a packing checklist for your work trip. This will make the whole burden and pressure quite less. Remember that the goal is to travel for work while still having your life balanced. A checklist will not only give you a balance and a sense of control of your life but will prevent you from forgetting travel essentials to avoid extra costs or even ruining the entire trip.
Here are a few checklists to have while traveling for work:
- Travel Documents: This includes your passports, airline tickets, hotels reservations, and your rental carbon formation. Make sure they are all packed and always keep them in an easily accessible place; panicking would raise your blood pressure and affect your mental health and this will happen if you have to ransack the whole place just because you can’t find your documents at the checkpoints simply because you didn’t pack them well.
- strategic Packing: Always pack to suit the plan, work, and time frame. Always pack to suit different events that will be happening while on the trip. The necessary shoes and clothes should be properly packed and if there is a dinner or hang out, pack to fit. There might even be an unplanned event like a date, carry with you an extra piece of clothing for this purpose. You are there to relax while getting your work done. And you don’t want to spend extra cash on outfits just because you didn’t pack properly. You need a perfect blend of formal and casual clothes when packing to travel for work.
- Work materials and gadgets: Your tablets, phones, laptops, and earphones should always be with you while traveling for work. And never forget the chargers! Traveling for work can never be productive without all the right gadgets. Work materials like needed at the meeting and to work remotely should be included. Make sure your presentation slides are set and every document ready, pen, notepads, handouts, and meeting agendas. Looking and feeling tense at the meeting isn’t ideal for a smooth work trip.
- Wireless Network Options: Some works require you to work and communicate remotely even while traveling for work. Check out customers’ reviews on hotel wifi options or ask your assistant to have that sorted. This will help you go for the one that will not leave you with huge internet access charges. You need the cheaper option to keep up with your family and loved ones. Your relationship and communication shouldn’t be sparse and ineffective just because you’re traveling for work.
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Download podcasts and videos, get some books and some mint bubble gum for your flight.
You need something to keep you occupied and entertained while on the journey. Or you may like to rest or sleep while on the journey. Whatever works for your nerves.
The smartest business people can handle each meeting a breeze. They are never sluggish or wrinkled. They never look tired, bleary-eyed, or even. They also are able to have fun when visiting a new place. And you can too. Having these expert tips on work travel can be helpful. Your next business trip will be less stress-inducing, more productive, and perhaps even more enjoyable. We’ll end with a final point of advice about traveling for work: Do not keep your travel documents outside your travel backpack, ensure they’re properly kept in your travel bag and have clear snapshots of each document and all expense receipts for documentation and reporting.