Business Travel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Pro-tips for planning business trips:
- Check your company’s business travel policy. Before you start planning your trip, make sure to check your company’s rules, procedures and/or guidelines to ensure you stay in compliance.
- Sign up for loyalty programs. Take advantage of your corporate travel to gain points or miles on your airline, hotel, car rental or travel credit card of choice. You might be surprised by how quickly you collect points for freebies and discounts. Vendors might also be more lenient on rules when you have a membership number appended to your reservation.
- Enroll in programs that speed up your travel. Check in to your flights online and print your boarding pass before heading to the airport. Apply for TSA Pre-Check, Global Entry or CLEAR to gain access to faster moving security and customs around the world.
- Pay for an airport lounge membership. Most airlines provide lounges with plenty of food, outlets, and quiet space for a reasonable cost. Spend your time waiting for your flight away from the usual airport hustle and bustle.
- Keep your technology charged. Before any business trip, be sure to charge all of your electronics at home and remember to pack portable chargers so you can stay connected on the go. Consider bringing a power-strip in your carry-on bag. This will come in handy when power outlets have been hogged by others and you’ll be an instant hero among other power-seeking travelers.
- Print important confirmation numbers. While no one likes to think about losing their phone, it is possible to run out of battery just as you need your boarding pass or confirmation number. Print your itinerary and keep a copy in each of your bags.
- Find (or pack) healthy food. Travel is hard on your body, and you need to continue to do your job well on the road. Packing or buying healthy snacks will help you stay well while traveling.
- Invest in a comfortable and functional computer travel bag. The right computer bag can make or break your business travels. You don’t want something too bulky that you’ll have a tough time stowing on the airplane. Comfort is a must. And of course, it needs to look professional too.
- Keep security checks in mind when you pack. Security checks can be very strict, with all liquids, electronics and even chargers often being required to be taken out of your suitcase. To ensure you make your way through security check as quickly as possible, keep all items to be checked at security ready to unpack when the time comes.
- Do your research on foreign business etiquette. You’ve prepared your speech and have all your stats ready, what else? Depending on where you’re traveling, business etiquette can be very different from your own country. Make sure to check the basic rules beforehand so you’ll be able to stretch that client’s hand – or not – with confidence.
- Download helpful apps. From your company’s travel and expense management software to your hotel and rental car providers, apps give you access to an easier way of doing things.
- Check in beforehand. Whether it’s for your flight, a TSA precheck, your hotel, or even your car rental – if it’s possible to check-in beforehand, then don’t hesitate to do it. It will save you precious travel time!
During your business trip…
- Choose water, skip alcohol. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is key to preventing jet lag. In addition, staying hydrated is also good for cardiovascular health, your skin, and your overall mood.
- If you have a meeting shortly after landing and need to be fresh, try drinking coffee 2 hours before the meeting. While drinking unlimited amounts of coffee during your flight will not help, sometimes you do need a caffeine boost – especially when you have no time to take a nap before your business meeting.
- Stretch! Sitting in the same position for hours on end can have terrible effects on your circulation, your back, and your neck. And who wants to arrive at an important meeting with a stiff neck? Take time to stretch every now and then throughout your flight and you’ll feel much better.
- Adapt to mealtimes as soon as possible. This is one of the few key tips that make all the difference when it comes to fighting jet lag. Try to adapt your mealtimes to local times at your destination as soon as possible, even before your flight. Adjusting your mealtimes will tell your body when it’s time to wake up and be active or when to sleep.
- Beat jet lag with exercise. Studies show that exercise can counter the effects of jet lag! Exercising in the early morning or early afternoon pushed the circadian rhythm to an earlier time while exercising between 7 and 10 pm had the opposite effect.
- Don’t be tempted to sleep as soon as you arrive. After a long, exhausting trip you might be tempted to sleep as soon as you arrive, no matter the local time. Try to avoid doing this at all costs and let your body adjust to the new time zone as soon as possible.
- Try to stick to your most important daily routines. Staying physically and mentally on top of your game is important to make the most out of business meetings. That’s why it’s a good idea to take your most important daily routines from back home on your business trip. Some examples might be meditating, practicing yoga, or going for a morning run.
- Don’t forget your receipts! ‘No receipts, no reimbursement’ is a standard rule in business travel as every expense being paid for by your company needs to be documented. Take advantage of electronic receipts where possible (receipts sent via email) or take a picture of any paper receipts. This way, even if you lose the paper version, you’ll always have a picture to prove your expenses. Many companies are turning to automated expense reporting solutions that allow you to import and append the electronic receipts or pictures of receipts to your expense report.
- Use a firewall when using public internet. Especially when you use your work computer and access work-related information, make sure your antivirus is up to date and you have a firewall to protect you from anyone accessing your data.
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