If you have a job that requires lots of traveling, you know how important preparation is. Some initiative can make a huge difference in how stressful and how productive your next journey will be. Consider these five suggestions to make traveling, packing, recovering from jet lag, and checking in at the airport more comfortable and more productive, whether you’re heading out for a foreign or domestic business trip.
Rethink How You Pack
Packing is key to managing your sanity on any trip — and especially those that involve flying. If you travel a lot, it’s worth packing consistently. Give everything a place, and keep it that way for all trips. This will make it much easier to fit everything you need for multiple trips. Double-checking that you’ve packed everything will also be a much smoother process.
You might also benefit from rethinking your luggage. Novice travelers often go with a large rolling back and something small for a carry-on, or worse — try to cram a too-large piece of luggage into the overhead. Travel with two midsized but versatile bags instead. If you’re one of the first onboard, you’ll have no problem fitting one bag under the seat and one into the overhead. And if you have to check one of the bags, you’ll minimize your baggage fee.
Stay Connected—Even on Flights
When it comes to surviving constant business travel, internet connectivity is a must. If your work takes you off the ground, make sure you have an inflight Wi-Fi solution. This ensures that you have access to emails and won’t miss any business updates. Plus, you’ll be able to get some work done during the flight. Some airlines offer inflight Wi-Fi, but this is often expensive and insecure. A better solution is to go through your phone network. For example, using T-Mobile’s Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi, you can enjoy one free hour of Wi-Fi access and unlimited texting during your flight.
Plan ahead for how you’ll stay connected when you land as well. Many hotels do not offer internet access for free. In those cases, you might save more by using your phone or tablet as a hot spot and tapping into your mobile data. Adjust your data plan accordingly before departing if needed.
Minimize Cords With Wireless Devices and USB Charging
If possible, aim to take no more than your computer cord with you when you travel. Anything else that’s wired will take up space. You can go wireless with most accessories, including headphones, speakers, and computer mice, and charge devices like smartphones and tablets using a USB connected to your laptop. This limits you to potentially only needing two cords in your bag to keep all your gadgets charged
Plan Carefully for International Travel
You’ll need to make some extra preparations if you’re traveling internationally. Check that you have your passport ready to go, and consider the following to ensure you’re all set:
- Jet lag: Follow some best practices to avoid jet lag, especially if you’re traveling east. Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and coffee, as these will exasperate any sleep problems you’re having.
- Phone plans: You’ll rack up a huge bill if you’re not careful about using your phone while traveling internationally. Contact your provider about international plans before leaving the country.
- Power outlets: If you’re traveling internationally, check if you’ll need any adapters to use the outlets in the host country. Having the wrong plug type can be a major setback when you’re traveling on business.
Plan for Delays, but Try to Avoid Them
If you’re a constant business traveler, you’ll encounter delays. These are often beyond your control, such as when a flight is grounded due to bad weather or there’s a wreck on the freeway. You can take some initiative, though, to improve your chances of avoiding delays. For example, an insider tip is to use TSA’s PreCheck system and check in with the airline online to avoid security delays.
With a little preparation, anyone can master the art of constant traveler. Whether you’re starting a new job that requires lots of travel or you’re a veteran of international travel, remember these tips the next time you’re prepping for a business trip.