Business travel certainly has its perks. Who doesn’t like traveling the world on someone else’s dime? However, you can quickly grow weary of the constant traveling, so it’s important to take a few steps to maximize what you’re getting out of traveling.
Being efficient is the single biggest step you can take to minimize stress. Plan out as many details in advance as you can. Not only will it save you stress, it will save any hassle when it comes to reimbursements or being paid. Know all of the documents and files you’ll need for your trip, as well as any electronic devices required to access those files.
If you travel a lot, create a checklist that you use only for business travel. That way you’ll be less likely to forget things and save yourself the panic of scrambling at the last minute. For international travel, consider applying for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program to save you valuable time in security. Check the Transportation Security Administration’s website for real time information on how long the security line wait times are. The TSA service, Clear, will let you skip the line entirely.
Take Time for Yourself
Much like you get time off during your 9 to 5 hours, you should expect the same when you’re traveling. Never having time off will just stress you out and make you resent your travels. According to Maura Thomas of RegainYourTime.com, it’s a good idea to use any downtime as a time to disconnect and relax. Whether it’s while you’re waiting for your flight, taking a bus, or sitting in your hotel room after a meeting, these are opportune times to experience your surroundings. If you have any opportunities to explore before you leave, do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on a fun cruise tour of the Big Apple or you’re hitting local eateries for some unique fare, you’re all the better for it.
Take Care of Yourself
Not getting enough sleep or nutrition is sure to take its toll on you, and if you’re a back to back traveler, the last thing you want is to be battling an illness on your next trip. When you know what area you’ll be staying in, research the restaurants that will be in your vicinity. When you’re stumbling off a red eye flight and you’re starving, there isn’t anything more annoying than going to your hotel and having no idea where to go. If your hotel offers a gym, use it. Even 20 minutes of exercise is enough to boost your immune system, give you more energy, and make you feel more productive. If you don’t have time for the gym, consider hoofing it to your meetings instead of taking a cab. Are you in a particularly pedestrian friendly city? Your hotel might offer you a free bike rental to get from point A to B.
Business travel can be rewarding, exciting, and educational, but it can also be stressful. Preparation and setting limits are key to ensuring your travels stay a positive experience.