Whether you know every airport in the country or are just discovering the wear and tear your career has on your car, there is a myriad of tips you can use to enhance your life on the job. As a veteran business traveling executive, visiting clients around the globe, I’ve amassed a collection of wisdom that has benefitted my career and may also work wonders for yours.
1. Stay Connected
Whether you Skype, Tweet, blog or just rely on e-mail, staying in touch is always a top priority. Remaining accessible to your colleagues is important for many reasons—the least of which is keeping them updated about your progress or any other issues related to your trip. If you have a wife and family at home, valuable face time over the web keeps you in touch with events and news and is often a great distraction at the end of a busy day. Websites like WiFinder.com can help you locate free or fee-based Wi-Fi hotspots so you can easily stay connected but if you can budget for a monthly subscription that enables you to connect to your own Wi-Fi account rather than using the services offered at the hotel, you will most likely more than cover your costs with ease when you compare the outlay against some of the tariffs that you are charged for short term access to the internet.
2. Synchronizing your Calendar
It’s a great idea to use your smart phone’s calendar function in order to keep your daily organization at your fingertips. You’ll take calls and set appointments both at home and on the road and the easiest way to keep track of it all is to use the calendar on your phone or even your laptop and use the automated function to synchronize your appointments and meetings on a calendar so there is minimal chance of finding yourself double-booked or even potentially absent from an important meeting.
3. Protect your Data
Constantly being away from your office base places a greater emphasis on making sure important data is not lost or even compromised. Maintaining a regular back-up of critical data on a memory stick should be part of the daily or weekly routine for all of us and as a minimum security measure, you should also consider using resources such as Google Docs and renting Cloud space so that you be up and running in double quick time if your laptop is stolen or crashes
4. Traveling Light
In order to avoid baggage checks or indeed with some carriers, an additional charge, seasoned travelers always look to pack their essentials in one carry-on bag or holdall about the size of a backpack. Packing light allows you the freedom to avoid queues at baggage reclaim and also reduce the amount of time taken just getting in and out of the airport. Every mundane but necessary aspect of your business travel such as checking in at hotels, using cabs and commuting in general will always be less stressful if you can travel as light as possible and another consideration is that with just hand luggage to contend with, you almost eliminate the potential to lose your possessions or become the victim of a theft.
5. Healthy Eating
One of the major challenges whilst traveling in the course of your work is maintaining a healthy eating regime. It takes a concerted effort to eat healthily while you’re on the road, with all the fast food options available, but as you are no doubt aware, regular consumption of food that is high in calories and low in nutrients will take its toll on your health and even your mental agility over a period of time. A good tip for avoiding the low points in the day when your willpower is truly tested would be to stock up on a supply of fruit and nuts, which will keep satisfy the cravings to a certain extent and in moderation, will be kinder to the waistline.
6. Alcohol Consumption
You know your own limits and tolerance levels but it is worth taking a rain check on the visit to the bar at the airport for example. Alcohol consumption just prior to a flight or even worse, during it, has an even stronger effect at altitude. No one is going to suggest that you cannot enjoy a beer with a colleague or even a client you are meeting up with, but always keep in your mind the need to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water in order to stay fresh and mentally alert ready for the onward journey.
In truth, the majority of us are not particularly keen on scheduled physical activity such as a visit to a gym. Any form of exercise is better than none at all and with a little creative thinking such as walking to the next taxi rank at the other end of the departure lounge or even taking a walk in the local park to clear your mind as well as your lungs, will have some positive benefit to your wellbeing, even with moderate exercise
8. Travel Wardrobe
An idea that might be worth considering in order to minimize your time preparing for a business trip would be to specifically devote a section of your closet to travel-only clothes that are clean and ready to go, probably a range suits and shirts in neutral shades making it easy to mix and match. This strategy will help to avoid the stress of last minute packing and reduce the possibilities of forgetting something when you’re in a rush.
9. Rest and Relaxation
Trying to relax and getting a restful night’s sleep is always more challenging when away from the comfort of your own bed and surroundings. Rather than staying up late to surf the internet or watch television, be sure to get as much sleep as possible when you’re on the road. For one thing, you’ll be fresh and rested by morning for the day’s meeting or travel. Secondly, you won’t need to crash out when you get back home and ruin the time you have off the job.
10. Tracking Expenses
There are a good number of very useful apps that be downloaded which are easy to use but will save a lot of time and help you keep on budget. Entering the value of your receipts under business and personal expenditure will take a matter of minutes each day and will then allow you to quickly produce any information required without having to trawl through a pile of receipts at the end of a trip or when you are submitting an expenses claim
Thinking smart, planning ahead and looking after your health will ultimately be beneficial to your physical and financial well-being, also your family and friends will probably see more of you as well.
Guest post contributed by Matt Pittman on behalf of Compliance.com an Independent Review Organization. Matt is a freelance writer with extensive experience as an travelling account executive of over 20 years. He enjoys passing on insights and writing about his experiences.
Name: Matt Pittman