Business travel is not a vacation; it is generally tiring and stressful and many frequent business travelers would be happier if they could just stay home. Here are some tips from a search firm perspective that can help you enhance your business travel experience.
Research your destination and learn the customs
Research your destination to learn about the area, its history and points of interest. You can discuss these with your business contact to demonstrate your personal interest rather than just your business interest. Visiting the points of interest will develop your overall knowledge and enhance your personal experience. If you learn local customs and practices you will make a positive impression. Knowing local cultural differences such as handling business cards, use of first names and the significance of certain gestures can enhance your business relationships.
You can obtain the list of prohibited articles and make sure that your pockets, briefcase and carryon bag do not contain any of them. If you are traveling with a business associate, they will not be impressed if you are delayed with questions from security, subject to an extensive search or your items are confiscated. In addition, if your ticket and all necessary identification are easily accessed you will not fumble and search for them or worse; you will not be sent away because you do not have proper identification. It is good to be organized even if you are traveling alone, after all, you never know who you might run into at the airport.
It is a good idea to carry enough cash in your pocket for immediate needs like taxis or tips. This will avoid another situation of delay and fumbling while you juggle bags and handle your wallet.
Dress for success
Although it is tempting to dress comfortably for the flight, if you are dressed for success and the passenger seated next to you is an important business contact you are ready to impress them rather than to make an excuse for your appearance.
If you discuss business on your cellular telephone in the airport terminal someone may overhear you. It is prudent to take precautions if you must discuss sensitive business matters in any public area. Likewise, if you work on the plane, make sure it is not confidential material as someone near you may pass their time by looking over your shoulder.
Make good use of your time
Use all of your time wisely and plan what you will accomplish while traveling. If you transcribe your notes while they are fresh in your mind, you will appear professional and organized when you print your report immediately upon your return to the office. While traveling you can access and respond to your email regularly to stay on top of everything happening back at the office. You will be able to handle matters effectively and you will not be surprised by something when you return to your office. Wise use of your time can include scheduling some time for much needed rest and relaxation.
You can use the travel time to improve yourself. Catch up on the latest business periodicals and world news or read a book that will improve your leadership or sales skills. This will help you relax and arrive at your destination refreshed.
If you plan ahead you can make the most of your trip and reduce the possibility of unexpected problems. Your trip will be more enjoyable when you are organized and relaxed. Even if you are a seasoned business traveler it is helpful to review these tips and freshen up a stale routine. Anything can be renewed if approached with a fresh attitude.