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Traveling for business is unlike any other type of trip. Although it’s similar to pleasure trips in the sense that there is a purpose for the trip, budget is important and planning is essential, there also has to be some type of result from the business trip that leads to new business, enhanced brand recognition, or additional sales. The return on investment in the business trip has to be there for more of this kind of travel in the future, so there is some pressure due to the expectations connected.
Here are seven tips for traveling for business that can keep costs low and results high:
1. Manage expenses with a corporate travel account.
New virtual payment cards enable more effective management over all travel costs, including the ability to pre-book and pay for the majority of travel expenditures. This means that your business can control what is spent prior to the trip even starting, which effectively keeps the costs down and provides a more convenient experience for the traveler who doesn’t have to deal with or make decisions about specific aspects of the business trip like the hotel, flight, and transportation. Your business also then has a breakdown of the travel costs to apply towards the overall trip budget.
2. Use online invoicing for freelancer reimbursements.
Since many companies now use freelancers and outsource talent, there may be times where they are required to travel to a trade show or headquarters meeting. An efficient way to get travel expenses reimbursed is to receive online invoices from these team members for quick and easy payment, including using digital payment options. This ensures that costs can be accounted for while the team members get paid fast for less out-of-pocket expense time.
3. Pack only the bare essentials.
Wherever possible, try to just get buy with carryon baggage to limit the amount you have to lug around from the plane to the Uber to the hotel and beyond. This will make it much more convenient and enjoyable for you while speeding up various points along the way. With the extra time saved by not bringing everything from home, you can use it for personal time or extra work time.
4. Keep a similar routine to when not traveling.
While time zones can make it more complicated, you can still adhere to a similar routine to a certain degree to keep your body clock ticking away. By doing so, you can work more productively on the road and when you return home. Schedule flights around the time changes to help you adjust after arrival since you won’t have the luxury of a few days of recovery like a pleasure trip. Eat meals, exercise, and sleep as closely to your home time zone as possible as well to keep you focused and alert.
5. Remain healthy while on the road.
It’s easy to just choose unhealthy options while on the road out of convenience, but it doesn’t take much more effort to stay healthy on a business trip. More hotels and restaurants are helping to make it easier to focus on your health and wellness with healthier menu options as well as on-site gyms with 24/7 access. Since it’s common for business travelers to get sick because of changing time zones and constant activity, be sure to bring some medicinal remedies that you use because they may be difficult or expensive to find while on the road. Stay hydrated with plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible. Plan ahead for potential exercise spots for walking or jogging that allow you to take in the local flavor at the same time.
6. Put technology to work for you.
From using apps like SeatGuru to get your preferred airline seat to OpenTable.com for selecting the perfect dining spot for a business meeting to communication and collaboration tools like Slack that keep work flowing while you are away, you can put technology to work for you to get more things done and keep the business trip running smoothly.
7. Keep a positive attitude throughout the trip.
You never know when an opportunity presents itself to market your personal or company brand to those around you. After all, anyone is a potential customer, an investor, or even future employee. With that in mind, it’s best to keep a positive attitude throughout the trip to win over those who come in contact with you. Even when a plane is delayed, reservations are mixed up, or other plans did not go like expected, it’s best to remain calm and continue practice kindness. It will keep you calm and make a great impression on those around you.
Put these travel tips to work on your next business trip and see just how much time, money and hassles you will save to create a more productive, enjoyable and successful travel experience. The results can increase the likelihood of a greater return on such an investment to build more business and enhance your brand.