Business travelling is an expensive endeavor for most startups that are facing financial crunch, so most of them avoid it at all costs. But does that solve their problems? Well, in more cases than one, it can be a rewarding experience and give your business the much-needed exposure. Consider the benefits of face-to-face meetings with prospective clients and key decision makers that could have a direct influence on the success of your company.
Business travel is not about enjoying the landscape or spending time watching panoramic surroundings; rather, it is a trip to forge new business relationships and generate more revenue. Invariably when you travel to a foreign land, local sights attract you, but they are secondary to your goal of spreading your business venture through new relations and new opportunities and give it a wider exposure.
“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson
Business Traveling Tips
One-on-one meetings continue to be a popular business activity, which makes traveling a crucial part of running a business. From the best way to pack a suitcase to folding a jacket to scoring upgrades, you are looking for ways to make you a happier road warrior. A well-planned itinerary can help you make the best use of your time on a business trip.
Here are a few tips to make jet-setting a little easier and travel smart.
1. Pack Lightly: Baggage can be a burden when making frequent business travel trips. Pack only one color of pants along with a matching jacket, so you can optimize the accessories that can be taken along. In order to further reduce your stuff, you may want to match and reuse the same shirts and socks. If you are carrying one shirt for each day, place them into the plastic dry cleaning bags so that they remain wrinkle free. Prefer to wear the heaviest things that you wish to carry along. Hiking clothes are great to carry along, as they are not only easy to clean, but also make a perfect alternative to formal dresses that can be worn to most meetings. This will minimize the weight of baggage and make traveling little easier. Toiletries should go in a plastic bag that can be kept inside your laptop case. One great packing idea is to roll clothes, such as sweaters, jeans, and dresses, which not only maximizes space in the bag, but also keeps your clothing wrinkle free.
2. Streamline technology: It’s a tech-savvy world. Business persons are no exception when it comes to using technology. We all tend to carry huge amounts of technological detritus wherever we go. Re-check your carry-on bag and make sure you carry only a few essentials, such as a wireless broadband USB modem, a tablet, and a smartphone, to lighten the burden. Recharge gadgets using USB ports rather than carrying spaghetti of cables.
3. Hardcopies and soft copies: Keep your passport, ID, and credit cards in a single location where they can be easily located. It is equally important to make sure that you keep a digital copy of your important documents to save yourself from falling into an awkward situation in the event you lose them. Imaging the pain of losing them and then having to struggle hard to return your country. Scan all the documents and store them in a single location in the cloud, so you can still access them via phone or computer.
4. Printouts count: Have a printout of your schedule, itinerary, hotel reservations, boarding pass, and contact details of people with whom you are scheduled to engage during your business trip. Imagine your situation in the event your phone battery runs out and you have no contact information stored elsewhere. A hardcopy would suffice in such situations. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
5. Register for frequent traveler program: Avail the services that come with signing up for the frequent traveler program. By registering for such services that allow pre-approved travelers to avoid usual security checks, you can save a lot of valuable time.
6. Print onsite: A majority of airlines restrict additional baggage. This means bringing important business documents and presentation materials can be expensive. If you are carrying print outs, it’s better to have them copied in a pen drive or saved in the cloud, from where they can be easily printed upon arrival. Contact your hotel to find if there are printing centers in their proximity so that you can travel stress free. There’s also an option to ship all the required materials ahead. Make sure the hotel you would be putting up during the trip has no policy on holding packages for guests.
7. Buy a local newspaper: When traveling abroad on a business trip, it is best to pick up the local newspaper so that you do not become a target of any unsavory characters that are always waiting for an opportunity to pouncing on foreigners.
8. Travel insurance plan: Take the worry out of your next business trip by getting your hands on a travel insurance plan. This will save you from stress and hassle during a trip to a foreign land and offer trip cancellation and emergency medical coverage. A travel insurance plan can cover your travel investment.
9. Eat smart: While traveling, you could end up eating all the wrong stuff. Choose a protein rich diet over carbohydrates. Of course, you do not want to experience digestion problems during a business trip. Always choose bottled water instead of soda or other carbonated beverages that trouble your tummy.
10. Carry-on luggage: For short business trips, never check your bags, as it is best to get away with carry-on luggage. This would save you precious time and keep you from the risk of loss of baggage during the trip. There’s no guarantee that your checked luggage would make it on the same flight as you. So why take the risk and waste hours waiting for your luggage?
Business Traveling Quotes
1. “A business person is called BIS, because when they travel, all they need is a bed, an iron, and a shower.” – Joseph Cubby
2. “No one traveling on a business trip would be missed if he failed to arrive.” – Thorstein Veblen
3. “We’re always mindful of business travel. We’re always talking about it. We look at whether to drive, whether to send fewer people or to ask an affiliate company to represent us.” – Victor Vanov
4. “The key objective to successful business travel is to maintain control.” – Steve Prentice
5. “When overseas you learn more about your own country, than you do the place you’re visiting.” – Clint Borgen
6. “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman
7. “Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace
8. “I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” – Caskie Stinnett
9. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
10. “Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle
11. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
12. “Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” ~ Matthew Karsten
13. “Pack your best suit and sharpest attitude.” – Anonymous
14. “I need to travel, of course with my laptop, so I can do business on the road.” – Theophilus London
Business Traveling Software
Business trip planning can be a big headache, given the amount of time it takes you to prepare and plan ahead, especially when there are other more important tasks at hand. Worry not!
Here are a few travel software solutions that can make your task easier:
1. Serko: It is an easy-to-use online travel booking tool for the modern business traveler. The software enables you to easily book and seamlessly manage complex itineraries.
2. Traveldoo: The user-friendly travel booking software helps you to plan, organize, and book business travel. The application offers the facility of agent-assisted booking integration.
3. Concur: Concur is an online travel booking tool that takes stress out of your business travel plans. With the cloud-based and mobile travel booking solution, it is easier to access all of your travel needs with just a click.
4. GateGuru: A user-friendly tool for business travelers, GateGuru is designed to make traveling little easier. The door-to-door solution automatically updates and alerts travelers to any flight changes or time adjustments. Additionally, with this application, you can rent a car and discover food options at the different airport terminals.
5. Expensify: Business travel planning is easier with Expensify. The intuitive application is designed with tracking and reporting capabilities to help travelers safely import travel expense reports from their account and compile the data into a PDF. Users with iOS and Android devices can download the application for free.
6. AllSubWay: Get around the world seamlessly with this comprehensive subway app. Available for iOS, AllSubWay app is designed to help you easily navigate a range of subway systems in 160 countries, from Basel to Tehran.
7. CardMunch: This app is designed to make business traveling little easier for travelers who lose business cards frequently. CardMunch will take a picture of the business card and create a contact in your smartphone with the information. The app automatically draws information from user’s LinkedIn profile.
8. Wi-Fi Finder: When you are traveling, this app can find a Wi-Fi hotspot and help you stay connected. Available in over 650,000 locations, Wi-Fi Finder will help you find Wi-Fi on the go, so you never have to stay disconnected from the world. The application is available for download for free for iOS and Android.
9. XE Currency: For frequent business travelers, this free currency converter application can come in handy. Available for free for Android and iOS in 180 currencies, XE Currency gives you latest exchange rates, thanks to its real-time updates. Additionally, the application enables users to access the last updated exchange rates offline.
10. Points.com: Combining your reward points from various programs was never so easy before. Points.com offers users this facility to redeem, buy, or exchange your miles with other users.