Supply chain 14 December 2017

Six useful hacks for the first-time international business traveller

business travel
Being a first-time business traveller needn’t be stressful

From packing like a pro to picking up rewards and discounts as you travel, these six hacks will ensure you get the most of your first trip as a business traveller.

(1) Essentials first, luxuries later

When it comes to simplifying business travel, the first step is to pack lighter, faster and smarter. The items that you pack will depend on the length of your trip, the climate of the country you are traveling to and of course your specific itinerary, but you should always begin with the essentials regardless of these factors.

Begin with your formal business attire and then move on to tech essentials. Once these items have been included, you will then see how much space is left for those extra little luxuries.

Create a packing checklist to shave off precious minutes when packing. Lastly, roll your clothes rather than fold them to conserve space in your suitcase. 

(2) Create a detailed trip timeline

As a business traveller, punctuality and organisation are of upmost importance. With so many tasks on your agenda, it makes sense to put together a detailed itinerary that you can keep on your person to check at a moment’s notice.

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This way, you are always where you are meant to be at the correct time. Be sure to include travel times and locations as well as hotel bookings and transfer details. A business travel timeline is beneficial to first time travellers because you can allocate blocks of time to essential business tasks and highlight any free time that you may have for leisure.

It also ensures that you are never late for an important meeting or event. Add in all of the relevant information regarding your flight times and hotel bookings and benefit from having all of the information you need at your fingertips.

(3) Download transportation apps

If you don’t want to print out all of your hotel bookings, flight details and boarding passes, keep a record of all of your travel related bookings on your smart phone. Airline apps allow you to check in with a mobile boarding pass, while alternative transportation apps like Uber or Lyft make getting from A to B at short notice easy.

(4) Stay connected on the move

Arm yourself with the latest technology to ensure you are up to speed with the latest business developments. A smart phone and a laptop or tablet ensure that you can access emails and communicate with colleagues on the move.

Don’t forget to add a mobile charger to your list of essential tech. A charger pack can come to the rescue when you don’t have access to plug sockets in the airport or when travelling via plane, train or taxi. These high-tech gadgets allow you to reply to emails, make calls and navigate an unknown city, not to mention keeping yourself entertained when you wind down for the day. 

(5) Don’t forget to refuel

Business travel can be exhausting; you’ll be contending with long flights not to mention the jet lag that comes along with travelling through different time zones. For this reason, it is essential that you stock up on convenient yet nutritious snacks and be sure to re-fuel at regular intervals.

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Keeping healthy snacks close to hand is one way to make sure you keep your energy levels up and you won’t have to resort to convenience food that is often less than nutritious. 

(6) Take advantage of incentives 

If you are a first-time business traveller, you won’t have a whole host of air miles under your belt, but there’s never been a better time to enlist in a frequent flyer programme or incentive scheme if business travel is going to be an integral part of your job.

Depending on how often you travel, you can take advantage of a number of perks, such as free airport lounge reservations, complimentary upgrades or even complimentary flights.

Choose an airline that rewards frequent flyers with discounts and deals. Also, it’s not just airlines that offer frequent travellers money saving deals, as hotels give travellers the opportunity to earn points with every stay that can be converted into free stays and discounts, so sign up to a hotel member scheme and reap the benefits by racking up those rewards.

Being a business traveller needn’t be stressful. Use these first-time business traveller hacks to make your next journey all the more enjoyable.

Jason O’Brien is chief operating officer at TollFreeForwarding.com.

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