8 Essential Business Travel Tips

Business travel has changed a lot over the last few years, and evolved passed the business suit and briefcase stereotype. The nature of travel itself has changed, and so has the nature of the marketplace. However, a lot tend to dread business travel and travel in general due to many reasons. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few business travel tips you can follow on your next business trip.

1. Check Regional

If you usually fly national, then you should definitely check out regional carriers and what they have to offer. Not only do they often have competitive prices, they also offer much more bang for your buck.

In Canada, airlines like Porter, for instance, offer less crowded flights with much more space and some of the luxuries of business class on standard bookings. They serve most of the East Coast and parts of the US South East and Midwest. They offer great flights to Toronto as well, so if you need to book a flight to Toronto anytime soon, this could be a great way to cut down on flying costs without sacrificing comfort.

2. Pack Right, a Key Business Travel Tip

An airplane flying high in the sky

Packing is probably one of the most important and tenuous parts of going on a business trip. But there are a few things that you can do to make sure that you get it right the first time around and this is our first business travel tip.

2.1 Pack Light

This may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll soon find out that you don’t need to bring as much as you think you do. Ideally, you should be able to fit everything in a carry-on bag. This way you’ll be able to get through lines faster and won’t have to carry a huge bag around in a city you’re not familiar with.

2.2 Separate Toiletries

Another thing you could do is to have a separate set of toiletries and essentials especially for travel, and pre-pack a suitcase so you’re always ready to go. This way, you won’t have to worry about missing a toothbrush or charger midway through the flight. Having all of these things prepacked will relieve a lot of stress and allow you to get through packing much faster. It can also help to separate out your carry-on liquids to comply with any security requirements.

2.3 Pack Casual and Business Clothing

Make sure that you pack both casual and business clothing. If you don’t want your dress shirt or blouse to get wrinkled, consider using some of those plastic bags you get at your dry cleaners.

Think twice about wearing business clothes on your flight. We advise that you wear something you feel comfortable in first and foremost, as you may have trouble getting some shut eye on your flight all suited up.

2.4 Sleep Aids

Speaking of getting some shut eye, we also suggest that you bring sleep aids as well. Being well rested is important when on a business trip, so you have to take advantage of every chance that you can get. Try to find space for a small travel pillow, an eye mask, and headphones.

2.5 Security Requirements

When packing, you also have to take security protocols into consideration. This is why you should make sure that your electronic devices and liquids are easily accessible at all times. Also make sure that you invest in good luggage with multiple departments that will allow you to keep things separated. And if you’re keeping electronic or liquid items in hand luggage beware of and prepare for security requirements.

Also, make sure to make things as easy as possible for security by wearing things that will be easy to check. For instance, instead of wearing regular shoes, you could opt for a comfortable pair of slip-ons that you’ll be able to take on and off quickly.

3. Consider Booking a Serviced Apartment

A modern and tidy apartment

Serviced apartments are perfect for business travel for a variety of reasons. First of all, there’s the space. If you’re travelling with a team and want as much freedom as possible while being able to regroup at a moment’s notice, then going with a serviced apartment is the way to go. People will be able to work in isolation if they need more concentration, or you could work together on briefings or presentations.

Getting a serviced apartment, maybe via the likes of Airbnb or Booking.com, will also cost you much less than booking separate rooms, and you’ll get a much better space.

You’ll get all the comforts of a regular apartments, plus the service and luxury of a hotel. Not only that, but you also won’t have to spend money on expensive hotel food and refreshments. You’ll be able to cook your own food in most cases, which will allow you to save money. You’ll also be able to invite clients or partners for dinner as well.

And if you want to entertain clients, or call them over for a meeting, you can do this too. Not only will it be more convenient than a hotel room, but it is much more professional as well.

Alternatively, perhaps you really prefer staying in a hotel?

With so many accommodation and lodging options available, the prospect of finding the perfect place to stay that fits your budget can seem like an overwhelming task. If this is the case you may value using the service of a business accommodation specialist to help you.

4. Take Advantage of Rewards

Getting a good business credit card with rewards is another business travel tip and an essential if you want to get all the perks and facilitate travel. Some will offer access to airport lounges, free food, and deals with certain providers.

You could use your credit cards on all your business-related expenses in order to get the rewards faster. This is also a great way to keep a close eye on your finances. However, don’t make the mistake of not checking the other terms of the cards as some have ridiculously high fees that negate any type of reward you’re getting.

5. Get a Nexus Pass

Going through airport security is one of the worst parts of business travel, but there are ways that you can make things easier.

For example if you’re a Canadian or US Citizen, one way would be to apply for a Nexus pass. These will allow you to get pre-approved and across the border much easier.

You can also bypass regular lines if you have a premium or gold membership with an airline alliance, like Aeroplan or Star Alliance.

6. Be Loyal

A hotel room with large bed

Another interesting business travel tip is that if you can, always try to fly with the same airline, visit the same establishments, and book with the same accommodation provider. This will give you the chance to get elite status and get some extra perks. Being a regular with an airline could give you tons of extras, such as check in luggage, access to VIP lounges, or even preferential seating on planes.

7. Invest in a GPS

Lost luggage on business trips is one of the worst things that can happen, so you should do everything in your power to make sure it doesn’t. Just investing in a GPS luggage tracker could be a great way to prevent it. You’ll be able to track your luggage in real time and notify the airlines when something isn’t right. They’ll also help you retrieve luggage that may have been stolen.

8. Book on Holidays and Make the Business Trip and Bleisure Trip

A Toronto cityscape

If you hate crowds, then you should consider booking during holidays like Christmas for instance. Perhaps an unexpected business travel tip but a good one as air travel is usually very low on these periods, so if you’re not big on Christmas celebrations or don’t celebrate it for any reason, this is a great opportunity to speed through lines and get extra room. However, don’t make the mistake of booking last minute as then the prices will hike.

Many individuals are now finding themselves embarking on ‘bleisure’ trips, these being trips combining elements of business and leisure.

Bleisure travelers fall into two main categories:

  • Corporate, group, or conference guests who add a few days of holiday to their business trips
  • Business travelers who bring companions like friends or family members along.

Basically, bleisure travelers look to take advantage of flights or hotel rooms paid by their company and enjoy a little rest and relaxation or sightseeing in the area before or after their business activities. 

Do make sure you have the right bleisure travel insurance if you decide to take this route as there are implications for any business travel insurance you may have or indeed personal travel insurance.

Other than that point of caution, bleisure travel can really help with your stress levels, and is another great business travel tip.

Business travel can be stressful, but it is an increasingly important part of business. By following these few tips, you’ll be able to make the whole experience much smoother and be able to focus on what matters.

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