By Irma Hunkeler
Business travel isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be – especially if you’re not doing it right. While newbies to the corporate travel journey might be wide-eyed with excitement, it’s not quite the same for grizzled veterans, who cast familiar eye rolls once the time to book flights and sort hotels comes around.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five quick hacks for making business travel that little bit easier.
Hunt for alternative business destinations
Offering up a new city in which to go and hunt for new business will not only give you something exciting to look forward to – it’ll earn you big brownie points with the boss. While the major business cities are teeming with corporate visitors, there are lots of other destinations off the beaten track that still offer plenty of opportunity for doing important business and making new connections. This resource put together by Alpharooms details some of the best alternative travel destinations in Europe. What’s more, they’re cheap. Why head to Brussels, for example, when Leuven is around 20% more affordable?
Keep track of your expenses
Business travel often involves claiming expenses – that means you can buy food and drink and take taxis to meetings, with your employer footing the bill. Within reason, of course. But, if you have a lot of client dinners and take a lot of Ubers to meetings, your wallet will soon be bulging with receipt after receipt after receipt. It can get quite difficult to keep track of everything. To ensure the line between your money and your employer’s doesn’t get blurred, download an expenses app so you can properly manage all your expense payments – and ensure it’s easy for your employer to process them efficiently when you return to the office.
Plan in some fun
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. While the main reason you’re on a corporate travel trip is to actually do work, it’s important that you factor in some time for yourself. Tirelessly working day after day can lead to burnout, which isn’t good for you and isn’t good for your employer. That’s why many experts suggest scheduling an extra day around your corporate trip – that way you can enjoy some time to yourself, whether it’s heading to that museum you’ve always wanted to visit or simply enjoying a stroll around a great city.
Keep in touch with friends and family
It’s an old adage that even in the busiest, brightest cities things can get lonely. Business travel has its share of upsides but, especially for those with family, long trips away can take an emotional toll. To remedy it, use the variety of tools and platforms at your disposal to keep in touch with family and friends – from Whatsapp to social media to Skype, there’s a platform to help you stay connected. Knowing that you’ll be doing a video call with your children at the end of a long day can make that tiresome day lot better – and easier.
Look after yourself
When away it can be easy to let things slide when it comes to food and drink. Busy, stressful days make the local fast food place an inviting one in which to pop in for some much-needed comfort food. And the hotel bar is always full of fellow road warriors wanting to shoot the breeze. That’s all well and good, but it’s important to stay hydrated when traveling! Moreover, consider taking some time to plan how to eat well and drink smart when you’re on the road. Sites like Opentable can help you plan out where you are going to eat along the way all over the world – that way you’ll be looking after your body, which will look after your business mind in the process.
Irma works for BlueGlass.co.uk, a digital marketing agency.