If you are preparing for business travel, you may be in a quandary about exactly what you need to do and why. After all, preparing for a business trip isn’t quite like preparing for a pleasure trip. A business trip could be just the same as going to work with the added complication of being out of your office! Here are a few ideas to help you plan for your business trip in a way that reduces stress, supports productivity, and leaves a little room for fun!
If you’re traveling with kids, it’s tempting to let them all tune out with their own mp3 players, but consider bringing along some books on CD. Having something literate and interesting for the whole family to listen to is not only entertaining and interesting, but provides a common experience that each family member can take forward with them into life (“Hey, remember when I was ten, and we listened to Black Beauty on the way to Maine?”). It’s the stuff of which fond memories are made.
Make sure you carry a bottle of water with you. Whether you find yourself out in the wilderness or in a bustling city, having a bottle of water on your person at all times is never a bad idea. These are especially easy to keep handy if you carry a purse.
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Before booking a hotel for your trip, check with the Better Business Bureau. Checking with them first, can save you a lot of time and money. It will ensure that you do not waste your time checking into a poor hotel. A poor hotel experience can ruin any vacation or business trip.
Asking for a better hotel room when you are checking in will most probably get you one! If you would prefer a better view, a quieter room or maybe one closer to the ice-machine, chances are very good that one is available. It takes but a moment to ask and will most definitely improve your stay.
Buy airport carry-on sized toiletries when flying to your next travel destination. Store them in zip lock bags in your luggage and you won’t need to worry about security confiscating them.
When planning a trip, don’t count on a single booking website to show you the lowest fares. Compare prices across a variety of sites, including meta-searchers if you can find them. Also check with the airline and hotel directly, as they may actually be able to offer you a better rate than the website.
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Before purchasing a package deal for travel, check out the prices of the individual components. In many cases, the package deals are cheaper than buying the pieces separately, but not always. It never hurts to check out pricing for yourself before becoming locked in to purchasing the whole package, and you might discover there’s a part of the package you don’t want, such as meals.
Choose a seat as soon as possible. If your airline allows you to select a seat at the time of booking, be sure to do so. To make the best decision, use airplane seating websites to look up information on seating layouts and details for your specific type of plane online. Airlines often charge extra for exit rows and more spacious seats, the value of which you must determine based on the flight duration and cost.
Another good way to get some sleep on an airplane is by using headphones or ear plugs. This will drown out the constant engine noise and also the little kids and talkative adults on the plane. You will be able to relax and get some much needed rest.
Book your reservations and flights with the exact name shown on your government identification card. Although you may typically go by a nickname or middle name, for the purpose of ticketing, use your given name. Small name differences can be a huge headache when trying to get through security, especially abroad where it isn’t obvious that Bill is short for William.
If you’re going on a cruise, pack a travel mug with you. They’re great for filling up with coffee or tea while you’re wandering the ship in the mornings. They can also keep you from spilling your drink while in the buffet line. And if you’re going to be sitting by the pool, they’ll keep your drinks nice and cool for you.
When making travel hotel accommodations make sure you call ahead and actually speak to someone at the hotel. Ask about their pet policy to find out if they allow pets and if they charge extra fees for pets. This enables you to choose a hotel that fits well for you whether you are traveling with pets or allergic to pets.
When you are traveling with your laptop, bring an audio/visual cord with you. Most hotels have high-speed internet access and many also have a nice HDTV in their rooms. If you have an A/V cord, you can hook your laptop up to the TV, allowing you to stream videos or enjoy other online content from a large screen.
Always have a copy of your passport available, and keep it a different location than your actual passport. In the event of a stolen or lost passport, having a copy will make replacing it much easier and faster. You can tuck a paper copy into your shoe or scan your passport and keep a digital copy on a small flash drive you can keep on a key chain or lanyard.
To get the most enjoyment out of travel, relax. Travel can be stressful no matter how you go – car, plane, train or bus. Inevitably, something will go wrong even when you are highly prepared. Do not stress about it. Relax and enjoy whatever might come your way. The best experiences often result from the unexpected. Just think of the stories you can tell later!
So remember, avoiding rushing is the key to successful business travel. By planning your travel well ahead of your meetings and obligations, you will be able to save some money, relax and have a good time. See if you can take a day off before and after the trip to avoid feeling pressured and rushed. In this way, you will have a productive and enjoyable business trip.