How to Be Great at Business TravelSeptember 9th, 2014 by Jason Hartman | Comments Off on How to Be Great at Business Travel
Thanks to the internet, conducting business abroad has become pretty simple. Virtual assistants, Skype, and instant messenger services make it easy to connect with someone across the office or across the world. But there’s still something infinitely valuable about a face to face meeting.
In the corporate world, these in person discussions might be the thing that sets you apart from everyone else. Learning to travel efficiently and with purpose is crucial to your success. Himself a world traveler, Jason Hartman has learned a thing or two about this process. Read on for some great advice!
Before you book corporate travel, you’re going to need a little bit of help. The internet provides a wealth of information, but it can often be too much to sort through. Begin your search for the perfect travel agent by asking other professionals in your industry.
Once you’ve gathered a list of a few names, start researching these people. Look for online reviews, customer experiences, etc. When you’re confident that you’ve found someone who may be able to help you, give them a call. Ask a lot of questions to determine if it is a good fit–if they’ll be able to satisfy the travel needs of you and your company.
If you’re traveling internationally
If you are traveling to another country, make sure you research the business practices that take place there. Culture can dictate a lot of things that we may not think about. In some cultures, maintained eye contact can be threatening. In others, a handshake may be conducted in a very particular way. Always research the country you’re visiting well in advance to make sure that your corporate travel experience is top notch.
Search guidebooks and embassy websites, but remember that you can again rely on your resources. Ask your friends and coworkers who may have been to the place you’re traveling to. They will probably happy to share experiences, advice, and recommendations for your trip.
When booking your hotel
When you begin looking for your hotel, remember that there are different standards in different countries–what qualifies as a three star in your country may be higher or lower in another. If you can, book luxury hotels that allow you to rest peacefully and conduct business with a relaxed and rested mind.
Remember that you’ll be changing time zones, and a little luxury might go a long way. Look for hotels that cater to business travelers and find a place that offers a pool or gym so that you can stretch your muscles after a long flight.
Another great way to get hotel recommendations is to ask the company you’re visiting for suggestions. They will not want to look bad, so they’ll be sure to recommend the ultimate in luxury accommodations.
Think about the environment
If you’re doing a lot of corporate travel, it might make you feel better to know that you can do it in a fairly green way. By packing light, seeking out public transportation, and looking for green alternatives, you can make an impact. There are even travel services that focus on operating in an environmentally friendly way and booking hotels and other services that value the same things. When you’re traveling, bring a reusable water bottle with you. You’ll be happy to be hydrated in the airport and in the air, and you’ll be helping the environment.
Sharp dressed man (or woman)
When you’re on the road, it can be difficult to be both presentable and comfortable–both of which are important. Bring layers so that its easy to change up your look between your various obligations. Light fabrics in solid, easy to match colors are best. Choose things that won’t wrinkle when you’re on planes, trains, or automobiles and bring stain remover with you–just in case. Pack a small sewing kit that has a few basics–needle, thread, safety pins in case something happens.
Utilize your time
It’s easy to get sucked into an inflight movie or simply fall asleep, but time in the air is valuable. Most flights offer inflight wireless connections, allowing you to get a lot of work done. And there aren’t any distractions, allowing you to be pretty productive. If nothing else, working while in the air helps pass the time and gives you a sense of accomplishment .
Play nice (and with cash in hand)
When you’re traveling, a little positivity goes a long way. By smiling at the flight staff, desk clerk, etc. you may get a few extra perks you weren’t counting on. If you know that your corporate travel will bring you back again and again, it will be especially important that you develop friendly relationships with people you encounter. And if that doesn’t work? A little cash does a lot of talking, too.
Make your work do double duty
If you know that you’re going to have to do a little bit of business travel, try and make your time do a little bit more. If you can arrange meetings with multiple clients, train employees in a remote office, or hit up a conference, you’ll make more of your time. People will feel important because you’ve traveled a long way to see them, and your time and money will not be wasted.
Make real human connections
Business travel opportunities are a great way to finally put faces with names. We interact remotely quite often, so when given the opportunity to meet someone face to face, definitely do it. Make the most of these type of visits by truly engaging with those you meet. Make a lasting impression and ensure that this will not be the last of this type of meeting.
Business and corporate travel allows us to combine two essential parts of life–work and adventure. By doing a little bit of planning for the former, you leave more time for the latter. If work allows you to see the world on someone else’s dime–do it! And if you’re lucky enough to work for yourself–everything becomes corporate travel!