Setting yourself up for a stressful time before you even arrive at your business destination is highly unadvisable. The number of times a seemingly well-planned business trip can become a disaster-in-the-making is not worth considering.
Make sure you do everything possible to ensure a safe and stress-free trip.
From personal experience, here are 6 MUST-DO things that you should check off your itinerary before reaching your final destination, and the official start of your business trip:
1. Check-in online
You wouldn't believe the hassle this one step saves. As soon as you can, usually 24 hours prior to flight departure, go online to the website of your airline carrier and book online. Have your flight number to hand, as well as either your booking reference number or the name on the ticket.
Choose where you want to sit, ideally opt for an exit row, where you gain more legroom and the ability to stand up and use the wash facilities without disturbing the person in the seat next to you. Once your preferred seat is chosen, and you have confirmation, all you need to worry about is checking in your luggage at the airport.
2. Travel light
Let's be honest: Unless you intend to tack a vacation to the beginning or end of your trip, you want to travel as lightly as possible. If you plan on staying at your business location for more than a few days, consider using the laundry service at the hotel, and only carry what you need for half that time.
Men, you don't need a selection of suits. One, maybe two, are all you need. Simply change your daily look with fresh ties and shirts.
Ladies, do you really need a change of clothes for every occasion? Remember, this isn't a holiday. You'll be working...
Travelling light also makes transition to and from the airport far simpler, not to mention reduce the chances of injury from hauling a heavy case around with you. Ideally, purchase a case on wheels with a retractable handle, and spend as much as your budget will allow, ensuring a long life.
3. Arrive at the airport early
Beat the queues, check-in in minimal time, and allow yourself time to gather your thoughts and buy any last minute things you might need on the trip. Always remember to check that you have travel plugs, adaptors and batteries.
Get to your departure gate in good time and then relax. Please avoid racing through the corridors, trying to reach your closing gate in time.
4. Eat light, drink little during your flight
Studies show that eating lightly onboard a long distance flight will reduce the chances of jetlag. Airline food is never known for its culinary enjoyment, so do yourself a favour and eat before you leave home or the office.
If you are hungry, don't be tempted to eat everything on your tray. Avoid the bread, the dessert and the coffee. Only eat the main course and then get rid of the tray.
Instead, focus on drinking plenty of water and staying well hydrated.
5. Use the time to exercise or sleep
Instead of sifting through paperwork and worrying about meetings and business deals, relax. Get some sleep, make yourself comfortable and try to get up and about every hour, just to stretch and move around. Do some exercise in your seat. Brace your abs, twist your torso and lift your bodyweight up out of your seat.
It may not be up to the intensity or variety of your hotel room workouts, but it will still keep you active and stop you from sitting in your seat for hours on end.
6. Re-set your body clock
Once onboard, behave as though you were already at your destination. Reset your watch to local time and act accordingly. If it is 3am at your destination, try and get some sleep. Allow your body a chance to slip gently into its new time zone.
By following these 6 tips you are far more likely to arrive at your destination more alert, less tired and ready to jump right in and get down to business.
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