Business travel can seem glamorous, with trips to exotic locations, high stakes business meetings and dining out with top business leaders. But the difference between a bad business trip and a great one is usually in the detail.
From packing smart to having a successful business meeting, planning ahead can make or break your trip. To help you out, we’ve put together our top tips to take the stress out of business travel.
Planning your travel
A great business trip starts before you step on a plane. Make sure you’ve got every element of your travel organised in advance to guarantee a smooth trip.
1. Plan all your travel – Beyond booking your hotel and your flights, think about how you’ll get from the airport to a meeting and which restaurant you should reserve a table at for a client dinner. There are plenty of travel apps that can help you handle business trip logistics.
Did you know? The best time to book a flight is at 6 a.m.1
2. Plan your rest stops – Travel can be arduous. Make sure you know where and when you’ll be able to sleep or relax. An airport lounge can be a safe haven from the hustle and bustle of an airport.
Did you know? You get access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide with an American Express® Business Platinum Card.
3. Pack smart – Avoid checking in luggage and travel light with a small cabin bag. Wear your heaviest items, like your coat and smart shoes. To maximise space roll up clothes so you can see every item you’ve packed in one glance. In addition, placing your liquids in a plastic bag ahead of time will save you time at security.
Did you know? The average wait time at a UK airport to claim baggage is 21 minutes.2
Planning for body and mind
Getting to your destination with your suitcase and laptop intact isn’t the only challenge of planning your business travel. You need to get there on top form, ready to impress in your meeting. When athletes prepare to travel to international sporting events, they focus on how to ensure they perform at their peak once they touchdown, and so should you.
4. Give yourself enough time to adjust – if you can, plan to get to your destination well in advance of your meeting. It can take a while to adjust and arriving a few days early will give your body a chance to align with the new time zone.
Did you know? It can take 1 to 2 days for each time zone you cross to recover from jetlag.3
5. Keep yourself healthy – spending hours sitting down in a confined space can make the effects of travelling even worse. Make sure you get up, move around and stretch.
Did you know? Sitting for long periods and dehydration can increase the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), so make sure to drink lots of water in addition to keeping yourself active.4
6. Bring home with you – getting used to a new environment and feeling comfortable happens more quickly if you don’t feel too far from home. FaceTime your family to help with homesickness. You might even consider taking your usual pillow to help you sleep better.
Did you know? Sleep experts recommend bringing something from home to deal with travel-related stress.5
Planning for business
You’re there to do business; the last thing you want is to travel thousands of miles and be undermined by poor preparation.
7. Bring your tech – a missing adapter can derail a meeting. Make sure you have it all – laptop, tablet, chargers… even your laser pointer if necessary.
Did you know? 2.7 minutes of every meeting is lost as a result of technical issues.6
8. Learn the local customs – doing some research on your host country means you can make a great first impression by respecting their culture and local customs.
Did you know? In China, you should give and receive business cards using both hands.7
Planning your business travel well will set you up for success and help make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Which is why tip number 9 is to find out more about our range of American Express Business Cards.
You’ll collect Membership Rewards® points on your purchases that you can use to reward yourself, your clients or your employees and, with an American Express Business Platinum Card you’ll unlock access to airline lounges around the world, so you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to go.
- Skyscanner - https://www.skyscanner.com/tips-and-inspiration/best-time-to-book-usa
- The Telegraph - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/Baggage-carousel-waiting-times-best-and-worst-airports/
- USAToday - https://traveltips.usatoday.com/long-over-jet-lag-63114.html
- American Heart Association - https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/venous-thromboembolism/understand-your-risk-for-excessive-blood-clotting
- National Sleep Foundation (US) - https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/jet-lag-and-sleep
- Productivity at the Office report - https://workplaceinsight.net/new-research-uncovers-hours-lost-due-to-workplace-distractions/
- The Drum - https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/09/03/how-do-business-china-the-art-guanxi