Traveling for business might be an essential part of the job, but does it have to be so, well, stodgy? You’re wearing your professional outfit, carrying your work must-haves, and following a pre-determined itinerary. Where’s the fun?
More importantly, where’s the comfort?
It really is there! You just have to know where to look for it. These four tips will help you add comfort (and a little excitement) to your next work trip.
1. Focus on the Transportation Details
Whether you’re flying, driving, or something else, getting to your destination is a major part of the trip, especially if it’s a long day of traveling. When you’re going to be spending more than a few hours on the road (or in the air), it’s worth the investment to splurge on the details.
For instance, when you’re flying, if you have a say in the itinerary, check out the price difference between what your work is paying for and the next level up.
The business class might be a little more than economy, but since your job pays most of the ticket, would the splurge be worth it? Or, even better, can you upgrade to first class for a reasonable amount?
Look at the layovers, too. There’s no point rushing to meet your next flight, particularly when you’re dealing with today’s airport schedules. An extended layover can save you from severe stress with so many delays.
And if you get “stuck” in the airport for an extra few hours because your flight happened to be running on time, that’s a great problem. It means you can take advantage of the airline lounge perks available to you as a business or first-class passenger. Put your feet up, catch up on your work or favorite streaming show, or take a nap. You’ve earned it!
2. Upgrade Your Hotel
Once you get to your destination, the first place you’ll want to head to is your hotel. After a long day of traveling, a hot shower, room service, and a comfortable bed sound heavenly, right?
Ehhh, but did your travel manager consider those factors when they booked your room or did they opt for the cheapest hotel they could find within your per diem?
Before you agree to the trip’s details, check out the lodging accommodations. It’s your money and time, after all. Yes, you’re getting reimbursed, but you should have a say in where that money is spent and where you’re staying.
Talk to your manager if you see a hotel you have points with or one you wouldn’t mind spending an extra few dollars to stay at. They may agree to book you there, where there’s more for you to see and do, or additional shopping, entertainment, and dining choices. With the right hotel, your trip can turn into a bleisure getaway.
3. Spend an Extra Night Away
Does your schedule have any buffer in it for you to decompress before your first business event? If not, ask about adding an extra night to your accommodations.
Many corporate travel managers are including this time into the business trip as a proactive measure anyway, as delays become a regular part of the planning process. That addition to the itinerary helps you and your manager avoid the hassle and expense of late arrivals.
If you’re on time, you can spend those unmapped hours exploring, relaxing, and resting up for your meetings. However, if your transportation is running behind, you’re not as concerned about missing anything important.
4. Stay Healthy and Hydrated
Getting off your regular sleeping and eating routine is expected when you’re on a trip. Yet, the things you do to “reward” yourself for your hard work are also the same things that can make you sick.
Stick to water instead of soda or alcohol. Eat healthier meals and avoid greasy or carb-laden foods. Pack nutritious snacks in your suitcase so that when you’re hungry, you’re not tempted with foods that will hurt your stomach or mess up your sleep schedule later.
Staying healthy and hydrated is a surefire way to keep your body comfortable and avoid getting sick when you get back home.
You want to be comfortable from the first steps of your business travel experience through your safe return. It’s possible to do, as long as you plan and focus on the details.
Follow these four tips, and your next work trip will be much more enjoyable!