Business trips can be grueling, whether they’re a once-a-year event or appear on your calendar regularly. While travel obstacles like security pat-downs, carry-on searches, bad weather, lost luggage, and delayed flights can’t always be avoided, you can control some aspects of your trip in order to ensure you arrive at your destination ready to tackle your work.
On your next business trip, consider employing these four survival tips:
1. Don’t overschedule yourself before you leave.
Whenever possible, leave the evening before your flight free. This time allows you to ensure you’ve packed everything without rushing and to rest, relax, and focus on the trip and the work ahead. This is a good time in which to pack an in-flight “survival kit,” including your electronic devices and their chargers, earplugs, lip balm, and comfort items like a compact pillow or sleep mask.
2. Arrive at the airport two hours before your scheduled flight – no exceptions.
Arriving early allows you to get through security with time to reach your flight, even if the lines are long or a delay occurs. Use the extra time to grab a coffee or a snack and enjoy a quiet activity that helps you relax. Reading a book or listening to music or a podcast on headphones are both good choices for your pre-flight survival.
3. Take breaks during the trip as well.
When you’ve reached your destination and are attending to your work, don’t forget to take a few brief breaks throughout the day. Step outside, go for a brief walk, or just stand up and stretch to keep your mind and body alert. Also, take care to eat regularly. Giving your body and brain the fuel they need will help you finish your work well while handling the extra stress of being on the road.
4. Schedule some “down time” when you return.
Even if you’re traveling within the same time zone, don’t schedule any serious social or business commitments for the day after your return. Instead, use the time to do quiet work in your office, go to a show or museum, or simply spend time reading or enjoying another hobby.
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