t’s been predicted there will be approximately 457 million business trips per year within the U.S. by 2024, with women making up a growing percentage of that number. Between in-person meetings, onsite office visits and lecture circuits filling up the calendar, business travel can become quite chaotic without a well-crafted plan.
When growing a business, living life on the go often becomes commonplace, heading from one professional event to the next. However, with business travel beginning to resume to pre-pandemic levels, it’s helpful to keep in mind these travel best practices to optimize the experience.
- Be strategic when planning travel
With entrepreneurship comes a certain level of flexibility that allows for flying during “off-times” to save on costs and minimize crowded flights. Booking travel in early spring or fall is often less expensive than during the high travel seasons of summer and end-of-the-year holidays, though be mindful of booking around spring break and other major holidays.
Also, when possible, reserve flights at the beginning of the week versus the weekend as these are often less expensive and may have better flight times. Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to have the lowest flight prices with savings of nearly $85 on average. Furthermore, check current airline policies. Many now offer flexible flight changes and cancellations with either an airline credit or refund if plans change, which helps to keep options open.
- Pack efficiently
Creating a checklist is an easy way to track and pack exactly what’s needed for a business trip. Consider events on the agenda, such as conferences, meetings and networking happy hours. Pack layering pieces that can be worn more than once and outfits that can coordinate with the same pair of dress shoes, since footwear often takes up the most room.
First, lay out all possible clothing options. Then, pare down the packing list to necessities to avoid having to check luggage and potentially incur extra costs. Next, roll clothing to make more room and use packing cubes to optimize space. It’s also smart to invest in a travel steamer, especially for delicate fabrics. Additionally, choose a laptop bag or tote which can be used to store electronics, as well as a small toiletry kit to free up room in the suitcase as well.
- Prioritize comfort on flights
When traveling on multi-hour and/or overnight flights, stay comfortable while in the air to feel better prepared once landed. Once on board, change into comfortable clothes to avoid wrinkling and staining workwear — and to help settle in to relax. Moisturize the skin and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated to look and feel refreshed. Also, wear a sleep mask and listen to a meditation or nighttime noise app like Calm or Headspace to make it easier to doze off. About an hour before landing, change back into business attire, freshen up and order a strong cup of coffee to start the trip off right.