Business Travel: 9 Ways to Be Productive While on a Business Trip

business trip

A business trip is still a trip, so we’d have to dodge distractions occasionally, especially if we’re traveling alone. That includes stopping by a cute little cafe on a side street on our way to an important business meeting, to spending half a day shopping for unnecessary stuff. 

How important are business trips?

In the year 2017 alone, Global business travel statistics show that $1.33 trillion was spent on business travels all over the world. The annual business travels costs were even projected to amount to $1.7 trillion by 2022.

In the US alone, 1.3 million recorded business trips were taken every day according to the Global Business Travel Association. And by 2022, US is predicted to have nearly 500 million business trips per year. According to the Bureau of Transportation, business travelers are mostly men aged between 30 to 49 which is 77 percent. However, the number of women travelers are also growing rapidly and has recorded 23 percent.

Apparently, 30 percent of job seekers are ready to accept jobs with lower-income as long as it includes business trips. This is because employees have a good time during the business trips or as they also call “bleisure” trips which are 10 percent of the overall business trips. Some companies are even aware of this and will support the employees by making them feel more comfortable by including a lot of money for travel spending, accommodation, meals, and transportation. Based on Associations Now about international travel statistics, 26 percent of business trips are just one-day long.

Here’s where we need to remind ourselves time and again that the trip is meant for business— and it has to come out fruitful no matter how many distractions we face during the trip.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t completely have fun during this trip. You only need to learn how to prioritize while properly creating a schedule that will make room for some leisure time.

That said, here are nine ways to stay focused and on track of your goals even while you’re away from your office desk.

Plan Everything

A great planner has everything under control. Even if things don’t go as planned, he or she knows how to handle the situation. That’s the beauty of planning every part of the trip, including the tasks you are leaving behind, whether at home or the office.

Listing all that you need to do during the trip, and yes, including that little side trip to a gallery or your favorite restaurant, has to be on the list. It gives you an overview of the whole thing, and it allows you to stay on schedule.

Depending on how long you are going to be away, you also need to consider what you need to be bringing from your essentials down to important documents. You have to make sure you don’t leave any vital business papers behind if you don’t want your trip to be ruined.

Reduce Your Workload Before You Depart

Leading up to your trip, you have to slowly tick off items on your workload. Whether you want to believe it or not, it’s hard to pull off a full workday when on a trip. 

You have to consider the time you’d spend on the road or how many hours you have to spend on the plane, especially the long-haul flights.

The best way to go to is to complete the most important ones on your list before you depart for the trip and then delegate all the other tasks to your co-workers. This way, you’ll have time to focus on the commitments you have during the trip.

Remain Communicative

You have to stay in contact with people from the office and the ones that you will be meeting during the trip. So staying open for communication is a must for those traveling for business.

You must make sure you always have a signal in case you need to get in touch with the office. But of course, when you move around, it’s hard to tell whether the area you’ll be visiting will allow connecting with people.

In such a case, you just need to tell your colleagues if you’re staying offline for a couple of hours.

Keep Detailed “To-Do” Lists

A to-do list is a lifesaver. It goes hand in hand with the way you prepare for the trip. 

This is where you keep the detailed checklist that you need to be completing before you leave and during the entire business excursion. 

Don’t skip even the littlest of things. Those are the items that will make you feel like you’re doing something even if it’s just setting your alarm clock on the day of the flight.

It’s a secret trick to achieving more and ticking off more items on the list.

Take Wi-Fi Enabled Flights

If you can opt for Wi-Fi enabled flights, you wouldn’t know the importance of being able to do more work during the flight instead of just waiting for your plane to land while having a hard time taking a nap until you take one.

Using your time wisely will up your productivity in ways that you don’t expect. The good thing about it is that you can do the simplest tasks, such as answering all your emails while you are thousands of miles up in the air.

It’s still one less item on your to-do, and that is still considered a win no matter how small it may seem.

Have Backups

Whether in terms of files, batteries for your gadgets, or some tools you need for the trip, having a backup is a tip I would recommend over and over. That’s because it will save you from that mini heart attack or a head-spinning migraine if you happen to lose a file or having a phone that runs low on battery while waiting for an important phone call.

For files, make sure you have enough backups. Save it on a flash drive. Send it to yourself via email. Save a copy on your phone and your laptop, if you’re bringing one. It’s better to be safe than sorry; trust me.

Now, to keep your phones charged, a portable battery pack will save you from running on a 3% battery while doing important business stuff on your phone.

Travel With Carry-Ons Instead

Business trips are usually short and quick. There might be times where you only need to stay in one place for 8 hours and then transfer to another city the next day.

And in cases like this, you don’t want to go over the hassle of checking a bag when you can settle with a carry-on instead.

There are perfect carry-on dimensions that will allow you to carry all your clothes and all other business tools you need to bring without giving a hard time during the whole packing part.

Learn how to pack a la Marie Kondo efficiently, and you never have to bring a huge luggage every time you go on a business trip. It’s a helpful trick to carry with you as you continue improving the way you tackle business concerns.

Be Strategic With Your Gadgets

We have to take full advantage of this electronic age where everything seems possible. A phone can even do what a laptop can do, only with a small screen.

If you think your laptop will add a deliberate weight on your carry-on, I suggest making use of your phone or a tablet instead and adjust accordingly in case you’re not used to working on a smaller screen.

But if you’re laptop is lightweight, then just leave your tablet behind. Just make sure that you have all the necessary accessories you have with you like chargers, connectors, and adapters in case you need one.

Another thing to keep in mind is to use your phone’s hotspot instead of connecting to suspicious networks. You might be putting your files at risk, especially the sensitive ones when you connect to a Wi-Fi network that you don’t trust.

Take Breaks

Well, here’s the best part of all. If you’ve completed all the important tasks you need to be doing during this trip, taking a leisure break is what gives you the extra motivation to continue doing great both in life and in business.

You must recognize that you also need to find the time to take a nap or at least to take that stroll at a nearby park to breathe in fresh air when things seem to be going south. It might give you a fresh perspective on how to handle things.

This is one way of taking care of yourself when you’re too invested in being the best.

If you’re not yet convinced, a business trip is one fun way to leave your office desk for a few days and still make a great impact on your career. You just have to put things into perspective and come back feeling triumphant no matter the result of that trip.


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