Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tips for Business Travel

My work travel schedule this month is insane!  It's always overnight and out of state...  and May is filling up too.  It definitely isn't as glamorous as I'd once imagined, but I get to see more of the U.S., stay in nice hotels, and eat a LOT of good food at business meals.


I'm learning tricks of the trade along the way.  Here are a few that I live by; let me know if you have some of your own!

While Packing...
  • Pick a color scheme.  I choose outfits that go with brown *or* black shoes, never a combination of both!  Most work trips, I pack a single pair of shoes, maybe with some backup flats in the same color if I'm going for power heels.
  • I pack one outfit per day, plus one extra "top" outfit that goes with something else in the bag.  Overpacking is a rookie mistake.
  • If you're packing a suit in your suitcase, lay that in first (the garment bag will hang over the sides) and fill the rest of your bag.  Then fold those overhanging flaps over.  It minimizes the folds in your clothes so the suit won't wrinkle as much!
  • Dresses in general are the easiest.  Ponte knits are awesome.  I often travel with ponte knit skirts and dresses because I know they won't wrinkle.  Plus, they're super comfy!  You can dress them up or down with a blazer, heels, flats, and accessories.
When Flying...
  • Try to stick to one or two airlines, if possible.  Enroll in those mileage programs, and you'll be more likely to be upgraded to a higher preferred customer level.  (I'm a Delta/Southwest girl.)  With Delta, I now always get free checked bags and boarding with Zone 1; this means I never have to worry about fighting the crowds to find space in the overhead bins.
  • Don't check a bag unless it's a long trip.  You don't want to end up giving a big presentation in your travel clothes!
  • Make sure your laptop is easy access for security lines.  I also stick my "liquids" baggie in with my laptop so I can pull them both out quickly.
At the Hotel...
  • Ask for a room above the 2nd floor.  That way if the hotel has a lounge/bar, you will be high enough not to hear the noise from down below.
  • Tell the front desk to put a "Do Not Disturb" on your phone.
  • As a woman traveling alone, be extra vigilant.  I always stay alert (not texting/on my phone!) when walking to and from my car and entering the hotel and elevator.  When I enter my hotel room, I look around 360-degrees to see who sees me enter the room.  I make eye contact with them, so they know I am aware of them.  Plus, I could pick out any would-be bad dudes in a lineup.
For Your Sanity & Health...
  • Pack snacks.  It'll keep you from turning to fast food joints, and help your energy.
  • Take your vitamins.  I get sick more often now that I travel for business.  I try to take extra Vitamin C when I feel something coming on.
  • Pack a "first aid" kit.  In my work bag, I keep motions sickness pills, Pepto Bismol, headache medicine, and even cold/flu meds... just in case.  Also, GUM!
  • Get some rest.  When you travel for work, it feels like you're never "off the clock", even after hours.  You spend your hotel nights working on presentations and catching up on e-mail.  At some point, cut yourself off at a decent hour and zone out with some brainless TV or a beach read.  Get some sleep and recuperate.
  • If you have some free time, look up interesting things to do in your area!  I love visiting area museums, shopping hubs, and local restaurants.
Do you have any travel tips for work?


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  2. Another tip is to explore corporate housing options. Since my field of work requires me to travel from my company's location on the Northeast to its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, my boss allowed me to stay in corporate housing while I'm down there. Residing in corporate housing in Charlotte NC really helps the business cut down costs tremendously on travel expenses.

  3. useful traveling tips, especially for tourist with low budget like me


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