How to make the most of your time to be productive on business trips

Business trips can become a source of stress for people who travel to other cities to participate in meetings, events, etc.

It’s not just packing a suitcase, queuing at airports, the fatigue of travel, but many people have the feeling that work is piling up in the office, without being able to control the performance of their functions, projects and tasks.

Business travel is always a hectic affair

Today, thanks to smartphones, apps and laptops, it is possible to take advantage of downtime at airports, hotels or even cab rides. This also means you don’t feel disconnected from what’s going on in the office and you can even get ahead on your work.

7 tips to boost your productivity on a business trip

Optimizing and planning your travel can help you prepare for meetings and presentations, while avoiding even more stress.

1. Plan your travel schedule

Confirm and confirm your meetings and commitments several days in advance. Make sure they are still on so you don’t “throw away” money on travel reservations.

To make your trip productive:

  • Make a list of the objectives you want to achieve.
  • Prepare the agenda of the topics to be discussed in the meetings.
  • Prepare all the documentation you will need for the meetings.
  • Rehearse your presentations and speeches
  • The fewer surprises you have, the more profitable your trip will be.

2. Lightweight luggage

The suitcase should be made of a light material and preferably with wheels, that is, a trolley type. This will make it easier to move around.

The ideal is to take what is strictly necessary for the trip and forget the “just in case”. Try to bring clothes made of fabrics that do not wrinkle much and do not need ironing.

It never hurts to check the weather forecast, especially if you are traveling abroad and do not know the climate of the region.

A travel bag or small suitcase gives you the advantage of being able to take them in the cabin, as hand luggage and save you time in having to check in at the counter, as well as waiting for it to come out through the belt once you have arrived at your destination.

3. International chargers and plugs

Many people travel without a laptop or cell phone charger. It’s not that they forget, it’s just that they take up space in their luggage and are heavy. This type of traveler assumes that the hotel or the company they are going to visit has the charger model they need at their disposal.

As you will understand, neither the hotel, nor the companies, nor the restaurants have a closet with all the chargers of all brands and models of smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Something similar happens when you travel abroad. Remember that the plugs vary from one country to another.

Take a look at this image. There are 7 different plug models for the countries marked in green (that includes Europe). In the case of North America and Central America, they have 2 different plugs.

Therefore, if you do not want to run out of battery during your trips, it is best to always carry your chargers and also an external battery.

4. Take advantage of downtime

A lot of time is spent waiting to board a plane or get on a train. This can be used to review a presentation, close future meeting dates, write/answer emails.

Airports have lounges where you can work in peace and quiet with an internet connection.

Access to these spaces is not limited exclusively to business or first class passengers. If you have an affinity card with an airline or Renfe, as you accumulate loyalty points, you can benefit from the use of the terminal lounge.

Working during a car trip to a business meeting. Photo by etransfers

If you do not have an affinity card, you should know that most airports have “pay-per-visit lounges”.

Many companies make agreements with airlines so that their employees can have access to these lounges during their travels. The same applies if your company’s reservations are managed through a travel agency (they will have partnership agreements with airports and airlines or train companies).

One way to save time at airport terminals is to get a fast-track boarding pass. This way you will be one of the first to board the plane.

5. You can work without Wifi

There are many places where there is no internet connection. That’s OK. It’s not the end of the world. You can also work without Wifi. In fact, these times can be the most productive of your working day because you can work concentrated and without interruptions, e.g. from supposedly urgent emails or other types of notifications.

Since you won’t have internet or cell phone coverage during a flight and sometimes in the train carriage or even in the hotel room, you should be prepared to work offline.

Save your documents on the local drive of your laptop, on a pen drive or take a hard copy. Carry a notebook and pen to jot down all the ideas that come to mind.

6. Minimize interruptions

Sometimes it is difficult to avoid interruptions during a flight. Situations like the ones in this video that parodies air travel can occur.

To avoid interruptions during a trip you can

put earplugs in your ears to isolate yourself from the noise

put on headphones and listen to music to help you concentrate and avoid the passenger in the seat next to you starting to tell you about his or her life.

buy water, soft drinks or food at the terminal to take back to the cabin. It will probably be cheaper than buying it in the cabin and you will also avoid the interruption of the cabin crew.

7. Rest from time to time

Not everything is work. From time to time you need to rest to recharge your batteries and be fresh for meetings.

A little conversation with the passenger next to you helps distract you and helps you meet new people, who might even be interested in your company’s products/services.

If it’s a long trip, remember to get up to stretch your legs and take a walk down the aisle of the plane or train. Reactivate blood circulation and avoid economy class syndrome.

Other alternatives are to do a little sport in the hotel gym or go jogging in the vicinity of the hotel.