A guide for the globetrotter
Business travel is not easy these days for stressed executives living from tour to tour. Here are a few tips to make things better, writes Pomy Issar.business Updated: Feb 22, 2008 23:54 IST
In today’s ever shrinking world where eveything is just a click or a flight away, a new law of success and motion has started to come into play: the degree of one’s success and upward mobility is directly propotional to the amount of time spent dashing through airports, hopping on and off jet planes and checking into hotels at distant ports of call.
Its all the brownie points that you can get through you presentations at all the global hot-spots that determines one’s rung in the coporate ladder.
All that would be fine, if all you had to do in life was fly in planes, which in itself would be an adventure. However, we all know there is more to corporate life.
Preparing touring, staying in hotels, work and leisure—all present their own challenges, and a little planning and guidence will smoothen your experience so that you can fully enjoy your hard-earned salaries.
The point to remember is that there are touch points in a traveller’s life that need to be remembered in advance for the experience to be smooth. Security at the airports, luggage collections and desk clerks are among things one encounters. Foreign travel involves talking to taxi drivers who do not speak your language, and addresses you cannot easily find.
There are obligatory breakfasts across time-zones when your body is crying out for dinner, and cities where you can’t get even a decent cup of coffee. Within 24 hours you can be stuffed or starved, sleepy or hyperactive.
The key to success in such a schedule is to live your life, learn and love your travel. And there are ways to do that.
Men and women have their own experiences but sometimes it does seem that men have an easier ride, what with they appearing to be bigger, stronger, more assertive and better equipped to handle the rigours of the road.
No matter where you have to go in this frantic world, a little ingenuity and discipline will allow you to arrive calm, composed and in style for those meetings. Here are a few little pieces of advice to help you prepare better for a frequently traveling life.
To begin with, always book your airline reservations in advance and if you are a frequent flyer or a corporate traveler, use your privileges to get discounts and seat preferences.
Don’t forget to ask airlines if when meals will be served and order any special meals (like vegetarian or diabetic meals) ahead of time so that they do not run out of supply. Remember, eating light is always preferable.
On budget or no-meal flights, always remember to bring in your own snacks like fruits and biscuits and always carry a bit extra for the emergency delays that may crop up.
The least amount of baggage is helpful and small garment bags and hand baggage makes it easier to check-in.
Allow sufficient time gap between connecting flights especially at busier airports so that you can take care of your luggage and effects without fretting or stressing yourself.
Never rush things too close. If you can help it, arrive the night before for those morning meetings and a few hours early if the meetings are later.
Accessible accommodation is another priority. Try and book a hotel closer to where you will work than near the airport as that is more conducive to your appointments and for safer, swifter commuting.
Don’t forget to figure out the best mode for your transportation. A hired cab can be a bit expensive to start with but will make up for it in the bother and time saved, compared with public transport or a flagged taxi. If you still want to save money on that, allow yourself sufficient time for that.
Check the hotel facilites and services ahead of your trip. Look for different room tariffs and facilities available, and see if your hotel has a 24-hour restaurant and provides round-the-clock room service and what kind of meals are on offer. You need to be properly fed for your energy levels to be right.
If your trip lasts longer than a day or two, take care of things like laundry and dry-cleaning which in turn can help you pack light. Maybe it is a wise idea to look on the Internet for self-service laundries where the hotels are expensive.
A sound and peaceful sleep is of course always vital. Be sure to ask about the location of your room. Ones near streets or lifts can disturb you with noises or unpleasant sights.
Staying connected is a must for professionals these days. Given that laptops and mobile phones rule our lives, please check for facilities like Internet connectivity and points for charging mobile phones. Hotels with multi-media facilities, meeting lounges and conference rooms can be highly helpful. If you are a budget traveler even on business, these things matter.
Last but not the least, keep in mind the climate and the season in the place where you will be visiting. Keep in mind the duration of your stay so that you can be adequately clothed. Smart casual clothes are recommended for evenings and weekends. If you can, pack in a pair of walking shoes. A pleasant morning or evening walk near your hotel can be a quick stress-buster.
(The author works for alwaysinstyle.in, a company that specializes in lifestyle and styling advice)