The pandemic may have thrown a wrench into business travel, but it couldn’t eliminate the need for in-person interactions. And while the cadence may be different, plenty of companies value these trips even more than they did before. If you want to nail the art of business travel, it all starts with how you prepare. Here are our tips for getting it right.
1. Pick the Right Accommodations
Even for men with a generous budget, it’s easy to end up with a hotel that’s too far, too casual, too uncomfortable, too noisy, etc. So before you pick one over the other, check the reviews for other travelers’ (and particularly business travelers’) general impressions.
You want to see how people interact with the staff, what the beds are like, and whether you can count on the hotel to arrange transportation. This is also a great time to measure the distance between your main events and the hotel. The hotel has a lot to do with how you adapt to a new location, so you don’t want to skimp on the research.
2. Pick the Right Travel Dress Shoe
Since you wear them for a major part of your day, they form a major part of your business travel. And a good and relaxed pair of shoes can do wonders to you – both in terms of the comfort as well as style.
Choose shoes which can be easily packed, don’t lose form if stashed for long in the luggages, are easy to clean and versatile- can go with different shades and designs of dresses.
Dress shoes have never been known for their comfort, but OAKA is changing the way people think about travel dress shoes. Very affordable, durable, easy to pack and with a heel which limits the pressure put on the rest of the body, OAKA shoes are a perfect companion for business travel.
3. Find Offices for Rent
It can be tempting to work from coffee shops, but there’s a legitimate reason why co-working and rentable office space exist. If you want to use the bathroom, escape the noise of the cleaning crew, or just use a printer, you’re going to need a designated spot to get work done.
Getting an office for rent may be as simple as finding a WeWork in the area, though your options are limited to where you’ll be traveling. Consider not just what kind of space you’ll need but also how private your work is and what kinds of requests are liable to pop up while you’re gone. Whether you’ll need high-speed wifi or a private room for conferences, you’ll be more confident when everything is ready to go.
4. Work with Jet Lag, Not Against It
Sometimes there’s no avoiding jet lag. However, we do recommend not trying to fight it if you don’t have to. Ideally, you won’t be pushing yourself to get into the new time zone, but instead stay in your old time zone as much as possible. So if you’re three hours ahead of your normal time, you’ll go to bed early and get up early.
If this isn’t possible, whether because you’re expected to be out late with clients or because you’re facing a 9+ hour time change, your best bet is to really rein yourself in as much as you can. So while it might be tempting to take naps whenever you feel like it, have that third cocktail, or swap out the water for a big cup of coffee, you’re only hurting yourself in the end. Be aware of what you’re doing and why, and choose healthy options so your well-being is less likely to rebel.
5. Scope Out Your Hotspots
There are few things worse than having your wifi cut in and out when you’re in the middle of an important task. It’s a conundrum for many men: they may be technically on the clock, but they’re not actually getting very much — if anything at all — done. If you want to get online while you’re on the go, you’re going to have to research the best wifi and hotspot options for where you are.
Just remember that what’s best for one city may be disastrous for another. Whether you need to buy a SIM card, call your mobile carrier, or rent a hotspot, just be sure you know what you’re setting up. In addition, we recommend doing some light research into the reliability of your best option. (After all, some places simply don’t have the technological infrastructure to keep up with you.) Even giving the office a heads-up that you’ll have limited availability can be helpful to colleagues while you’re out of town.
6. Lean on Lists
When you’re traveling, it’s easy to let your daily routine get away from you. While this is normal, it can also pave the way to a lot of problems. Before you know it, you’ve left your laptop in the cab, and you’re nearly passing out from sheer fatigue because you forgot to grab breakfast. The stress of business travel can be managed by doing things that put you in control, but this is more than just writing down all of your toiletries so you don’t forget your shaving cream.
You can’t always avoid a plane delay or your Uber driver getting lost, but you can make a list of what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. It can also help to write down a few contingency plans. For instance, if you get stuck in the airport for a few hours, can you use that extra time to prepare a report for your meetings or do additional work on another account? Whatever it is you can do, it’s important to have a reference point, so you’re less likely to hit a bump in the road.
7. Don’t Forget to Relax
Taking some downtime for yourself isn’t just healthy for your body, it’s a way to keep your mind sharp when it’s coping with all kinds of new sensations and scenarios. Business travel may be easier for some men than others, but the reality is that everyone feels the stress of it at some point or another. Giving yourself a chance to relax and recenter is what makes it possible for you to stay sharp and in control. Far from selfish, it’s the only way for you to give 100% when you’re expected to work while on the go.
Business travel has the power to transform people’s entire impression of a company. When you leave your home base, you’re representing your place of business, and how you perform can have everything to do with your bottom line. Even in a best-case scenario, though, travel can disrupt your performance in a myriad of ways. From your travel dress shoe to your hotel room, we hope these tips make it easier to face the unknown.