69 Travel Hacks for EVERY Business Traveller
We’ve researched and investigated ways to make life on the road easier on the business traveller. We’ve broken down a business trip into six aspects, and assigned five hacks to each. Use any, all, or any combination of them to make your next business trip you’re best.
Hacks Before You Fly
1. Always check the entry requirements of your destination country before booking. If you need a visa, do you need to get it before travelling or apply on arrival? You may need to bring photos, a birth certificate, proof of your business and so on. If you arrive without what you need you may find yourself in trouble.
2. Check your passport expiration date. Bear in mind that most countries will not allow you to enter with a passport that expires within the next six months. Be sure to get your renewed in good time.
3. Take note of the time zone you will be arriving in. There’s not a lot that can be done about jet lag, but you can prepare for the change in time zone by amending your sleep habits a week or so before you fly.
4. Dehydration can be a major issue while flying to be sure to be well hydrated in the days leading up to your flight.
5. Check hand luggage restrictions before you leave for the airport. You don’t want to end up having to leave something important behind at airport security. Likewise, if your hand luggage bag doesn’t fit the specifications of your particular airline you could be in for an expensive shock.
6. Use a cabin bag with separate compartments for your laptop, phone, passport and wallet - that way everything is in one place and you don’t need to carry an extra bag or try and stuff things in your pockets.
7. Charge all electronics before packing them to avoid battery failure. You can also get portable phone chargers, which you charge beforehand - just remember to bring the necessary cables to use them while out!
8. Stay organised. Before leaving for the airport make a quick mental run-through of what you’re likely to need on your journey. Do you have easy access to things like tickets, passports, your wallet? Our currency travel wallet lets you carry all this perfectly.
9. Bring a couple of home comforts with you. When travelling away from home a lot for business, you can easily become disconnected and neglect basic self care. Bringing along a pillowcase from home or even a pair of comfortable socks to wear in the evening can help you to relax and feel more comfortable in different surroundings.
Travel Booking Hacks
11. Get rewarded. Book your flight using a credit card that allows you to accrue air miles, or if you don’t have one be sure to use a site like Top Cashback to help you get some form of reward. You can also use cash back sites for booking hotels etc in advance.
12. Book a good quality hotel; never sacrifice quality for cost as staying somewhere noisy or dirty or with poor facilities can impact your performance in meetings. A neat and organised hotel is an absolute must for a business traveller. Check the hotel ratings on Trip Advisor before booking, and always read a handful of reviews wherever possible.
13. It’s worth paying extra for a direct flight. Sometimes you’ll have to get a couple of connecting flights, but doing it just because it’s the cheaper option is not a great idea. With each connection you’re increasing your travel time but also increasing the risk of delay, missing connections, expense in airport coffee shops and so on.
14. Where possible, aim to arrive in the evening so that you can go straight to your hotel and rest before attending meetings.
Packing Travel Hacks
19. Pack your belt in the collar of a shirt; this will save space and also help to keep your collar crisp.
20. Put a good, old-fashioned notepad and pen in your hand luggage, for writing down ideas in the event of battery failure.
22. Pack a couple of empty carrier bags to use for dirty laundry. Or, you can use the GATE8 travel packer set which comes with a dirty laundry bag and water proof bag for any wet stuff.
23. Pack eye drops! With travel and sleeping in a strange bed there’s always the danger of poor sleep and eye drops can help prevent your turning up at a meeting with tell-tale bloodshot eyes.
24. Store your USB cables in a GATE8 tech pouch or old glasses case; this keeps them from getting bent or kinked in transit.
25. Bring your own herbal teabag or instant coffee for the flight. Try a mushroom coffee like Four Sigmatic; it’s healthier for you and tastes great.
26. Pack a micro blanket to keep you warm in case you find yourself stuck somewhere waiting for a connecting flight or taxi.
28. Pack a tennis ball - no, really! It’s great to roll under your feet, and even under your legs, to keep you from getting stiff and sore. It also relieves tension. This is especially useful if you’re heading for a long haul flight.
29. Bring hand sanitiser or antibacterial wipes. Not because you’re a germaphobe, but because your body is used to the germs in your home and your office, but not the new ones you’ll experience while traveling. It’s worth feeling like a clean freak if it will keep you from getting a bug while you’re away. Also remember that things like airplane table trays are rarely cleaned between flights - always clean yours before using it, especially for food!
30. Pack a stain remover bar (like Vanish) to help prevent ruining your best shirt. Any spillage can be immediately dealt with in your hotel room.
31. Bring a couple of sachets of instant porridge with you for a quick food fix when your energy is running low. It could be a god-send before that all-important meeting.
32. Bring a thin jacket that can double as a pillow if needed. The extra layer will come in handy should temperatures dip and it could also prevent a crick in your neck.
Flying Travel Hacks
34. Wear nighttime moisturiser on flights to keep your skin from getting too dried out.
35. If you’re worried about air sickness, peppermint essential oil or sucking on a peppermint can help. Sucking on a peppermint will also help with ear popping issues.
36. If you’re one of those people who finds it easy to focus and work on a plane, do so. But don’t try and force yourself if you just can’t concentrate; it’s not worth the stress on top of flying. Bring a good book instead or listen to a podcast.
37. Unless you’re taking a long overnight flight, try to stay awake on the plane. Nobody ever gets good quality sleep on a plane, and it can disrupt your sleep routine if you take a nap. Wait and get some good quality rest when you land instead.
38. Don’t drink alcohol on the plane. It might seem like the fun, decadent thing to do - but drinking on a plane will see you arriving at your destination feeling sluggish and hung-over, as well as jet-lagged!
39. Try to get up and have a little walk around on the plane every hour or so. This will help you to stay awake and also to avoid blood clots which are a real risk with frequent flyers. It also helps you to avoid tight hamstring which can be a major cause of back pack.
40. Drink lots of water. This will help to keep you hydrated, plus getting up to go to the toilet will keep you moving.
Hotel Travel Hacks
42. Talk to the hotel staff. You want to do everything you can to make your life easy. Talking to the hotel staff can be a great way to win their favor and get them to help you if you need it.
43. Organise your room as if it were your home or office. This is a great way to ensure comfort. It also will trigger your brain to organise its thoughts and work efficiently.
44. Contact your loved ones. It’s important to let your loved ones know where you are and how you’re doing. Most business travellers run into family problems in some way, shape, or form. By staying in touch, you ensure that neither you nor your family will be under any excess stress because of your absence.
45. Find the location of everything you need. The hotel staff can be your best resource here. Ask them to tell you where any and every place you need to go is. The last thing you want to happen is to be running around searching for directions when you’re supposed to be working.
46. Put your mobile in “airplane mode” to charge - the battery will recharge more quickly.
47. Put a bar of hotel soap in with your dirty laundry to keep it from getting too smelly.
48. Make friends with the hotel staff. Being on the right side of hotel staff can be a great way to make your trip easier and even enjoyable. They can provide recommendations, directions and tips and all you need to do is treat them well.
49. Always unpack immediately; don’t live out of your case. Organise your room as if it were your home or office; this will help you to feel more comfortable and also trigger your brain to organise your thoughts and work efficiently. Our Garment MATE suit carrier cabin bag let's you hand your suits up whilst they are still in the bag.
50. Be focused and strict with yourself about work. When working in an unfamiliar location it’s easy to allow yourself to be distracted by social media or sightseeing but if you need to work, eliminate distractions and get on with it as if you were in your office. Block out time for work though and don't over-do it.
51. Use all available resources. If your hotel is a regular haunt for business travellers, it is likely to have things like computers, scanners and copiers available. There may also be conference rooms, guest offices or quiet spaces available to help you work more productively.
52. Talk to other business travellers at your hotel. A fellow business traveller who has been there before will be the best person to offer help and advice - and it’s always useful to network, wherever you are.
53. Be sure to take a break. When we travel we can often end up in a fight or flight response which means we’re fired up and full of energy but if you don’t take the time to relax you may end up burning out at the most inconvenient time. Make use of the hotel leisure facilities and be sure to take regular breaks. By doing so, you’ll be increasing your future productivity.
54. Exercise is one of the things that can help us to build and maintain resilience and good health. Being away from home can easily disrupt a training routine, but do try to get out for a run or to use the hotel gym or pool and stay active. Get the blood flowing to keep your energy levels up and your brain functioning 100%.
55. Remember to drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is easy to forget when we’re in a different environment but staying hydrated can help you to recover from a long flight and even lessen the symptoms of jet lag - plus it will stop you getting too dehydrated on the flight home. We suggest you drink a pint of water as soon as you wake up to get your body back on an even keel.
Working Hacks When On The Road
56. Focus on one thing at a time. As a business traveller, you generally have a million things on your mind. In order to be productive, you must be able to focus on one thing at a time. Avoid any and all distractions that will sidetrack you from your work. Also, stay away from non-business related calls, texts, and social media messages.
57. Take a break. Being on the road is stressful. Stress induces a fight response that will give you excess energy that can lead a potential burn out. Remember to stop and take breaks even if you don’t feel like it. Try some Headspace to get your mind in the right place.
58. Get comfortable. It’s easy tforo not take care of yourself when you’re working on the road. There’s something about the idea of not being at home that makes you neglect comfort. This is a surefire way to burn out. Do what you have to do to make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible.
Out & About Hacks
59. Use a 'fanny pack' (A.K.A Bum Bag) or security belt. Yes, they’re really corny and old fashioned, but they can be the best way to keep your cash and valuables safe while you’re out and about. Pickpockets are rife in many busy places, especially undergrounds.
60. Use a site like Trip Advisor to book a decent place to eat. This gives you the chance to plan ahead and ensure you get a decent meal rather than waiting until you’re starving to try and find somewhere to eat where you will be stung like a tourist. This is especially useful if you have any form of allergy or dietary requirement as you can search by this criteria.
61. When you arrive, take a quick ‘recce’ of the local area. Figure out where your meetings will be and how you’ll get there. The last thing you want is to be lost and late, looking for the right building.
62. If you have down time, use it to your advantage. You don’t have to spend all of your time with colleagues or doing the touristy thing if you don’t want to. Remember that travelling is one of the cooler parts of your job and take advantage of that where you can.
63. Rest. Take advantage of down time and get some rest. Use any facilities the hotel offers if they help you. Pools and spas are always available and popular.
64. Check in with family. Checking in with family is a must. Do so when you’re not working. It will give you and your family the chance to enjoy a conversation without being rushed or pressed for time.
65. Explore the town. If you feel like it, explore the town for a new experience. See what it has to offer. If something interests you and you have the time, do it. Never leave a place with the regret that you didn’t explore it.
Returning Home Travel Hacks
66. Get all of your belongings from every part of the hotel room (and bathroom) and lay them out on the bed next to your case. This should help you to avoid leaving anything behind.
67. It can be tempting to just shove your clothes back into your bag however they will fit for a return journey, but this will just make extra work when you get home. Spend a little time folding and organising your possessions properly so that unpacking is a breeze.
68. Be sure to thank the hotel staff. Establishing good relationships is important and you never know when you will be back here again. People remember those who leave a good - and a bad - impression. Always aim to be the former to ensure good service in future.
69. Pack your valuables. Triple check your valuables to make sure they’re all there. If they are, go ahead and pack them. Make sure they are in a secure place. Also check the safe in the roof.
There you have it. A ton of business travel hacks that you can put to immediate use on your next work trip. Some of them might be a change of pace, but that’s okay.
Try them out.
All successful business travellers will tell you that the lifestyle takes time to learn, master and appreciate.