5 ways to make your business trip effective

Business travel can seem exciting to those on the outside looking in. The glamour of New York, London or Sydney - and all on someone else’s dime. But the reality is that travelling for work can be a grind, and proper preparation is the key to keeping it enjoyable. Those who’ve mastered the art of travelling for work have a whole host of business travel hacks to share. A quick list of business trip tips and tricks follows, but one thing is for sure: with business travel, it’s about making the most of the journey.
Savvy travellers are way ahead of the curve when it comes to skipping through security and those long airport check-in lines. Business travel essentials include checking in online as soon as you are allowed (usually 24 hours before your flight), enrolling in NEXUS, which will help in jumping through those security lineups, and making the most of your mobile device by keeping boarding passes, hotel check-in and travel insurance information at hand. The TripWise App also offers a whole host of useful information at foreign destinations including a hospital locator and emergency (911) phone numbers.
Keeping a standing business travel packing list will ensure you leave nothing behind. If possible, keep a ‘go’ bag ready with spare chargers, socks, underwear, neck pillow and good quality headphones. Keeping a stocked set of travel-sized toiletries in a plastic bag is one more thing that will get you through airport security in a flash. Other business travel essentials include never, ever, checking luggage - savvy travellers know that the best way to maximize time on the ground is to spend the least amount of time dithering with logistics. Keep it organized and keep moving.
Every business trip itinerary should include bookings with a favourite airline and hotel, or their affiliates. Flight and hotel reward points can really add up and all that business travel can even result in a sunny vacation benefiting the whole family. Select appropriate point programs and stick with them, even if it means not staying in the conference hotel when possible. Airlines and hotels will reward loyal guests—think seat and room upgrades, yummy snacks on arrival, and courtesy shuttles. All perks that make travelling smoother and more enjoyable.
First time business travel trips can be daunting, but they needn’t be completely overwhelming. Whether you’re flying through multiple time zones, or just to the next province, make sure your personal health and wellbeing stays top priority. Drink plenty of water, try to sleep on the flight, make sure you also get up and move around on the plane, and immediately adjust timepieces to your arrival’s local time upon boarding. Staying active, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and making healthy choices as often as possible while dining out will also support the savvy business traveller.

Many business travel trends include ‘bleisure’ travel, which involves folding pleasure travel in with necessary business travel. If this is an option, always make sure to cover your bases and ensure your travel insurance covers all travellers, particularly spouses and children.

The list of things that can go wrong when you travel is long. Flights get delayed or cancelled (although being a preferred flyer sure helps get you back on track). Bad weather may hit a favourite destination so that beach walk is out. But being prepared for all contingencies will allow you to take any challenge in stride, and perform at your best.


Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

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