Why are business travel hacks so important? Making the most of time on the road is all about efficiency in time, energy and strategy. We all know that while smart planning can be an obvious help, travel by its very nature is prone to unexpected events and pitfalls. The wisest road warriors lean on a set of tricks to help smooth out the ride and prevent major issues from derailing their plans if and when things do happen while en route. Here are 10 time-tested business travel hacks that will not only help you stay on-track, but also make your travel experience even more comfortable whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure.
Bring Wrinkle-Free Clothing – Most hotels have irons available, but you don’t want to be in a rush and have to call room service or frantically look for the iron in your room. Instead, focus on packing along a wardrobe full of minimum-wrinkle clothing that supports a potential grab-and-go travel situation.
Use Hotel Laundry Bags for Dirty Clothes – Mid- and upscale hotels often have (expensive) laundry services. Take the free, plastic laundry bag designed for storage that’s often hanging in the closet and use it to separate out your dirty clothes when you are packing to return home.
Check Transportation Options Before You Go – Lyft, Uber or even yellow cabs aren’t available everywhere. Do an early check to find out the most common and reliable forms of transportation to get you around: Some cities may offer bike stops, unlimited metro cards, micro-rental cars, and other easy options to navigate while in town.
Get Local Currency Outside of The Airport – Airport currency exchange centers have universally high rates and hidden upcharges guaranteed to lose you money. Exchange money at your favorite financial institution before you head overseas or hold tight and exchange your cash for local currency in the downtown area of the place you’re visiting. Bank ATMs make a popular option for grabbing cash in different currencies on the go, and may feature lower fees as well.
Map Out Your Destination at Home – Use your favorite mapping software to know the distance and directions from the airport to your hotel. Likewise, scan online up-front to know what attractions, restaurants, stores, and helpful stop-overs are near. Review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor can help you get a sense of which top draws are near, and plan go-tos for meals, entertainment, and more so you arrive in-the-know with possible options in hand.
Calculate Travel Times – Map out the time it will take for you to get to the airport or key meeting spots after arriving at your final destination. Work backward from your flight departure time (allowing two hours to arrive before check in, accounting for traffic, etc.) or meetig time and you’ll have a clear idea when you’ll have to leave for the airport or hit the road.
Prepack A Travel Bag – One of the best business travel hacks? Always have a spare bag full of clothes and duplicates of your basic toiletries ready to go, and somewhere close at-hand, in case you need to hit the road quickly for an appointment. Be sure to add in clothes for every occasion – casual, formal, etc. – in case a client call or special occasion pops up suddenly.
Drink Lightly on Planes – Alcohol dehydrates and, along with the recycled airplane cabin air, can aggravate symptoms of jet lag. A good rule is to cut the amount of alcohol you would normally have on the ground in half to help cut down on exhaustion.
Lock into The Local Time Zone – One great way to stave off jet lag is immediately following the local clock: If you land at 9AM, then stay up all day and go to bed at your usual time. The first day can be rough, but it also jump-starts your body into adjusting quickly.
Schedule Your Day as Locals Do – Western Europeans take long breaks midday, which means no business gets done in the afternoon, while Northern African countries pray several times a day, creating pauses to the workflow. Study up on where you are heading and structure your workday based around local customs — it guarantees you’ll be more productive while you are there.
Traveling for work can be tough — learn more about the best business travel hacks that can make trips simpler below:
Damon helps entrepreneurs make their mark without sacrificing themselves. He co-founded the #1 app Cuddlr and led it to acquisition while being caretaker of his first baby. Damon is an Inc. columnist and author of the best-selling The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur series . Get your free productivity guide at http://bit.ly/JoinDamon