How #careerlions Can Get the Most Out of Business Trips
For work, I have been traveling to France frequently over the past year. The project team is based in multiple locations; Amstelveen, Paris, and Valbonne (Near Nice). Where we do most of our collaboration by phone and video-conferencing, meeting each other in person is essential for the success of the project. If not only to understand each other better, given that the French and Dutch work-culture are very much different even though the distance is so close. Today, I would like to share with you tips and tricks to make the most out of your business trip.
1. Don't bring check-in luggage
Let's be real, I am generally not a light packer. When you fly for work, you usually get check-in luggage for free. A reason could be that you book late and this is part the travel conditions associated to your high booking class (says the airline employee here). However, checking in baggage means that you have to be there at least two hours in advance if you want to guarantee that your bag gets on the plane. Also, you will have to wait for your luggage once you arrive. All in all, just don't bring checkin-luggage.
2. Put your mini-toiletries in a ziplock bag
Well, we have just established that you are only bringing carry-on luggage. Next, at security you always have to present your fluids right? Well if you are going for just a few days, you usually don't need to much in anyway. Also, you are constraint by the maximum amount for each product too. What is the point of bringing a toiletry bag that you have to empty at security, with everyone getting annoyed by you? There isn't any! It is just a time consumer for you and fellow travelers.
3. Don't bring too much coin money
Your goal here is not to spend too much time at security. Once one of your items goes off, you have to wait in line and for them to check your bag. One of the things I did not realize can set-off an alarm for security personnel, is a batch of coin money in your bag. If you must really bring it, then present it separately in a ziplock bag too.
4. Always present all electronic items separate
You know the way they always ask you to present tablets and laptops separately? Well, what they don't mention are other items such as camera's, go pro's, chargers etc. Make sure you put these in a bucket separately too, or else you will be waiting in that line we just talked about. Not great if you had a tight planning to make sure you got some sleep in. Who wants to wake up before 5 am? Early morning flights are though enough as they are.
5. Bring an empty beaker
Offices usually offer mineral water from water machines/fountains. In order to keep hydrated (remember that hydration was crucial for your performance [link artikel], it helps if you are not limited to drinking a small plastic cup of water. Bringing your beaker allows you to bring water to meetings and keep up with your minimum water consumption when traveling.
6. Bring some healthy food
When you are out of the office, it can become more difficult to maintain a healthy diet. The French take lunch particularly serious with entire food courts for a cafeteria. On the other hand, they are not big into snacking. Waking up mega early, you may get hungry well before lunch time. Pack some healthy nut and date bars for instance to keep your blood sugar levels intact. Nobody benefits from a HANGRY co-worker.
7. Bring your (charged) remote workstation and personal entertainment system
Traveling can be time consuming, so best to be prepared. If you still need to some time to prepare meetings or have work to do that you can do offline, make sure it is easy accessible. You don't want to bother too much with getting on free Wi-Fi and VPN the whole time. Also, we were aiming for the least amount of time at the airport anyway. If you are fully prepared for your day(s), bring a nice book, download some series via Netflix or to watch via for instance the AV player on your tablet, or have some nice playlists downloaded. All of this will be even better if you buy/bring yourself noise cancelling headphones, to mute the engine sounds. This way you can also make sure to get in some nice and deserved alone time during your business trip. Another gadget I usually bring is my bluetooth keyboard, that links to my iPad. This way I can set up my #careerlions work station within less than a minute. Also, not all hotels offer movies or series on demand or even in English. In France, most of it is obviously French. Therefore, I always make sure my personal entertainment system is on point.
6. Be one of the first to get on the flight
If you are taking a carry on case, you will not want to be the last one to get on the flight. Of course, everyone eventually gets on the flight. However, on busy flights there is not always enough space for all carry on luggage in the cabin. Chances are that they request you to leave your luggage at the gate so they can load it in the baggage compartment. After your long working day, you will probably want to get home as soon as possible after landing. Being one of the first ones on the flight, ensures you don't have to wait at the baggage carousel for at least another 30 minutes.
7. Take the opportunity to enjoy delicacies
A business trip for me is not complete without having a Laduree macaroon, PAUL snack, or eclair. You have to spoil yourself just a little bit for all the hard work, right? #gainedweight #whodietsinFrance
8. Optimize your return flight
On your way back, take the opportunity to summarize all the meetings from your trip. For me, these meetings usually end up generating a huge number of new to do's. Work on getting your to do list ready for the next day. That way you will be able to start work efficiently when you get back to your desk. If any of those to do's can be done during your flight, more power to you!
How about it? Will you refer back to this article next time you go on a business trip or even a short getaway? or do you have tips that I can learn from? Let us know in the comment section below.