As part of my role at Kashoo, I travel—a lot. I meet with customers, I speak at conferences, I do product demos. In fact, there's a good chance I've met you! (Yes you!) And to the disbelief of my friends and family, I do not fly first class, personal assistant in tow. Instead, I've mastered the road warrior ways with a few trusted business travel tips and tricks that can help any small business owner stay sane.
Schedule and Plan Ahead
Leave lots of extra time! It may feel absurd to arrive at the airport multiple hours before your flight, but if one thing's for certain, nothing in airline travel is certain. Security can be a nightmare. Customs can be worse. Flights get delayed then bumped back up. And guess what? There's nothing wrong with having to kill time, worry free. Most airports even have free wifi so you can get work done while you wait. (That is of course, after you've treated yourself to a tasty coffee.)
Want to get more tactical? I always keep a padded self-addressed stamped envelope in my carry-on so that if, on the off chance, something doesn't make it through security, I can mail it home from outside security. (Most airports have a shipping center.) And speaking of mailing, if you have bulky work materials, mail them ahead of time to your hotel. Don't be that person on the plane wrestling with boxes, poster tubes, etc.
Make Time for Yourself
You know how scheduling is #1? #1A is making sure you schedule some downtime! Going full-tilt 24/7 while on the road is not only tough, it's detrimental. To make sure you're at your best try scheduling some time at the gym. Drink as much water as possible. Avoid altering your sleep schedule. Go easy on the adult beverages, especially before and after flying. Bottom line: take care of yourself!
The best part of traveling is seeing new places and experiencing new things. So take advantage of your new surroundings and merge them with your work. Book a client lunch meeting at a landmark you’ve always wanted to see. Instead of hotel breakfast, get up a bit earlier and take breakfast to-go while exploring the city you're in. Better yet, if you have time, get lost in your new environs. The musician Ben Harper once said that one of the first things he does upon visiting a new city is get lost and I couldn't agree more. It's a great way to really get to know a place. Of course we advocate safety first.
While I’m here…
You never know who else in your network lives in the city you’re visiting, so one of my favorite things to do is a social media shout-out. Let friends on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter know you’ll be in town and offer to buy them a drink or coffee. You'll reconnect with old friends and business colleagues and meet new ones too!
Those are just a few of my business travel tips and tricks, but I know there are plenty more. What are yours? Tweet us at @KashooOnline to share!