Like many successful independent consultants, your work may require you to travel around the country and perhaps even internationally with great frequency. And navigating busy airports, snagging ground transportation, and sleeping in various hotel rooms day in and day out is certainly not for the faint of heart. However, there are ways to make frequent business travel easier. By putting a good system in place with a focus on convenience and efficiency, you can minimize the strain of travel and focus on delivering the quality work your clients have hired you to do.
Keep calm and carry-on
The first rule of frequent business travel is to always take a carry-on bag. With ever increasing baggage handling fees charged by most major carriers, not only does taking a carry-on save you time, but it also saves you money. Additionally, it ensures that your luggage arrives when you arrive, and with hectic project schedules it's likely you don't have time to chase down lost luggage.
Save your freebies
Avoid late night runs to the store for travel-sized toiletries by collecting your unused hotel bath items and stashing them for future travel. Not only does this save you money, by keeping these items in your carry-on bag at all times, you won't have to pack and re-pack them for each trip.
TSA? No problem.
Move through the security line quickly and easily by wearing shoes that can slip on and off, avoiding clothes that require a belt, and keeping jewelry, phones, coins and other items that may set off sensors in a suitcase side pocket until after you've cleared the security checkpoint.
There are certain fabrics that are less prone to getting wrinkled that make for great travel wear. By rolling clothes instead of folding them, and unpacking as soon as you get to your room, you can avoid the hassle of having to iron each item you brought. Hanging items in a steam shower will also help release wrinkles if you're pressed for time.
The sheer amount of people traffic using the same seats, handrails and restrooms in airports and on airplanes creates a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria. Take precautions. Wash your hands as often as possible, use hand sanitizer and wipe down any surfaces like food trays or head rests you come into contact with on the plane.
Take care of yourself
Frequent travel can wreak havoc on your body so it's important to be prepared physically by maintaining a good diet and getting exercise in as much as possible. Drink plenty of water, if possible, always eat a healthy, balanced breakfast in case your flights don't provide substantial food and beverage options. Take advantage of hotel fitness facilities even if it's only for a short walk on the treadmill to boost stamina as well as to promote emotional wellness.
By joining a frequent flyer program all those miles accumulated while traveling can be converted into rewards. Additionally, traveling with the same carrier helps you to get a better routine in place as you become familiar with their perks and procedures for loyal customers as well as any partner or affiliate programs that can serve to enhance your travel experience.
Conquer jet lag
Jet lag may be one of the most challenging aspects of frequent travel, and coupled with demanding project schedules rest may seem to never come. However, it's important that you take moments to allow your body to relax, settle and recharge. Be sure to set your watch to the correct time zone and if you arrive during the day try your best to avoid sleeping until it's nighttime.