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7 Tips for Safe and Stress-Free Business Travel

Business travel can be the most dreaded part of one’s career. No wonder—unfamiliar cities and countries, foreign languages, crowded airports, and schedules can take their toll on anyone. However, there are ways to make business travel a little less stressful. 

A Short Guide on Stress-Free Business Travel

Here are some seemingly obvious but often-disregarded tips that can completely change your travel experience:  

1. Don’t underestimate the role of planning 

Planning a trip in advance seems like an obvious thing to do, but you’d be surprised how often people are completely thrown off balance in a foreign country, desperately trying to figure out how to get somewhere, running unprofessionally late, and spending far more money than necessary. 

Effective planning is always the key to stress-free travel. As soon as you know you have a trip scheduled, start preparing. Create a detailed itinerary that includes flight information, hotel reservations, scheduled meetings, and transportation options. 

Don’t forget to check basic information about the country you’re traveling to. Find out what currency you need, the time zones, and the country’s emergency numbers. 

2. Stay in touch with your home during business travel

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Traveling abroad doesn’t mean that you have to cut off contact with your friends and family. Internet connection is now present in almost every corner of the Earth, but if you don’t plan ahead, it can be absurdly expensive or unreliable. 

That’s why it’s best to research data plans before you leave. It’s always advisable to have your own mobile data plan instead of relying on public Wi-Fi services, which are not present everywhere and can potentially pose a risk to data privacy. 

In order to have a data plan, it’s best to use a local mobile service instead of relying on roaming plans, which are much more expensive. Buying a local SIM card, however, can be a hassle. Different countries have different rules, and in some, you have to provide ID, signatures, and even photos to prove your identity before you can buy a SIM card. Not to mention, you have to actually physically purchase the card, which means standing in lines at airport kiosks when you’re already tired after your flight. 

There is a way to avoid all these hassles: using an eSIM. An eSIM is a virtual SIM card that can be embedded in your device. The eSIM apps allow you to purchase local data plans for your destination country even before you fly, which means you can use the internet as soon as you land. No standing in lines or fumbling with physical SIM cards. 

3. Prioritize your (and your belongings’) safety 

Bad things can happen when you least expect them. Travelers are especially prone to mishaps because the rush and stress of travel naturally make us less attentive to our surroundings. It’s impossible to fully eliminate haste and accidental accidents from travel, but you can prepare for them. 

No matter how seriously you take your work, refrain from dressing like a typical businessman for a flight. Avoid wearing expensive accessories such as watches. They make it easy for thieves to target you, and you may not even notice when your bag disappears in a crowded airport. Also, pack your essentials in a carry-on bag that will always be nearby because luggage gets lost at airports all the time. 

Before you leave, make sure you have some kind of plan in case of a medical emergency. Consider buying travel insurance for unfortunate random events. 

4. Pack accordingly to your needs 

Yes, it sounds obvious, but you probably don’t want to find yourself in a hotel room with only half an hour until an important business meeting and without proper toiletries. If that makes you feel more comfortable, prepare a list of things to pack a few days before you leave. That way, if you remember something at a random moment during the day, you can write it down and pack it later. 

Also, research the country you are traveling to. Depending on the season, you may need warmer clothing. You may also need adapters for power outlets. Remember that there are different types of electrical sockets around the world! Speaking of electricity, don’t forget to pack your chargers. 

5. Design an expense tracking system 

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Before you leave, it’s a good idea to know how you will track your personal and business-related expenses. For the first type of spending, it’s also a good idea to plan a budget and stick to it. You’ll probably want to bring back some souvenirs or gifts for your loved ones, but be mindful that it’s very easy to overspend while traveling. 

It’s a good idea to create a spreadsheet for your expenses and document everything by taking photos of your receipts and uploading them to a designated cloud space. That way, it will be easier for you to refer back to them when you get home. 

6. Use your flight time to your advantage 

Depending on how long your flight is, you may be able to use this time, even for work-related matters such as researching the area you’ll be in or catching up on emails. But you don’t have to work every minute to make good use of your “free” time. You can also take a nap to catch up on any sleep you may have missed by catching an early flight. You can also review your itinerary in advance, check that everything is in order, and make sure you know what awaits you. 

During long flights, also remember to drink plenty of water and stretch occasionally. 

7. Take some time for yourself on business travel

When traveling for business, it’s easy to lose yourself in your work and forget that you’re still a living and breathing person who needs breaks and leisure time. Business travel is a great opportunity to visit new places and meet new people. When planning your trip, be sure to set aside some time for personal matters, whether it’s spending an evening in a hotel watching TV or exploring the city and local tourist attractions. Just take care of yourself. Even during a busy trip, you can find an hour or two to take a walk and unwind. 

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