Business travel can be a stressful experience. Unfamiliar surroundings, time and performance pressures, networking in a second or third language, and a confused body clock all contribute to rising stress levels. We look at simple techniques that help you get the basics right, so you can keep stress to a minimum.
If you can eliminate the unnecessary niggles that can sometimes accompany travelling, you’re in a much better place to deal with unforeseen stresses, delays or disruptions.
Invest in a good suitcase
Make sure you get a strong, light case that can be easily manoeuvred and is small enough to be carried on as cabin luggage.
Get organised with your packing
Research local dress codes and weather before packing your wardrobe. If you are checking in luggage, make sure you have everything you might need during the journey in your hand luggage, including everything you need to stay calm and be productive – even if there is a delay or dearth of Wi-Fi.
Read up before you go
A bit of background research will help you know what to expect. From which is the best first-class lounge in your stopover airport, to the best time to go out to eat dinner, a little research can go a long way.
Have all your travel documents to hand
Ideally, a local copy of everything you need, plus another full set in the cloud that you can access in the event of your local copy going astray – including scanned copies of your passport and visa, just in case. The Travel Counsellors MyTC app is ideal to meet this requirement.
Learn the basics in the local lingo
Even if you just master getting around and ordering food, the travel experience is a lot less stressful if you know you can make yourself understood.
Ensure you have access to support if it’s needed
Even the most dedicated PA can’t be on hand 24/7, and establishing a clear line of escalation in the event of a problem can relieve worry for travellers. Knowing you’ve got someone – such as a travel counsellor – you can turn to if something goes wrong delivers peace of mind and reduces stress.
Minimise the time you spend in the airport
Use advance check-in if the service is available to you. Or, better yet, add a fast-track option to your travel package.
Enjoy the airport experience
Minimise the frustration of sitting around waiting, by using your time in the airport to look after yourself and be productive.
Make plans to cope with jetlag
One of the biggest sources of stress on long journeys is the havoc crossing multiple time zones has on your body’s natural circadian rhythm – but there are simple ways to beat the effects of jetlag if you are kind to yourself.
Make the most of the quiet time
You don’t have to be working constantly to be productive; some of our best thinking happens during quiet moments when we are relaxed. Use the quiet time while travelling to access this creative part of yourself.
Look after yourself
If you aren’t lucky enough to be flying first class or business class, pick up some healthy snacks and plenty of bottled water in the airport before you get on your flight to help you remain alert and hydrated.
Arrive ready for action
If you’re going to be meeting colleagues or business contacts straight off the flight, make use of the airport lounges to freshen up after the flight – and make sure you have packed what you need in your hand luggage!
Have your transfer details to hand
Work with your travel counsellor to make sure your transfer from the airport to the office or hotel is as easy as possible. Have the details stored locally so they remain accessible to you (for example downloaded in your MyTC app), even without access to Wi-Fi.
Drivers need to be prepared
As well as having local copies of all the documentation you need to pick up and drive your vehicle, download any maps you need to your local device so that you aren’t reliant on Wi-Fi connections or expensive mobile data allowances to know where you are going.
Carry some cash
Multi-currency cards are wonderful things, but make sure you also have some local currency with you to cover any tolls or parking tickets you’re required to pay.
Schedule breaks in your itinerary
Be kind to yourself. Be aware that you might need more rest than normal, as your body copes with the stresses of travel, jetlag and over stimulation from all the new experiences. Listen to your body and get some rest.
Exercise is your friend
Exercise is a great way to unwind, work some stress out of your body, work up an appetite and boost sleep. No matter how packed your itinerary, try to schedule some exercise into your day – even if it is a walk around the local sights or some yoga stretches in your room.
Return home without a mass of paperwork to deal with
Have a system for storing (or taking photos of) all the receipts you need for your expenses claim. Or, if possible, stay on top of them while you are away. Pay the extra for Wi-Fi if you need to, if it means you can respond to email and prevent yourself coming home to a backlog of work and correspondence.
Make it easy for yourself so you “don’t sweat the small stuff” and stay relaxed. That way, if a big problem does come your way, you’re better able to deal with it. Your Travel Counsellor can help you create a travel package tailored around what you need to keep stress to a minimum.
We create a bespoke solution for your business with processes, tools and profiles specific to you. We take the time to get to know your traveller needs and preferences.
Account management, travel programme optimisation and compliance management will all be managed through one point of contact.