Taking the stress out of business travel – CNN.com

Taking the stress out of business travel

By Tim Hume, Special to CNN

September 26, 2011 — Updated 1905 GMT (0305 HKT)

London (CNN) — Everybody likes the sound of a business trip away. But getting swept up in the idea of a few days in an exotic location can make it easy to overlook the toll that travel can take on your body, and by extension, your work performance. Thankfully, a little forethought is all that’s required to streamline the process of getting from A to B, and ensure you reach your destination ready to do business.

While many of the tips for successful business travel are common sense, it’s surprising how many people neglect the basics, says Paul Brand, commercial director of Uniglobe Preferred Travel and a 25-year veteran of the corporate travel industry. “International travel has become like taking a bus. Which is great, but it means people underestimate the amount of preparation that’s required.”

Firstly, make sure the itinerary gives you ample time to acclimatize at your destination before the real work begins. While there may be pressures in this economic climate to keep the trip as short as possible, it’s smarter to err on the side of caution should disruptions occur. The cost of an extra night at a hotel won’t break the budget, and you can clock in remotely for a regular day’s work from your hotel room wi-fi connection. “Arriving at a meeting disheveled after a 10 hour flight on which you’ve had two hours disturbed sleep isn’t going to win you a huge account,” says Brand.

If the trip is only a couple of days or less, try to limit your luggage to carry-on, to minimize your waiting time – and stress levels – at your destination. Be sure to print out hard copies of your booking confirmations as back up: they can be a lifesaver if something goes wrong. And join an airline loyalty scheme – if the flight is overbooked, you’ll be a priority for an upgrade.

Once at the airport, the use of an airport lounge is a no-brainer, giving you a couple of hours of extra work time in a calm, relaxing environment. Fewer executives are flying at the front of the aircraft these days, but if you are traveling in the premium seats, remember to use the designated business class corridors to avoid queues.

During the flight, stay hydrated with regular drinks of water, and avoid alcohol. Have a strategy on how to handle the time zone shift. If the trip is only a couple of days, it might not make sense to adjust, but to try to schedule meetings for times aligned to your body clock instead. If you do want to adjust, you can get a head-start by attempting to sync up with the new time zone during the flight. Once you arrive, bright sunlight and melatonin, which requires a doctor’s prescription in many countries, can help reset the body clock.

via Taking the stress out of business travel – CNN.com.  Click to see the full, original article.

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