Long layovers, cramped internet, wondering just how fresh those in-flight sandwiches are. Travel has its cons, but it’s often more than worth the difficulty to meet clients face-to-face and engage in real-time communication. That said, it only makes sense that how you spend time traveling has a significant impact on your productivity, as well as your company’s bottom line and personal well-being. 

To make the most out of your journeys, you need to learn how to make business travel efficient. Here’s a breakdown of tips that’d be helpful regardless of where you’re headed.

1. Keep Tabs On Email & Snail Mail

The nature of travel itself can disconnect you with employees, business partners, etc. Use time on the plane to review emails – take a tablet on board to take advantage of in-flight connectivity. Key documents can be downloaded in advance for working offline in case internet isn’t available in the airline. Digital mailbox store services are available for business travelers who want to keep tabs on their physical mail. The mailbox team scans the front of the package and emails it to the traveling recipient. You can get these scan within 24 hours of the packet arriving at the address you designated. It’s a great way to take action on important documents while you’re away.

2. Dress for Success

Each trip is different. There are some that require you to attend meetings the moment you land, while others enable you to enjoy gaps between conferences and relax. Regardless of your timetable, it’s ideal to dress comfortably for the journey. Ditch the suit; it’s challenging to rest with formal attire. Most international airports have shower rates, so it’s a lot more convenient to get ready at the destination instead of traveling in a suit. Going to share a hotel with a business partner? Don’t assume the hotel is offering you a set of robes. Pack your pair of PJ’s.

3. Take Advantage of Frequent Flyer

If you go on business trips several times a year, it’s smart to join frequent flyer programs and services for a better travel experience. For instance, fast-track security clearance is possible through TSA Precheck. Members don’t have to remove light outerwear, belts or shoes and can electronic items stowed in their luggage. Expedited security might not be possible, but you can save a significant amount of time upon random selection by TSA. Also, hotels often offer club level access to business travelers. Don’t hesitate to ask for a room with a great view or access to business class lounge upon check-in. Also, you may be eligible for a free upgrade or priority boarding on your airline as a frequent flyer.

4. Pack Smart

If packing is taking lots of your time, then you need to rethink your packing strategy. The best way to make packing convenient is to pre-pack the basics. Keep pens, charging cords, notebooks and business cards in your bag, so all you need to put in the luggage is appropriate clothes and toiletries. Keep shoes to two pairs (casual and professional) and wear one on the flight. There’s no ideal way to pack – folding, rolling; it’s personal, just ensure the luggage is light enough to carry around with ease.

You deserve a pleasant experience as a business traveler. Hopefully, these tips will enable you to unplug, be productive, and even explore when possible.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].