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Making the Most of your Business Travel

May 25, 2008
As a sometimes travel weary business woman I can tell you that business travel can be a real hassle. For one thing it never seems to 'fit in' well with my personal schedule which right away adds a negative hue to the event. Now more than ever, any travel that forces you to catch a plane is now more time consuming and tedious. More flights than ever are running late and airport security can add an easy hour to your schedule. But fear not, read on for a few tips to make the process easier.

Cut your time down dramatically by avoiding long check in lines. Pack a small bag that can be carried on. Check in online and assign your own seat before you even leave for the airport. Be sure to ask about basic business services at your hotel when you check in so you can perform the same process before you have to leave.

The first tip is to pack only what you really need, not what you want. Most hotels will provide many essentials like shampoo and conditioner and a hair dryer. No need to lug any of that from home. I like to pack sample sizes of other things like toothpaste and I buy a travel toothbrush for the trip - the one that folds up and takes virtually no room. Then I toss it and don't worry about trying to pack a soggy toothbrush to take home. If you work at this you can reduce your packing to no more than an overnight sized bag and PC case (get a big one where you can stuff more items in it).

Never arrive at a destination completely ignorant of where you are at (the airport relative to the city). I often map simple paths out from Google maps and feel comfortable when I get into a cab that I know where I'm going.

Enjoy getting to see the world. So often our business travels take us to the ends of the earth, but we only stay long enough to go to our meeting, and then we jump on the plane and go home. Most people are very proud of their city and love to show it off. Let them take you to dinner and show you their city. You may learn a thing or two that will help you in your business.

Unless lounging around in your room with room service and a pile of magazines is your guilty indulgence, get out on the town and enjoy. Large cities often have plays and other sights to see and often it's a very positive experience to see the sights.

Resist the tendency to just look at the 'negatives' of business travel. Instead look at your off time to enjoy the local and the folks you've come to visit. You may be surprised at how much a little personal time together helps your business grow.
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