The Independent

Traveling Advice for Frequent Business Travelers

Make Your Business Trips Less Stressful

By: Barron Boon

Eleventh hour trips with little time to catch breathers could be tense for the frequent business traveler. It’s therefore crucial to prepare smart to minimize disruption and unpleasant surprises.

The best nap is during the plane ride. Except that you have urgent matters to follow up on, else try to relax while at the airport and on the plane. When on-board, listen to your favourite songs or watch a good movie. Get an energizing nap by closing your eyes while relax.

Pro-tip: Instead of placing your travel pillow behind your neck, try placing it under your chin.  Not only supporting your neck, it keeps your mouth closed and helps prevent snoring.

On the other hand, to create a better sleep support, you can place your laptop or briefcase between your thighs in a vertical standing position. Put a jacket or blanket between your head and the other and for extra coziness. Tadaa! That’s the way to create a conductive sleep support and a relaxing nap.

Always carry a pair of earplugs if you have trouble sleeping on the plane. It helps to block out ambient sounds (read:cries of babies in the cabin). We tend to fall asleep faster in dim conditions., hence having an eye mask is handy especially if it’s a daytime flight. Get a surgical mask from the drugstore and snooze in drool-free peace.

Pro-tip: Avoid caffeine intake! Instead, pick juices during in-flight meals and skip the coffee to aid quick snooze breaks.

Your mind tends to be alert most of the time when you are travelling. Yet there’s so many things to keep in mind, the need to plan your route beforehand to avoid being late for your flight, the dos after checking in your luggage, constant fear about forgetting anything important and many more. The never ending list appears  to increase with every flight.

In order to calm your nerves, it is always a good idea to take a pack of Omega-3 supplement with you. To bring a fresh fish on-board is impossible. Instead, try carrying a packet of chia seeds or fish oil supplement in your bag. During your in-flight meals, you may add a dash of chia seeds to your beverage or consume a fish oil capsule during transit. Omega-3 helps to control cholesterol and also maintain the elasticity of your blood vessels, which is essential in preventing heart sickness – overall Omega-3 is good for health.

Packing can be a big fuss, especially when it is left to the last minute. One way to prevent leaving anything behind is to run through what your days will be filled with during your business trip. Picture yourself waking up in the hotel and walking to the bathroom – you definitely need your shaver, toothbrush, facial wash and etc. As you are running through the rest of your day in mind, you will recall exactly what is needed for your trip.

Make a checklist  as you go through and keep the note for your next business trip.

One way to minimise space wastage is to roll instead of folding your clothes. By rolling them up, you’ll have more choice of arrangement – you can arrange your items vertically, diagonally or horizontally to free up the nooks and crannies, particularly helpful when squeezing in oddly shaped items such as hair dryer, bottles, an umbrella and others. Most importantly, your business attire will be less wrinkles compared to when you fold them.

Alternative to fully make the most of the space in your luggage is to use vacuum packs that can compress your clothes thin and flat. This technique, however, requires a bit more effort as you need to shop for the vacuum ziplock bags to physically get the air out. Best to choose travel ziplocks that come in one-way air valve, which does not require a vacuum cleaner while overseas.

Pro-tip: By using a spectacle case, you can then keep your wires organised. Wrap your bottles with shower caps and place them inside your shoes.

It doesn’t matter how meticulous your checklist is, there’s always chances for things to be out of control. For instance, losing baggage during transit, delayed flights and accidents. Any of these emergency situations can be very stressful, especially when you are in an unfamiliar place with no one to look for.

Travel insurance would come handy in this case. It can prevent your travel plans from derailing. Although there might be a number of paperwork needed in this case, but that’s when you know it’s time to look for your insurance agent.

Impromptu disruption to your schedule during your business trip may cause anxiety and also affect your work performance. Being prepared in a smart way will make the best out of your trip as well as to make your travelling experience a smoother and pleasant one.