Business travelling can be an acquired art

AS I write this week's article, I am sitting in the Qantas Club in Brisbane, on a Saturday morning, at the end of a 12-hour travel journey from Darwin where I completed a one-hour session on time management yesterday.

Leave Thursday lunch time, back Saturday lunch time. It is a tough trip, and it got me thinking about how you can manage your energy (that is code for fatigue) during tough work trips like this one.

The first thing you need to do is get into the detail and make sure your trip is planned well. Make sure you, or your team, have got you heading to the right place, at the right time, in the least amount of time.

If you are like me, you will be grabbing your itinerary as you head out of the office, worried that you are going to miss the plane. Not anymore. I have learnt that good trip planning will mean reduced stress and a better mindset. Next, and it may cost you more to do this, stay as close as possible to where you are working.

The conference I was speaking at was at the SkyCity Casino, and it would have saved me $30 to stay somewhere else. For that saving, and the cab fare to get there in the morning, is it really worth it? Believe me, stay close to where you are working.

Also, use cabs instead of hire cars. To me, hire cars are a hassle. They need to be fuelled, parked, picked up, dropped off and can be costly, particularly if you reduce the excess to zero, which we do. Cab drivers know where they are going (generally), they will wait around if you need to make some stops on the way, and if you book early enough, they are usually on time.

Yes, weigh up the costs, but in my books, cabs usually come out on top. Then, get as much sleep as you can on the plane (this is for the overnight flights more so; I left Darwin at midnight). Some people find this tough, but keep trying. You will feel better on your arrival if you can get solid sleep.

My routine is, board the plane, sleep (no eating or drinking, not even music or movies), exit the plane. Done.

Finally, travel light. The less stuff you have to cart around, the better off you are, the easier it is to pack, and to load the cab.

So, there you have it.

From one seasoned work traveller to another, plan your trip, stay close to your work, use cabs to get around, sleep on the plane and travel light. Have fun.

Topics:  conference travel

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