A business trip of more than five days requires extra forethought and represents a bigger investment than a short stay. How do you ensure you don’t come up short on your long trip?
Plan your schedule
Think through the time assigned to the trip and what you hope to achieve. “You do need a bit of strategy,” says Standolyn Robertson, a personal organisation expert. Get out your diary and plan. Alongside meetings that are fixed, you may find time to set up networking meetings – for instance, a lunch to get to know overseas colleagues and contacts a bit better. For “unallocated” meals, many people find sites such as Twitter and Facebook invaluable: you tweet or post that you will be in Singapore for nine days and wait for friends and followers to get in touch. But don’t overdo the diary – leave yourself a little “me-time” too.
Take the right technology
How often do you use various items? What is essential? “Many people now choose not to take laptops,” says Ms Robertson. “They find, if they are at a conference for a week, a smartphone combined with the hotel business centre is enough.” Use technology to stay in touch with the office, but resist the urge to micromanage.
Investigate your destination for lighter eating choices and exercise options. Activity to offset a rich restaurant-food diet need not require a gym – a 30-minute walk in a suitable local park is enough.
The hardened business traveller eschews anything that does not fit in an overhead locker, says Ms Robertson. If you are having meetings with different people and are prepared to use hotel laundry services, your outfits can do double or triple duty. If you run out of shirts or socks, you can always buy more.
Take time to readjust
Finally, on your return, try not to go straight from the airport to the office; take time to reflect on the trip and what you learnt.
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