Depending on your expertise, your client, or demand in your hometown, there’s a good chance that as an independent contractor, you have to travel for business. At the start of July, we provided some tips to maximize your time on the road. Further to that, we surveyed some executives at Eagle who travel frequently and came up with a few extra tips:
- Be organized and don’t leave stuff till the last minute. Pick your seat, book your hotel, etc. well ahead to get best prices, the right schedule and the seat/hotel you want.
- If you have not been there before do a little research. Google map the area, look at hotel amenities, look at a local tourist sites for restaurant options etc.
- Consider using discount sites like Hotwire to get best pricing.
- Don’t stress yourself out by arriving at the airport at the very last minute. The more experience you have the more clear you become about how long it take to get to the airport, get through security etc. Be sure to leave yourself time to pick up water, reading material, and snacks once through security.
- Don’t rely on the airline for drinks or food. It might work out fine, but be prepared. Bring your own bottled water and nutritious snack. You need to stay hydrated, and fed!
- Have all of your travel docs together (electronically and/or on paper)
- Create a “reading” file with photocopied/printed articles to use time productively (Note: an e-reader may do this even more efficiently)
- Create an airplane folder of work items you can “knock off” while captive on a plane.
- Exercise where possible. Consider a skipping rope, running stairs, push-ups and sit-ups if there is no gym.
- Travel as light as you can and do not check luggage if at all possible. Some very specific thoughts on travelling light:
- Get light luggage;
- Mix and match clothes (ex. one suit with two pairs of pants will go a long way);
- Learn to fold efficiently, so things don’t crease;
- Pack as few toiletries as possible and use hotel “stuff” when available;
- If travelling to the same place all the time consider, leaving some stuff at the office there, (shirt, tie, pants, toiletries, casual clothes etc.);
- Take exercise gear and pack stuff inside the shoes (razor, socks, underwear etc.) to save space; and,
- Think through your stay and don’t take things “just in case”. Do you really NEED casual clothes? If so, can a pair of jeans and a t-shirt complement your work jacket and shoes?
Business travel can be a real chore but if you do it right then you can minimize the hassles. We’re sure there are many frequent travelers out there who have their own tips and tricks. Feel free to comment below!