September 2, 2014

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Travel Like the Pros

Experts Share Tips for Successful Business Trips

By Rachel Madison

September 2, 2014

Surviving a business trip isn’t always easy when you’re a budding entrepreneur, but with some tips from seasoned professionals, it can be more enjoyable—and successful.

Take Time to “Zoom Out”

“Over the years I have used the time when I ‘zoom up’ into the air to ‘zoom out’ for strategic thinking. During my flights, however long or short, I do three things to help me get the creative juices flowing so I can think more strategically about the future: Catch up on my reading in trade publications, read a good business book or article on leadership or innovation, and take notes on any ideas I may have in my travel journal.” –Mike Cameron, CEO, Christopherson Business Travel

Utilize Flight Time

“[Get a] GoGo Inflight internet subscription. With most air carriers offering WiFi onboard, you will have priceless, uninterrupted time to stay caught up on business at home. By utilizing the flight time to stay productive, you can return home feeling caught up, so that you can enjoy your personal time.” –Mike Davidson, COO, Hess Corporate Travel

Plan Ahead

“Plan ahead for all appointments and trade shows. Be sure to have all tools with you, or arranged for shipment, like brochures, business cards, exhibits, contracts, copies. A successful business trip begins with preparation.” –Nan Groves Anderson, Executive Director, Utah Tourism Industry Coalition

Maintain a Routine

“Don’t skip your exercise routine. It is so easy to convince yourself that the time zone change exempts you from exercising in the morning. You may need to get up at 4:30 a.m. on your body clock in order to make your 8 a.m. meeting East coast time. Just do it, no excuses.” –Cameron

Stay Healthy

“Try to stay healthy, eat less, drink plenty of water and take regular walks. If you drink, set a time after which you will not drink any more alcohol or caffeinated beverages and drink only water.” –Keith Griffall, CEO, Western Leisure

Have a Little Fun

“If the destination is interesting I often tie in an add-on trip with my wife or family. On a recent media tour to New York City, my associate and I brought our wives and picked up a Broadway show and a David Letterman show. We were busy during the day and had a lot of fun together in the evenings.” –Cameron

Keep a Positive Attitude

“Try to roll with it when flights are delayed, lines for security are long, bags are lost. When there is nothing you can do about a delay, relax and try to do something useful for business, catch up on personal e-mail or plan your next vacation.” –Groves Anderson

Register for Helpful Programs

“Apply for TSA PreCheck if you only travel domestically or Global Entry if you travel internationally. Both programs will provide a Known Traveler Number (KTN), allowing you to save literally hours of standing in line at TSA security and amazingly easy and fast re-entry into the United States when traveling abroad.” –Davidson

Know Company Policy

“Learn [your company’s] travel policy. This helps to set travel expectations. There’s nothing worse than finding out after your trip that the company doesn’t want to pay for your trip to the tanning salon while you’re on a business trip. If you know before you go, it can save embarrassment and unnecessary personal costs.” –Nathan Burt, President, Utah Business Travel Association

Useful Travel Apps

Evernote “I keep track of everything I learn, categorized into relevant folders. It becomes invaluable when I return.” –Mike Cameron, CEO, Christopherson Business Travel

Map My Run “I love to run, and my unique thing is finding a running group or using Map My Run and incorporating runs into my business trip. It helps relieve the stress of travel and adjust to any time zone changes.” –Mike Davidson, COO, Hess Corporate Travel

Yelp “It’s been fun to find new and unique dining opportunities in the destination.” –Nan Groves Anderson, Executive Director, Utah Tourism Industry Coalition

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