Traveling For Business? These 8 Tips Will Help You Effortlessly Travel Like A Boss
As someone who spent a year living abroad, while running a business, I know what it is like to manage a business while you’re traveling. Shenanigans always abound the moment you turn on your autoresponder and board a plane. And don’t let the Internet in your hotel be gut-wrenchingly slow.
It happens to those who plan ahead and to those who don’t. Conducting business when you travel can be a headache but it doesn't have to be. If you plan ahead and make some adjustments, keeping your business going while you are away can be simple. I've learned some ways to mitigate the struggle of travel working that I want to share with you.
What to do before you travel
Setup your physical planner
First and foremost, you need to use a planner. Even if you use a digital planner, have a backup plan when going on a trip. Physical planners are hands down lifesavers when you travel.
Physical planners will help you keep track of flight information, travel documents, notes, packing lists, as well as your schedule. I love using physical planners, especially for travel, because it reduces the amount of time you spend on your phone, preserving your battery life.
ALSO SEE: The Ultimate Weekly Business Planner
Switch from time-based scheduling to time blocks
Instead of saying you need to spend time from 2p to 4p working, schedule one-hour blocks of time for instead. This allows you to go with the flow of your trip. If you have a layover, or your Über arrives two hours later than expected, you are less dependent on specific times.
Block off your travel days
As a rule, never EVER plan meetings, client-interactions, or work-related functions on days of travel. This may mean you need to leave a day earlier, or later, but doing this removes one massive stressor from your travel day. You can arrive when you arrive, and leave when you would like.
Conducting business when you travel can be a headache but it doesn't have to be.
Use tools to your advantage
We are in an age where you can work remotely with the help of technology. You can accept international calls via services like Google Voice, and Skype. You can host meetings virtually using Zoom, or Google Hangouts.
When you are traveling, always be sure to setup your email autoresponder for the day before, and after, your travel day. This will give you breathing room to pack, handle layovers and reschedules, and rest after you arrive. I have found that the best autoresponder includes answers to the most common questions you may receive, with links to explanations, and more information, on your website.
I've found it's always best to address these type of common pseudo-emergency emails this way. Also, if you haven’t taken the time to write a blog post answering your most common questions received, make sure to do that before you leave.
I would suggest utilizing a client relationship manager, like Dubsado, to handle everyday tasks. For example, if you are traveling during a client on-boarding, you can set up your CRM to automatically send an invoice when a contract is signed, a questionnaire after the invoice is paid, and a welcome packet after. A CRM will save your life during travel and give you a few days to breathe when you first arrive at your destination.
What to do while you are traveling
Always utilize idle time
Whenever you are idle, use that time to work on non-client related items on your list. I like to outline new blog posts or write posts, while I travel. The Internet isolation allows me to work consistently without distraction.
You could also work on next quarters marketing plan, write your next newsletter, write some social media posts, or brainstorm your next product. The most significant thing here is to focus on non-client based work. So no email answering, meetings, phone calls, or pitching.
If you find yourself in a high-stress situation, or you are feeling anxious, utilize idle time to check-in with your favorite podcasts, or use a meditation app to destress.
What to do after you have arrived at your destination
Focus on client interactions
Set aside a block of time to catch up on email, and schedule replies. If your client is in meltdown mode, be sure to address their concerns first. You can efficiently work through email if you rank them in order of importance. If you're away for only a few days, some emails can be addressed when you get home. Emergency emails should be addressed immediately.
Take note of your differing time zones as well. Try your hardest to stick to responding to your emails during your normal business hours. This will keep email from taking over your life when you get home.
Do whatever it takes to destress
While you're traveling, you may not always be able to complete your 13-step skincare routine or do your full 3-hour wind-down routine. However, set aside some time to pray, meditate, or journal as you usually would. Journals take up relatively little space in your carry on and if you've left your journal at home, don't worry. There have been times I've bought a cheap notebook while I traveled and then added those page to my journal when I got home.
You can use apps like Calm to meditate on the go. I love to download my favorite meditation music, so I don't need the Internet to do this. You can even use YouTube to watch yoga videos or do guided meditation. If you have YouTube Red, you can download your favorites before you leave. If you're staying at a resort or hotel, consider utilizing the gym, pool, or sauna to destress.
Utilize your TV subscription and download a movie or two to watch while you travel. Netflix, HBO, and YouTube allow you to temporarily down videos to your device. This is perfect for watching movies on a long flight.
Be sure to provide your grace
Lastly, be sure to give yourself grace. You will never be completely prepared and ready for the shenanigans that pop up during travel, and that is okay. However, remember that your work will get done in time. The stress of pushing yourself to the limit is never worth it, especially when you are traveling.
Take some time to enjoy your temporary city, eat great food, and meet interesting people.
written by brittany melton
Brittany Melton is a WordPress Web Designer and Developer, Podcaster, and Chief Pokémon Trainer. Visit her website.