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03 Dec, 2008

Business travel tips

Posted by: admin In: Tips

Business travel tips

In the olden days, farmer John might make a point of moseying over to the general store to jaw for a while with the traveling salesman who—once or twice a year—came through town. The promise of a bargain or two was enough to draw old John away from cows and kin. There was value in a bottle of snake oil or a batch of butterscotch candies for the missus.

Negotiations were conducted over a glass of sarsaparilla—and a man’s handshake was the seal to any deal. Today, the times they are a changing. A handshake remains a courtesy that signals a successful sit-down but time is money and business travel tips are appreciated by those that make the accumulation of wealth a satisfying pastime.

Make sure your schedule doesn’t work against you

People who travel for business purposes generally have several missions rolled into one trip. Some meetings with fellow employees or executive superiors need to be held on a rigid schedule. Others, however, can be arranged with more flexibility. When scheduling a meeting, try to set the time with 15 minutes of leeway built into the appointment’s launch.

Instead of noting 1:00 p.m. as the starting time, tell associates to gather “between 1:00 and 1:15. They will appreciate the comfort zone, especially if delays such as traffic congestion and slow elevators align to defeat the conscientious. Building in a comfort zone comes in especially handy if it turns out that you are the one who is a tad late. Luckily, the tad has been accounted for in the 15-minute spread.

Keep a log of activities and the costs attached

Tracking your own whereabouts throughout the work day is another wise move. You can build your own compendium of business travel tips by noting in a daybook what time your flight touched down, how long it took to flag a cab and the duration of the ride to your hotel or meeting.

Jot down the phone number from the side of the cab to save time on your next visit. Note in your daybook the cost of the cab ride and any comments on cleanliness or attitude of the driver. Should you take a taxi from a different company the next time you travel to that city, you already will have a comparison of costs and comments that may save you time—and aggravation.

Record your impressions of various restaurants and hotels you visit. Make some notes about various conference locations to which you travel. The peace of mind that comes from familiarity with local eateries, wireless hot spots and other attractions leaves more time to pursue business contacts and do so with a clear mind and a relaxed disposition.

Obtain a specialized toy to cut down on wasted time

These days, a global positioning system (GPS) device is becoming a must-have for those who travel. The units are indispensable to those who visit clients at various business locations or at home offices in the suburbs. A GPS that is portable can be moved from one vehicle to another—or from suitcase to rental car. If space is too tight in your suitcase and you are renting a car, the addition of a GPS rental unit often can be arranged. A deposit usually is required but the fee is returned when the unit is brought back undamaged.

Another option to the portable GPS is the portable handheld model. A handheld unit can be carried in a pocket or shoulder bag. It is a compact wonder that is finding escalating favor among hikers, campers, motorcyclists—and business travelers. Economical, no-frills varieties offer basic map functions and more.

Some GPS watches that double as digital timepieces are available. The watches may have other functions such as heart rate monitors and reverse tracking—the ability to get you back to the starting point of your trip. The purchase of one of these is high on the list of business travel tips embraced by savvy globe trotters.

Handheld GPS units are available with enhancements such as no-glare screens, voice activation, variable map databases and theft prevention features. But for business travelers, a basic unit should suffice. A unit costing about $100 will get you where you need to go—and get you the comfort of knowing you’ll never be the last one walking into a business meeting because you got lost.

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