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The modern business person leads a stressful life, and there are few things in life more stressful than travelling. All the usual pressures and challenges are amplified when you’re on the move, and the only thing that makes it bearable is the novelty of a change of scenery.

A smart business person is one who plans ahead with the goal of reducing the potential for stress while travelling. As you’d no doubt like to be included on the list of smartest businesspeople, let’s see what can be done to get your stress levels down when you’re travelling for work.

1. Be Organised

You should always make sure everything that needs to be booked and sorted in advance is booked and sorted in advance. This means things like:

  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Chauffeur Services

If you have a PA or VA, this job will fall under their responsibility, but it’s still a good idea to check the choices they make and ensure the acceptability of them.

Here are some tips to ensure that everything is in order when booking flights, accommodation and ground transportation:

  • Check the flight times and make sure you’ve allowed plenty of time to arrive at the airport before your flight.
  • Find out where the hotel is located and make a print or photo of the map of the exact location of the hotel, including the address in the local language of your destination. This will make your life much easier if you get lost.
  • After arriving at the hotel, be sure to get the hotel business card.
  • Make sure your chauffeur service to the airport is booked for the right date and an early departure time.
  • Make sure your chauffeur service on the destination side is booked to be awaiting the correct flight (it’s best to give them the flight number rather than a specific time to be there).
  • Also make sure your chauffeur has the correct details about where to take you from the airport.
  • Learning at least a few basic phrases in the local language will help enormously. You can’t always be certain that there will be somebody around who speaks English, even in five star hotels.

2. Pack Sensibly

If you’re just going for a short business trip, don’t weigh yourself down. Excess baggage will just be an anchor. Unless you’re going to some remote corner of the Himalayas, you won’t need to pack things like toiletries, razors, toothbrushes or combs. These can all be purchased at the destination and left behind, and often hotels provide many of these things for free.

Even suits don’t need to be packed if you can spare 24 to 48 hours for a tailoring service to make a suit for you. You can also buy them off the rack if you don’t need to make a strong impression. The same can be said for most items of clothing, underwear, socks and shoes, but if you’re on the large side you may have difficulty finding something to fit you in many Asian destinations. So bear that in mind before you definitely decide to leave something behind.

Electronic items can often be hired on the destination side. Therefore, rather than taking an entire computer with you, you might opt to simply just pack a bootable flash drive. This should contain a bootable operating system, all your applications, and required files. Never boot directly into the operating system of hired equipment as the security risks are too serious to take a chance with. When using public computer terminals, try to boot them from your own flash drive whenever possible.

3.  Stay Healthy

Looking after yourself is one of the most powerful ways to avoid stress, and the benefits are obvious. Get plenty of sleep, don’t overdo it with caffeine or alcohol, eat sensibly and be sure to exercise. If you do all these things your body will accumulate less cortisol, making you feel a lot better.

4. Stay Safe

Be aware of the conditions you’re heading into by researching ahead (or have your VA do it). Don’t take all embassy warnings and cautions as gospel – they have a tendency to be over-protective and often there’s a lot less danger than they imply.

Avoid wandering in dark and lonely places, especially at night. Use your chauffeur service in preference to local taxis or services such as Uber. You will be exposed to much less risk that way.

Having said this; we hope that our tips will help ensure that your next business trip is as stress-free as possible and an enjoyable one!