Business Travel Hacks to Minimize Stress

Most of the time, going on a trip is an exciting experience. However, traveling for work can be more stressful than fun. If you are a person whose job constantly takes them to different locations, finding balance in these journeys is truly important. Here are some tips that will help make your future business trips less stressful!

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Anticipate the Hiccups

Preparing for the unexpected is the best way to prevent stress in any situation. For example, one of the most common, yet frustrating occurrences you could go through in your work trip is luggage loss or misplacement. Savvy travelers pack their carry-on bag wisely to minimize the impact of lost luggage.

In your carry-on you should bring an extra deodorant, toothbrush, a change of clothes, compression socks, medicines and a few other TSA approved essentials. If you happen to be unfortunate enough that your checked-in suitcase is lost, you will at least have some basics for your comfort, and possibly enough to get you through your first business meeting. 

Make sure to also download the travel apps including airlines and Uber/Lyft pertinent to your airline and keep important information accessible on your phone or printed:  locations of business events, hotel information, car rental details, flight information, event tickets. This preparedness eases your stress and prevents you from fumbling around.  Your phones wallet is a smart way to store most of this info.

To ensure your communication devices are functioning at all times, make sure to have chargers accessible for all your electronic equipment and if possible, bring extra portable batteries. If you are traveling internationally remember to acquire the proper adapters to match the plugs at your destination. 

Stress-Relief Aids

Another obstacle you may encounter often while traveling, especially to international locations, is difficulty adapting to the new time zone. Jet lag, headaches and difficulty resting are mortal enemies of your productivity. To counter these, tools such as blue light glasses, eye masks and some headache relief medicine are important things to keep available in your bag. Resting aids are invaluable when your schedule is packed sky-high and your downtime is limited. Bringing tools that help placate the effects of any of these unfortunate side effects is paramount to ensure a more restful experience. 

Trade shows or conferences are a common reason for business travel, whether hosting a booth or as an attendee. And they are exhausting. A fun perk from attending these is the swag you get to take back with you. Many of these fun items make cool souvenirs that you can bring home to your kids and feel more connected to them when away from home.  At least one booth will have some silly toys, fidget spinners, markers or kid-friendly goodies. GoPromotional, a promotional products distributor, says that even at serious business events, attendees seek out the playful items to bring home to family. Most of them will comfortably fit in your luggage. 

group of people on conference room
Photo by Christina Morillo on

Work While You Fly

During business trips there are usually not as many opportunities to sightsee as we might wish for. Tasks to complete, meetings to attend and a limited amount of time play a role in our chances to fully immerse ourselves in the environment. However, some things that aid in our pursuit of these pockets of exploration are time management and energy administration. If you have a longer flight, working while you travel is a great way to utilize those empty hours. Airtime is a perfect moment to polish any work you need to have ready by the time of your arrival.

Most flights, even international, now offer WiFi. Check your airline’s website to see if you can purchase a WiFi package in advance prior to your flight. If you do not have access to WiFi, work on the tasks that don’t require it. Remember to download any documents you need to read prior to boarding to ensure that you can have access to them even without an internet connection. If you have to draft any work this is also a prime time to do so. 

Squeezing in some productivity during your flight will lighten your workload and maybe give you some extra time to sightsee your destination, which we will get into in the next section.

Stress and Time Management

Most of the time on business trips, companies will provide their employees with a detailed itinerary or schedule of the events, conferences and meetings taking place throughout the duration of the event. Evaluate your  work to find the pockets of free time you could use for exploration and sightseeing. Creating your own itinerary to add to the main work schedule gives you activities to look forward to. .  List places to visit during the times you will be free, restaurants to try for lunch or dinner and any specific attractions you’d like to check out. 

Some trips will be so full of work obligations that you may not be able to enjoy the city you’re visiting.

If your schedule is very tight and most meals are organized or provided by your company, find creative ways to enjoy the location.  You could squeeze in a coffee shop or drink venue for your breaks or evening downtime. Wake up early and take a 30 min walk around the city. Ensuring that there is at least one non-work related place you get to visit is a great way to get a little taste of your destination while not missing any part of the business aspects of the trip. If your budget and schedule permits, add an additional night to the trip just for personal time. 

Last But Not Least 

Ultimately, make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep, and drinking enough water. Minimize the number of stressful situations you could find yourself in by preparing ahead. Keep an eye on any real-time changes and updates to your work itinerary, so nothing takes you by surprise. Listen to your body’s needs and try to get the most out of every part of the experience. If you follow these hacks, you are guaranteed to enjoy your trip and make the most out of it, both professionally and on a personal level. 

Safe travels!