Published February 3, 2012
1. Be Nice!
This is universal, but it applies particularly to travellers. Many harried travelers are such jerks to staff that when you show appreciation, you get “extras” that you didn’t even know to ask for. I’m a musician, so my hours are out of sync, but I’ve been treated to late checkouts, after-hours private pool time, help with publicity on return trips, and forgotten stuff mailed to my home. I’ve also heard some stories of how some of those jerks get treated; NOT a category you ever want to be in! (Tony Barker of Tony Barker Music.com)
2. Stay with REAL People
When possible, even on business trips, I try to avoid hotels and stay with a member of one of my homestay networks. I find the genuine contact and family atmosphere a welcome change from conference hotels. Yes, there’s some transportation logistics, but generally, I find it worth the schlep across town to make new friends and get my batteries recharged. (Shel Horowitz of Green And Profitable)
3. Pack Once…Forever
Keep a travel bag ready to go at all times. You may not be able to pack all of your clothes in advance, but you can definitely keep a second set of toiletries, shoes, and work accessories (chargers, paper, flash drive, etc) ready for a last minute trip. When it’s time to go, grab fresh clothes, a laptop and everything else should be ready. This can easily shave off 15 minutes of packing and help reduce a little pre-trip stress. (Geoff C. of Don’t Do It Yourself).
4. Avoid Visiting Costly Cities
If you visit costly cities frequently, set up an office there. Become a member of several airlines and hotel chains to get discounts. Buy a business class ticket. Use coupons while travelling. Carry some ingredients with you and cook your meals at hotels. Stay in corporate housing. Do online research to find the cheap hotels. Select garments which are versatile and can be rolled quickly. Become friends with the hotel staff to get perks. Involve them in celebrations to get a free bottle of wine. (Shawn Ambrose of Debt Consolidation Care).
5. Research the Area
When I am going on business trips, I research the area I am travelling to. I look for business conferences, lectures and seminars around the same time that I will be in that city. I make it a point to go to as many events as time will allow. This is a great way to meet other business owners and entrepreneurs in other cities or countries. (Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production).
6. Know the Language!
When travelling abroad, know the four key words that open doors for you in that country’s language: Hello, thank you, please, and goodbye. I’ve used those key words in German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Russian and have gotten big smiles, lots of friendliness, and superior service. If you can say, “I’m sorry I don’t speak French or German or…” in that language and sound like you really mean it, that’s the icing on the cake. (David R Yale of David R. Yale, Direct Marketer).
7. Traveling With Your Boss?!
Never do these nine things: a). NEVER forget that your boss is evaluating you at all times. b). If you are on a business trip, itï¿½s because youï¿½re supposed to be part of the solutionï¿½not part of the problem. c). Donï¿½t be late. d). Never be rude to staffï¿½any staff, ever. e). NEVER drink too much. f). Donï¿½t be difficult or ask for special favors. g). Donï¿½t let your boss lull you into behaving unprofessionally. h). Keep your cell phone out of sight. i). Never cry or lose your cool, no matter what happens! (Carolyn Paddock of In-Flight Insider).
8. Meet People from Social Media
Grow your list of potential clients and connected friends by reaching out to people that you are socially connected with and offer to buy them coffee. This is a great way to grow your network and spread the message about what you do. To connect with a larger group, host a meetup and invite your social friends that are in the area or will be in the area! (Alicia Rittenhouse of Ali Rittenhouse, International).
9. Less is More (No Sinks Needed)
Often, us gals pack everything but the kitchen sink. I’m always one to advocate packing only what can be used in multiple ways and dressing things up with accessories like colorful scarves, a funky belt or some textured tights. These are all small, lightweight and add wardrobe interest while taking up minimal space. I suggest never taking more than 3 pairs of shoes, even for the longest trip and NEVER take high heels of any kind, lest you want a TRIP in more ways than one. Bon voyage! (Kendra Kroll of PortaPocket by Undercover Solutions).
10. Manage Travel Phone Costs
For international travellers, one of the most costly items when travelling is phone calls. One of the best ways to save money is to use a spare, unlocked GSM phone. When you arrive, simply purchase a local SIM card. You can now use the phone for local calls and you can receive calls and texts free (outside the US, incoming calls and texts are free). You can also forward your work phone to your SIM number and receive calls on the road. Tell folks to send texts. It will save you money. (Warren Heaps of Birches Group LLC).