By Rachael Ziccone
Conference & Events Manager, Corporate Challenge Events
As a conference and event organiser, I understand first-hand the importance of corporate travel and creating efficiencies in the time from when you pack your bags to when you reach your destination.
Here are 10 useful tips for when you next travel interstate or overseas for business meetings, a conference or corporate event.
1. Join a corporate loyalty travel rewards program
If you travel as frequently as our events team does, you will know just how many frequent flyer points you receive for each flight. As you accumulate these points, you will be eligible for a range of rewards which may include priority boarding, access to the airline lounge or free baggage. These rewards can make a big difference to your quality of travel and are definitely worth exploring.
2. Be prepared and on time
There is nothing worse than getting stuck in traffic on your way to the airport, unable to find a parking spot and then rushing to check in your bags. Suggestions to save time include pre-booking your parking or taxi, checking in online before you get to the airport, and allowing time for traffic congestion and airport queues.
3. Travel light
Buy a good quality suitcase, travel light, label and lock your luggage, and don’t take any items with you that aren’t necessary. It will also help to pack your suitcase the day or night before, so you are not rushed and forget an important item.
4. Stay hydrated and get some fresh air
Airports and especially airplanes are dehydrating places with their artificial lighting and air. I recommend buying a bottle of water before you board and take the opportunity to get some fresh air if possible. It can make a world of difference in your recovery after a long flight.
5. Prepare in advance for the security check
If you’ve ever been caught walking through security with a pair of scissors in your bag or phone in your pocket, then you’ll know how embarrassing and time-consuming it can be. It is not an enjoyable experience to watch a gloved attendant search through your bag whilst being watched by dozens of cautious travellers. You can avoid those situations by double checking your carry-on luggage before joining the security line.
6. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes
I don’t think anyone is a fan of cramped airline seating, however you can do small things to make your journey as comfortable as possible. Number one on the list is to wear comfortable shoes. As much as ladies don’t like to admit it, stilettos or heels are not comfortable footwear even at the best of times, let alone on a long flight. Swap your heels for a comfy pair of flats which are easy to slip on and off during the flight. Skinny jeans are not a good fashion choice either, especially when you have to undo your top button to sit up straight for take-off and landing. Save yourself the trouble and wear looser-fitting pants next time you fly. I’m sure those sitting next to you will be thankful as well.
7. In flight entertainment
Whether you love to read a good book, complete a challenging Sudoku puzzle or delve into a gossip magazine, make sure you take something entertaining or productive on board with you. The in-flight magazine only lasts so long, so potentially take another book or magazine, or use the opportunity to do some work that you can undertake in the small confines of your seat.
8. Always remember your charger
In this day and age, we rely heavily on technology to get us from point A to point B. You don’t want to arrive at your destination airport to discover your phone is dead and you’re unable to call your pick up contact or check which hotel you are booked into. A good tip is to keep a spare charger in your carry-on luggage for those all too frequent battery emergencies.
9. Don’t forget your headphones
Even if you don’t regularly listen to music, headphones can still come in handy. Have you been seated next to a person on a plane who just won’t stop chatting? Well, put in your headphones and close your eyes even if you aren’t listening to anything. Or invest in headphones with noise cancellation. Flights are a good time to listen to podcasts for your own professional development, so consider how you can use this time productively.
10. Travel with a positive mindset
So many things can go wrong when travelling frequently, but it all comes down to how well you manage issues as they arise. If you start with a positive mindset, then you are less likely to let minor issues affect you such as delays, lost luggage or bad seat allocation.
Rachael Ziccone is the Conference & Events Manager of Corporate Challenge Events – a leader in the delivery of corporate events and team building programs in New Zealand and Australia for the past 21 years.
Corporate Challenge Events provide a comprehensive corporate travel service to clients as part of their events and conferences. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you and your organisation with your next event or business travel.