biz travel tipsMany people have to travel regularly for business and for a lot of us, we travel much more often than we would like. From the expenses incurred and the time investment involved to being inspected by those TSA agents, business travel can be a major hassle. So, here are a few ways to make the most out of your business travels:

(1) Stay Ahead of the Pack
I am constantly travelling for business and one thing that I love to do to maximize my time (and make sure that I don’t forget anything!) is to have a travel bag that I keep packed at all times with all of the basics that I need every time that I travel, regardless of where I am going. For me, this includes staples like my beauty products, make-up, hairbrushes, accessories, shoes, etc. Then, I just add in whatever clothes and extras that I need based on what and where my trip is and… voila! I am all good to go. When I come home from a trip, I replace any items that need to be washed or restocked, so that I can quickly get ready for my next trip. Another great packing idea (which isn’t necessarily my strong suit!) is to only bring a carry-on bag with you when your travel plans include flying. This way, you can avoid the extra fees and wait times that accompany checking bags.

(2) Maximize Your Down Time
Business travel often involves a lot of down time- there’s plane rides, cab rides, and even nights in hotel rooms. While you may want to sleep, surf the web or watch movies on your iPad, one of the best things that you can do is to plan out your down time to include productive, business-related tasks. I use my travel down time to write- everything from articles and blogs to even my book, The Entrepreneur Equation. If writing isn’t something that you need to do for your business, figure out something else that is. Maybe there are marketing books or financial articles that you have been putting off reading. You may not have proper access to the internet, so download or print out whatever materials that you need to read or complete ahead of time, so that you can work effectively during your down time.

(3) Connect to Your Networks (Offline!)
Another great way to make the most out of your business travel is to connect with people. Let your existing clients, potential clients, social media contacts and even other businesses know that you will be in town. Try to book consultations, speaking engagements, or whatever is appropriate for your own business to make extra money while you are in town. Even if it’s just meeting up with a social media contact for coffee, face to face interaction can garner more business than you can imagine. You can also seek out other conventions, conferences or lectures that are taking place near where you are to further expand your network. One other thing that I always do when travelling is to book PR opportunities, like TV or radio spots.

Following these tips can really help you to get the most out of your business travel. What other tips do you have? Please share them below.

Thanks to Erin Ferree of BrandStyle Design, Randy Savicky of Strategy+Communications, Bud Bilanich of The Common Sense Guy, Diane Conklin of Complete Marketing Systems, Sue Koch of Soaring Solutions, LLC, and Wendy Kay of WellWealth, LLC for the inspiration behind some of these ideas.