You won’t waste a minute of your next business trip if you apply these planning tips:
- Plan smart. Fly midweek, when fewer people travel, and avoid booking the last flight of the day, so you will have a backup option if your flight is canceled or you must change it.Check how likely a flight is to arrive on time by viewing its past performance at a Web site such as www.flightstats.com. Preload your mobile phone with numbers for your travel agent or airline, hotels near the airport and others you may need to call if a flight is canceled or delayed.
- Pack for work. Take tools and materials that will allow you to make down time productive. Examples: Slip an extra laptop battery in your bag. Download Web sites to read offline. Purchase recordings of conference sessions you couldn’t attend, and listen to them on the flight home. Bring background information so you can think about strategy when you are unlikely to be interrupted.
- Double book. Never travel for only one reason. If you are visiting a regional office, arrange to meet with a customer nearby or to talk with a dean at a college where you want to boost recruiting efforts. Send messages to your social networking contacts inviting them to meet you in person during a conference or trade show.Finally, have a routine for when you return to the office. Example: Take a folder with you and use it to collect all the information you will pass along to your assistant. That way, everything will be ready to hand off the moment you walk into the office.
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