Pre-Flight Tips For The Business Traveller
The dynamics of a business traveller are forever morphing in tune with airline requirements and the landscape of the international world of business. Travelling for business is a different ball game to going on that long awaited vacation time of self-indulgence. This is work and as such everything, including your time, equates to the hungry dollar value whether you are own boss or working for a boss.
Face to face meetings and the physical touch of a handshake makes business personal. It is this personal aspect, which enables you to either infuse a sense of trust or distrust in your business acumen. The power of "presence" in a business-meeting environment will never be replaced by a face to face meeting in the clouds of the electronic highway.
The characteristics of the average punter of travelling business persuasion is that: they actually like being at an airport, can ignore jet lag and will network when at 30,000 feet in the air. No opportunity is missed for handing out a business card, or joining the mile high club if the opportunity arises. Does this sound about right?
If you don't have someone to do it for you who are remotely interested in your wellbeing, then take the time to research the hotel before you book it. Or maybe you or your company have a particular hotel brand that is used as a home away from home, so if that is the case, then this is of no concern.
But if you are doing the planning and flying solo on this exercise, then the "must do" prior to booking a hotel or when checking in are:
Ensure that the hotel has good water pressure where you don't have to do the tango to get wet and make sure that the water is hot to soak the grimy flight/business day away.
Edible food that doesn't give you Bali belly and room service for those late night "workathons", whilst a bed that actually allows you to get a good night's sleep is paramount.
Having a 24-hour reception is always a bonus, especially if there is actually someone manning the telephone when you call in the wee hours. A proper workout environment such as a well-equipped gym can be handy when in a city of sleet or snow, even if it is just to work off the frustration or anger at a deal going south on you.
Add in a bathrobe for in-room lounging wear, as you won't have any with you and some times a bath towel just won't do the trick.
When packing, don't cram everything in haphazardly if you want to be prepared for the inevitable bag scanning sleuths. Pack one layer of clothes, then add all your tech gadgets neatly laid out on top for easy access. Make sure that the gadget cords are either wrapped neatly around their device, or use rubber bands or twist ties to keep them tangle free. The side note is to make sure that you have charged up every item that requires power, including the portable recharger. When flying internationally, make sure you have incy wincy plastic bottles for your toiletry goo.
If it is just an overnight trip, then the guys in suits get off lightly with a change of jocks (if you are not into turning them inside out), a clean business shirt and maybe a tie, in case it ends up hanging in your dinner soup. A fresh pair of socks is always a debatable item as to whether you are happy to do the jocks trick or go with the flow and put the worn pair back on. Whatever you do, you are set in the clothes department, so now add the pre-requisite toiletries and you are done.
The female counterpart in the corporate world can either take the same tack as above minus the tie, so there is definitely room for a clean pair of panties. The bra is optional and stockings, if heaven forbid you have to wear them, can be put anywhere. Toiletries maybe a bit of an issue when you add in the necessity of make-up removers, night creams and emulsions of whatever magic deemed necessary for your skin when sleeping, then all the face paint that will have to be reapplied in the morning. Don't forget the 100ml rule of liquids on international jaunts.
Longer than overnight trips can turn into multiplications of the above criteria by how many days/nights you will be away. But, the more nights added on from a woman's perspective, will totally change the dynamics of what she packs. Remember there is always hotel laundry or shopping sprees at your destination.
If you really are the pedantic but forgetful type, print out an item checklist, there are plenty on the Internet. Faithfully go through it before you lock your home door. There may be all sorts of paraphernalia on it, but some of it will apply to you. Though some of the items only belong on the business travel list if you are going into the jungle to sell growth hormones to the pygmies of the Congo.
Unless you are in the pointy end of the plane, you are going to be the one blocking the plane walkway as you drag your carry on bag and also monopolising the overhead locker, so be polite about it. Heaven forbid if you miss the pre-arranged appointment because you were stuck waiting at the luggage carousal.