What's your best little-known tip for making business travel less stressful?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Download TripIt
I only recently discovered the TripIt app and it's a game changer! You forward all your travel-related confirmation emails to email@example.com and it organizes all your travel arrangements in chronological order and sends you reminders. If you upgrade to the paid version ($50) it also will notify you of gate changes, flight delays and more. It's revolutionized my travel experience!
- Alexis Wolfer, The Beauty Bean
2. Skip the Hotel
If I'm going somewhere on business for more than a week, I always look up vacation rentals as an alternative to a hotel. Most of the time, if you speak directly with the owner you have the ability to negotiate and most of the time you can get better accommodations than most hotels at a similar price.
- Nick Reese, Elite Health Blends
3. Eat -- and Drink -- Light
Eating well when you're traveling should be a top priority, because your body is already under more stress and you don't want to add more fried stuff that it needs to digest. I recommend taking a shower right after you land to ground yourself, and drinking coconut water to stay super hydrated. Eating less on the day you travel is recommended to avoid constipation from lack of movement.
- Nathalie Lussier, The Website Checkup Tool
4. Empower Your Assistant
Let your customers get comfortable dealing with someone other than you, while empowering your assistant to handle most inquiries. This will provide you with the comfort of knowing things are being taken care of while you're on the road.
- Charles Gaudet, Predictable Profits
5. Book a Mid-Day Flight
The nights before a business trip are always the busiest -- not only do you have to prepare for the journey, but you also have to keep up with your normal business responsibilities and dedicate time to your homelife. Starting a trip with an early-morning flight -- and less sleep than you need -- can be a disaster. Book mid-day flights and begin your journey well-rested!
- Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
6. Mobile Hotspot
It's extremely stressful to not have wireless when you need it. I recommend enabling a mobile hotspot on your phone or purchasing one from a wireless carrier. And always make sure it's charged!
- Abby Ross, Blueye Creative
7. Bring Healthy Snacks to the Airport
If you're trying to eat even remotely healthy, most airports are a Level 7 boss. Bring some mixed nuts, a sandwich, some fruit -- whatever it is, come prepared and you won't feel embarrassed ordering a salad at the airport Burger King (just me?).
- Derek Flanzraich, Greatist
8. Spend More on a Scenic Stay
It's worth it to spend a little bit more to stay somewhere that you enjoy. For example, I always try to stay at a hotel by the beach when I travel to LA. Choose a scenic area or cool boutique hotel in an up-and-coming neighborhood. That way, when you plan a business trip, you have a little pleasure to look forward to.
- David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
9. Burt's Bees Towelettes
I'm not totally sure why, but when I'm travelling and moving around a bunch, I really like being able to step into a bathroom and wipe off my face. Makes me feel refreshed.
- Anthony Krumeich, Bloodhound
10. Print Out Important Documents
Especially when you're traveling internationally, I highly recommend that you print out this sort of basic information: airline reservation numbers, flight times, address and phone of lodging, phone and e-mail of contact person, travel insurance information, and a photocopy of your passport. This will save you so much stress when your electronics run out of power or there is no Internet service.
- Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®
11. Headphones, Bananas & Slip-On Shoes
Start by eliminating the things that make travel stressful. Slipping your headphones on will drown out the noises and voices that add anxiety. Bringing healthy snacks along (like a banana) will prevent you from eating junky airport food. Wearing slip-on shoes will save you the pain of laces at airport security. With a little forethought, business travel can be almost painless.
- Robert Sofia, Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC
12. Treat Yourself to Available Upgrades
Find out if there's an upgrade available. While I go for inexpensive, economy-class tickets and hotel rooms, I always check to see if cheap upgrades are available. For as little as $50, I've been able to upgrade to business class, for example, which helped start my trip on a winning note.
- Nicolas Gremion, Foboko.com
13. Gmail Offline
Whether your on an airplane or in a remote region of the world with little internet, Gmail offline allows me to continue to be productive even when I'm on the go. If I didn't have this, I'd stress about being able to respond and staying on top of my already crowded inbox. With this tool I can not only get stuff done anywhere, but free from interruption as well.
- Sean Ogle, Location 180, LLC
14. Change Your Socks
15. Bring Cash!
We can use plastic almost anywhere but I find that hitting up the ATM before I head to the airport always saves me headaches. Searching for an ATM in heels in an unfamiliar city is not fun! Withdraw the amount of spending money you'll need for the trip so you can quickly and easily grab a cab, purchase coffee or buy a book at the airport. And don't forget to keep those receipts for your taxes!
- Rachel Rodgers, Rachel Rodgers Law Office