Here, at Blueface, we believe that communication is key to all business relationships. Even though in our globalised, tech-driven business world it’s easy to lean on technology for all communication, the power of human interaction and the importance of building relationships face-to-face cannot be underestimated or forgotten.
That is why, even though we have the best cloud-based business communication tools which enable us to stay connected wherever we are in or outside of the office, our management and sales teams travel frequently. To make sure they get the most out of their business trips, our team have developed their own routines and tricks.
We have collected their advice and experiences into a list of tips that every “road warrior” will find useful.
There is a trend to glamorize the “road warrior”. Sometimes marketing and sales can make it look like being hypermobile equates to having an exciting lifestyle. The truth is traveling for business isn’t always easy. Sleeping on planes, packing constantly for trips and staying glued to your mobile device can derail your routine and affect your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Keeping a positive attitude is the first step to a stress-free travel experience. Here are some tips how to achieve that.
How to save time?
1. Packing tips
Electronics And Gadgets
- Mobile devices (Phone, Tablet, Laptop)
- Charging cables for all of your devices
- Accessories (USB hub, Numeric-entry keypad, Mouse, USB adaptor and other items)
- Plug Adaptor
- External battery
- Extension cord
- A wireless broadband USB modem
- Flash with backup of all the docs you need
- Connectors (HDMi, DVI, VGA, Apple Lightning)
- Digital camera with extra memory card and battery charger (if applicable)
Travel Documents And Travel Money
- Travel tickets and booking confirmations
- Your Business Travel Itinerary
- Medical card
- Your Business Travel Insurance policy
- Updated international vaccination card (if applicable)
- Driving license (if doing any driving)
- GPS and destination address
- Frequent flyer card
- Travel money and payment cards (debit / credit / prepaid currency cards)
- Money belt or wallet
- Photocopy of all travel documents (best kept in cloud, so that you can access it from every computer in the world if your entire bag gets stolen)
- Copy of doctor’s prescriptions (if applicable)
- Medical history / list of all medicines you are taking (if applicable)
- Emergency contact information
- Business cards
- Marketing material and small gifts for customers (if applicable)
Get an easy to use, online version of this list here.
Check out this Forbes list of useful travel gadgets that will make your life easier wherever you are, even in the Amazon Jungle.
2. Plan for emergency
Keep Customer-Service Numbers Stored in Your Phone
Keeping customer-service numbers handy offers quicker access to the right people if a flight is cancelled or you need to change a hotel or car reservation, rather than waiting in line once you’re there.
Stay connected and plan for the unexpected
Be connected everywhere
For frequent travelers and heavy laptop workers staying connected to the internet and your office, team, customers and prospects is crucial.
Even though, it is getting easier to find free WiFi spots in the airports, they often have unreliable signal, so for your own sanity, it is best to invest in the wireless USB modem. It uses any cell signal, so you can use it anywhere, and you pay one monthly fee. It may be more expensive, but the trade-off is convenience.
Growing in popularity unified communications solutions available on the market will allow you to stay connected with your team and customers just as if you were in the office. Some of them especially useful on the road:
- USB conference phone allows you to do conference calls on the go with your team or your clients from wherever you are.
- Softphones will allow you to make and receive calls as if you’re in the office whilst roaming, once you have internet access.
- Give your business an international look and feel even if you’re not permanently based there. Use an international number that your local business contacts can call that diverts to your mobile or softphone.
Keep them alive – mission impossible
If you do stay connected to the internet wherever you are, chances are your devices will die pretty quickly. How to keep them alive when there is no plug to connect to? Invest in an external battery or power bank and charge them whenever you get the opportunity.
How to avoid unexpected costs?
Turn off background data to avoid costly data roaming fees. If you’re staying for longer periods or travelling to a certain destination frequently and need lots of data, buy yourself a local SIM.
Organisation is key. Don’t let the lack of connection mess it up!
Send and reply to emails even if there’s no WiFi on the flight. They’ll be queued to send once your device gets internet access.
Use tools such as Rapportive to schedule emails so they arrive in the recipient’s email when you want, not in the middle of the night. If you’re going to be busy, it’s also worth turning on an auto responder to let people know you’re travelling and will be slower to respond than usual.
Plan for the unexpected
- Take along every possible connector – HDMI, DVI, AV out, Apple Lightning — whatever you might need to show presentation content from any of your devices.
- Keep your content on a flash drive on a keychain as backup.
- Be prepared for low-tech settings. If you can’t use your phone, use slides for backup. If you can’t show slides, be prepared to use a spiral bound version of your presentation or an erase board if you have to.
- Be just as prepared for high-tech settings. If you find yourself in a conference room with Apple TV, know how to take advantage of it to elevate your presentation.
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