Make the Most of Your Boring Business Trip

Make the Most of Your Boring Business Trip

In the past month, my wonderful day job has sent me on two business trips to England - one for training and one for building client relationships.

I’ve have planned several trips for client, friends and of course, myself. I have mastered the art of being practical while allowing for whimsey and adventure. I’ve always been an avid holiday planner and I often I plan trips that I’ll not be taking any time soon. While doing this, I spend a lot of time on Google Flights, Pinterest, and all the travel deal sites like Secret Flying and HolidayPirates.

In organising business trips for myself and for clients, I’ve found that while planning a business trip is typically less intensive than booking holiday, it is just important to spend time planning and organising the details to ensure that the trip goes smoothly.  

You want to make sure you build in time for travel delays, at least one great meal, and to ensure that the purpose of the business trip is successful.

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Planning Tips for ALL travel:

  • Master the use of Google Flights which is an extremely user-friendly site that allows you to track flight prices and comparing loads of similar flights. For example, you can add multiple departure or destination airports.

  • Use my favourite app of all time, TripCase. It tracks all of your trips, itineraries, bookings & reservations. It also keeps you up to date with any changes to your flights and automatically emails updates to people you designate.

  • Use Pinterest to find guides for 24 hours in a city. Pinterest is such an aesthetically pleasing search engine, that can help you find 2-3 perfect travel blog posts in a few minutes.

  • Download your flight entertainment. Whether it be a film, an ebook or a couple of podcasts you are going to want some options for staying entertained on your flights.

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Packing Tips for Business Travel

  • Basic medications. A simple painkiller, an antihistamine, and a heartburn/digestive aide can work wonders if, heaven forbid, you aren’t feeling well and can help keep you focused on your important business.

  • External battery & chargers are essential when you are on the go and far from home. This will mean you have the battery to phone a taxi, or look up directions, or take a call from the office while you are away.

  • Multi-use items. Think of the scarf that can be used as a blanket or to carry things, toiletries or makeup that have multiple uses. Pack a shirt and trousers or a dress that can be dressed up for your meeting and dressed down for when you are just walking around the city.

  • Solid toiletries can make all the difference! You can pack all that you need without needing to worry about airline liquid restrictions AND have the added benefit of the fact that most solids come in more eco-friendly packaging or no packaging at all. It’s a win-win-win!

I asked some friends and colleagues who’ve also recently been on business trips what they wish they’d known or done differently:

  1. Knowing the company and airline policies for compensation for flight cancellations, flight delays, lost luggage, and such. Knowing the procedure for making a claim with the airline, your company or the travel insurance.

  2. Having an easy way to organise/track travel expenses. There are multiple great apps, travel wallets, and spreadsheets out there to get you started. Communicating with your company to find the best solution will allow you to keep everything easily sorted - instead of just having pockets full or receipts.

  3. Having a photo or scan of travel documents can be critical if your originals are lost or stolen.

  4. Be careful of wearing white on a business trip as it can easily get dirty and look dingy and unprofessional which can be awful when you are trying to put your best foot forward for the business.

  5. Take a water bottle to fill after you get through security - like this collapsable one.

  6. Sleep on the plane if you can, especially if you have an intensive day of meetings you’ll need to stay focused on. This can be extra important if you have a really early flight!

  7. If you are checking a bag, take at least one change of clothes in your carry on. Should your baggage be lost or delayed having a spare shirt and set of undergarments can make a world of difference.

A little preplanning and automation can help the limited time you have on a business trip far less stressful. This should give you a bit more time to enjoy the perks of a paid for flight to a different city. So on your next business trip, you can look forward to enjoying a great meal, seeing the city, going to a museum, or doing a little shopping!

 

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P.S. Belfast City Airport is offering members of Belfast PA Network a 10% discount off any pass if booked by 30th June 2018. Please quote ‘PANETWORK’. Check it out here!

14 Things I've Discovered Since Moving from the US to NI

14 Things I've Discovered Since Moving from the US to NI

On Wednesday, I was flying out of Belfast City Airport to go to London on a business trip. As we are rising over the Lagan and gliding past Samson and Goliath, it hit me that Belfast really is starting to feel like home. Which was exciting for me because the adjustment has been tougher than I had initially imagined, but also terrifying, because it might mean that my ‘other’ home is slipping away.

Just over a year ago I moved to Belfast - one of the few places in the world that rains even more than Portland, Oregon. It’s been such an amazing experience in learning and I’ve grown to love and understand so much that is unique to the area. So I’ve decided to make a list of the things that have challenged me to stretch my boundaries in my first year.

7 Ways to Have Your Most Productive Week Ever

7 Ways to Have Your Most Productive Week Ever

I’m all about systems and productivity. I’ve picked up and honed my skills as a way to create order and gain a little control over what can be a chaotic and hectic life! I run a part-time VA business, work a full-time job, and I’m at my happiest when I have a thriving social calendar.

Systems and automation are key to balancing it all! Here are my top 7 tips for becoming a productivity badass, just like me.

Top 5 Time-Wasters  And the tools that will make your life so much easier.

Top 5 Time-Wasters  And the tools that will make your life so much easier.

As entrepreneurs sometimes it can feel like there's never enough time to tackle everything on our to-do lists. In my line of work, as a virtual assistant, I see people committing to the same time-wasters over and over. And while there are a million apps, tools, and resources available - it can be very overwhelming to try to find exactly the right tools for your business. 

Are you wasting your time on any of these 5 things? Here are my recommended tools for solving your most time-consuming, daily, administrative tasks!

Structure For Increased Team Productivity

Structure For Increased Team Productivity

Finding the perfect rhythm for your team’s daily workflow can be a challenge and a half. Many new businesses make the mistake of thinking that attracting top talent and creating a cool office space will be enough to make their businesses succeed. In my work, I’ve found that there are major factors in team management that are often sidelined in developing businesses. When these things are done right, they can majorly improve team productivity and employee satisfaction.

Would Your Business Thrive If You Were Out Of Office?

Would Your Business Thrive If You Were Out Of Office?

As a business owner, you have put countless hours of focus, dedication and hard work into ensuring that your dream succeeds. You have found the staff to help fulfil that dream and to make sure your user experience and customer service is excellent. What would happen if you were out of the office for a few days? Would your business continue to thrive if you went on holiday or had a family emergency?