Make Your Business Travel Easier With Better Technology

At one point not long ago travel time was considered dead time to the businessperson. Dead time while waiting on flights, on the plane and, worse, dead time in the hotel was, in general, considered to be wasted time. That’s not so today.

With the advent of WIFI in airports and hotels, travel time does not need to be a waste. We no longer even consider packing the laptop into the luggage. Rather, we carry it on the plane with us and use it during travel.

Most airports have now added the ability to hook into their broadband networks with an Ethernet cord. Better still, you can just boot up with a wireless card and you’re good to go. For a list of airports in the United States and Europe that offer free Internet hotspots check out this web site: http://www.wififreespot.com/airport.html.

This also goes for hotels and motels. Just boot up your computer and you’re back in the office. Some hotels offer high-speed Internet at an additional cost. But it’s usually packaged with long distance service or unlimited calling. Others offer the Internet connection free. Usually, all you need to do is supply your name and, in some cases, a room number, to connect. Other hotels may offer wireless service only in rooms within range of its network.

Even laptops not equipped with wireless cards can access the wireless Internet service at some hotels because guests can check out equipment at the desk. For wired connections, a cable may be supplied in the room. If you feel limited, as a lot of us do when tied to the wall with the Ethernet cable, consider adding a compact router to your briefcase. Several are now available for under $100 and their range is actually comparable to the full size router.

OK, so now you know how easy it is to connect. But what about the equipment? For seamless travel, most of us know that a laptop and a cell phone are essential lifelines for the business traveler, but what other technology and new equipment is available to the travelling businessperson?

Packing all of the pieces and toting them can be a hassle, to be sure. The luggage industry has finally realized this and has risen to the occasion. Today, more than ever, we are seeing compact bags that will pack the multitude of cords, wires and chargers needed for business travel.

It seems that the old heavy bags are a thing of the past and travelers now rely more on the backpack style to travel. They pack equipment that weighs several times more than their body size. The only real care to take is to make sure that the wireless card is safely stored in a pocket of the backpack – not in the computer, And for sanity’s sake, a lesson learned the hard way, pack an extra.

Whether you opt for the briefcase version or the easier-to-tote backpack, style and room is not going to be sacrificed. Both the traditional briefcase and the backpack are now roomier and well padded for the office essentials. Both styles come with and without wheels. The choice is the travelers, and there is a multitude of ways to go.

When it comes to business travel, pack the right tools and you won’t even know that you are out of the office. Advances in technology have made business travel easier than ever.

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How To Turn Your Business Trip Into An Exciting Getaway

Business travel it’s unavoidable. It’s a part of the normal business model. Just about everyone will go on a business trip at least once for their company; even you. Regardless of whether you sell cars or design websites, chances are you will travel for business at least once in your professional career.

If you’re going on a business trip, below are a few recommendations on how to morph your business trip into a mini vacation. Follow them closely and you’re trip won’t be all business.

Small Business Travel Tip #1 Plan Ahead

If you want to make the most out of your trip, the first thing you need to do is clearly list all business-related items that need to be accomplished on your trip. That includes writing an itinerary for all meetings, business lunches, seminars, conference calls, and travel time needed to get to and from each event. This will help you identify any free time you’ll have in between your business functions. By writing out your business itinerary and identifying your free time ahead of time, you’ll be able to schedule side trips and tours to explore the state or country you’re in, and make the most of your trip.

Small Business Travel Tip #2 Be Realistic

The one thing to remember when you’re on a business trip is that you’re there to work. Your trip isn’t a free pass to go exploring, clubbing, or site seeing. You’re being sent to a specific location to do specific work. If you have the opportunity to do anything that isn’t work-related, it’s going to be small. There won’t be time for day trips to the countryside or wine tasting. You may have time to visit a few local sites and maybe a museum or two, but nothing too involved. Don’t expect too much personal travel time on a business trip. Remember, you’re not there to site see.

Small Business Travel Tip #3 Consult the Group

After you’ve made your business itinerary for your business travel trip and identified your free time, check with the coworkers you’re traveling with (if any) before you leave to see if they’d mind if you visited a local attraction or point of interest on the trip. This does, however, open up the possibility of your coworkers asking to accompany you on the side trip, but remember; there is power in numbers. If multiple coworkers are going on a side trip, the better your chances are of writing off the excursion as a business expense. You can say it was a team building” exercise. Informing your travel companions ahead of time will also eliminate the possibility of causing waves when you suddenly disappear during a 3-hour break to visit a local attraction.

Small Business Travel Tip #4 Book in Advance

If it turns out you’ll have a few hours to see the sites on your business travel, be sure to book in advance. Some tours require reservations. So, before you leave for your trip, call ahead and see if you need to make a reservation to see a site or participate in a tour. It will save you time and allow you to better balance your time on your business trip.

Small Business Travel Tip #5 Be Flexible

Even though you’ve identified your free time and got the OK from the rest of the travel group to see the city, it is possible that you won’t be able to see the sites you planned on seeing during your business trip. Remember, you are traveling for business, so unscheduled or unexpected meetings, conference calls, or business dinners might pop up. You don’t want to cancel on a client lunch just to see Alcatraz. Be flexible with your plans and be sure to put business before pleasure.

Business travel is something everyone will experience at least once in their lifetime. However it doesn’t have to be all business. Plan ahead using the above mentioned small business travel guide and turn your business travel into a mini vacation.

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Business Travel 101

You know the drill. Fight your way through a sea of travelers, check the monitor, down a breakfast burrito, and hurry to make your next connection. The plight of the business traveler is well known to anyone who’s had to go out-of-state for the good of the company. Business travel may never feel the same as traveling for pleasure-tropical islands rarely being the final destination for business trips-but there are ways to make the experience a little more enjoyable.

Give Yourself Some Time to Be Comfortable

Time is money, and it’s important to get where you’re going as soon as possible. Still, many business travelers overextend themselves trying to get from point A to point B in record time. For example, if you have to fly from Boston to Shanghai, schedule an overnight stay at a midpoint destination. Traveling for 14 hours straight can take a toll, and you don’t want it to be during an important meeting. Including time in your flight schedule for the inevitable delays, overlong meetings, or other snafus will also reduce your business travel-related stress.

And don’t forget-scheduling an early morning flight is another way for the business traveler to get ahead. The first flights of the day often experience fewer delays because they have not been stuck in a queue of delayed flights.

Be Prepared for Business Travel

The Boy Scout motto is the same for the smart business traveler: be prepared. As we all know, a million things can go wrong when it comes to business travel-lost luggage, delays, bad weather, etc. If one of these unfortunate events does occur, it’s best to be ready. So, don’t be shy when it comes to giving out your contact information. Give the airport your cell number, your destination, and hotel address. Make it easy for the bad news to reach you, because what you don’t know can hurt you while on a business trip. Also, making copies of your passport or tickets can make it a lot easier to get replacements if those important documents get lost or stolen. Memorizing or keeping a copy of important phone numbers, such as those for cancelling a credit card, will also help in the event of loss or theft.

Know What to Pack and What to Leave at Home

Knowing what to bring and what not to can help make your business travels a lot more manageable. Car keys and unnecessary credit cards are best left at home and out of reach for would-be thieves. If you habitually stay at the same hotel for business, then ask if you can store your gym clothes, personal pillow, or other items in one of the hotel’s storage lockers. Why carry something you can store at your destination?

Shipping important items can also alleviate the strain of carrying around an overloaded suitcase. The last thing any business traveler wants to do is get a sweat-inducing workout while trying to get from the airport to the hotel to the business meeting. If you have a large amount of business materials, have them shipped to your hotel via FedEx or UPS. This cuts down on the hassle of getting around, and your shipped items will probably arrive at your destination before you do.

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