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During business trips, gaining time can be a valuable tool for optimising your stay, and for being more efficient and more productive once there. As a result, you may be able to free-up some time after work and get to really see your destination. A few tips.
1- PLAN YOUR DEPARTURE
Anticipate the time difference by acclimatizing yourself. A few days before departure, get used to regulating your body clock by avoiding sleeping in or staying up late. This will allow you to adapt more easily to your new time zone once you’ve arrived at your destination.
2- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Your hotel, airline, train and car rental agency may all offer you subscription to their loyalty programs when you make your booking. Taking a few minutes to do this will unlock a number of benefits and save valuable time through use of passenger profiles and saved preferences, express routes, access to the airport lounge to relax or work, mailing of your car hire invoice etc.
Either through their website, or using a dedicated online application, most airlines offer a way of avoiding the queues and escalator rat-race before you ever reach their counter. Simply register online in advance, from several days before the flight up to just a few minutes before departure.
From your smartphone, computer or tablet, you can directly download your boarding pass and so choose your own seat. You now only need present your boarding pass at baggage check-in, or at the boarding gate if you’re travelling light. This helps you to stay relaxed, although it’s advisable to always allow at least 30 minutes to clear security and customs on an international flight.
4- PLAN YOUR TRANSFERS
The concierge services in hotels will always offer all the information you need on different transportation options (taxi, car service, shuttle, bus, subway, tram etc.). To facilitate transfers, your hotel also offers access to its taxi or shuttle reservation service for both your arrival and departure.
5- PREPARE YOUR MOBILE OFFICE
Why not use your journey to get work done? Some airlines offer Wi-Fi access, but it’s best to plan for offline access to documents and to bring USB support, battery chargers, and any other adapters needed.
Travelling also offers you time to rest. On the plane, depending on your direction of travel, you can optimize sleep phases by adjusting your watch to the time at your destination when you take-off. During the flight choose fresh fruit juices – or even small vitamin supplements – rather than the coffee or alcohol on offer.
Once you’ve arrived, capsules of melatonin (the sleep hormone) can help you synchronize your body clock and facilitate sleeping.
7- PLAN YOUR STAY
Contact your hotel, who can provide you with local insights and suggest any pitfalls to avoid, such as complicated bus lines or some taxis’ prohibitive tariffs. To make getting around easier during your stay, book a taxi or car service to wait for you on your arrival and remain at your disposal until you leave.
Finally, once formalities are settled and you’ve travelled under the best conditions, enjoy every minute you’ve gained and make the very most of this precious time.