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November 15, 2010

Tips for Business Travel

Last week's Monster+HotJobs poll asked visitors, "What's the maximum amount of business travel that's acceptable to you in a job?"

And the willingness to travel was a bit higher than expected: only 17 percent of respondents said they wouldn't travel at all for work--but 29 percent said they'd travel up to four days a month, and an additional 20 percent said they'd travel up to nine days per month.

That's a lot of frequent-flier miles.

Here are the complete results:

   • Jet-setter: 20 or more days a month. 16%
    • Globe-trotter: 15-19 days a month. 8%
    • Road warrior: 10-14 days a month. 11%
    • Frequent flier: 5-9 days a month. 20%
    • Day-tripper: 1-4 days a month. 29%
    • Homebody: 0 days a month. 17%

In my current job, I travel only a few days a month--in past positions, though, I've done a bit more traveling than that. Here are a few business-travel tips I can share from my own experience--and I hope you'll add yours in the comments section:

1. Keep packed clothes wrinkle-free: Empty space in your suitcase can cause wrinkles--so fill air pockets with underwear or socks (and an extra pair often comes in handy anyway). I try to fold clothes only along seams, and I pack wrinkle-prone items in dry-cleaning or shopping bags (and I never pack linen clothes). I unpack as soon as I arrive at the hotel. If possible, I hang things in the bathroom (the steam from the shower will release some wrinkles).

2. Be smart about personal-grooming products: I stay stocked up on travel-size versions of the products I use, and I never turn down free samples (of cologne, lotion, and so on). I keep all these items (as well as unused travel-size hotel toiletries) in a bag inside my suitcase so they're always handy. (Also, if one item is going to push my carry-on over the maximum allowed amount of liquids--and therefore require that I check a bag--I find out whether there's a drugstore near my destination hotel. Often it's easier and less expensive to buy something like deodorant than to check luggage.)

3. Save time at security: I wear only slip-on shoes when I travel, and (if possible) I wear pants that don't need a belt--so there's less to take off before going through metal detectors. Also, before I get to the airport, I pack my keys in my carry-on and divest myself of pocket change. (When leaving a hotel, I add it on top of the tip I leave for the housekeeper.)

4. Get upgraded: Before I leave on a trip, I make sure I'm a member of whatever frequent-traveler programs (airline, hotel, and so on) I can take advantage of. Even if I don't earn anywhere near enough points for a free trip or elite status, enough smaller perks and upgrades are awarded to members to make enrolling worthwhile: things like minor upgrades or a fruit basket from hotel management. I keep all my frequent-flier program info in a small address book in a pocket of my carry-on.

Visit Monster.com's "Business Travel Guide" for more tips.

What are your travel tips? Please share them in the comments section!

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Posted by Charles Purdy on November 15, 2010 at 07:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


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Very good suggestions. I travel on the average 10 days a month. I had already incorporated your tips in to my travel routine long ago. They do make traveling much more relaxed.

Posted by: A. Guyette | Nov 17, 2010 3:41:40 PM

Invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling earphones. Aside from the obvious health benefits, they'll also shut out a lot of the engine noise so that you can get some sleep. Additionally, as nasty as it sounds, it'll also shut out chatty seatmates.

And call your family every day, particularly if you have kids. Business travel is hard on your family and you should make sure they know that you're thinking of them. Even if you have nothing to say, call. It'll be appreciated.

Also, you may want to look into alternatives to hotels. On a business trip a while back, I checked into serviced apartments London rather than my usual hotel and it saved the company quite a bit. It felt a bit more like someone's home too, rather than a sterile room that you've borrowed for a while.

Posted by: Drew | Nov 30, 2010 10:58:35 AM

Thank you for sharing this helpful information..

Posted by: John Papers | Dec 11, 2010 4:30:52 AM

I've just found your article pretty much useful. Your idea and suggestion is perfectly true! I am very fun of traveling, and these would surely be a great guide then, I'll surely follow your suggestions for a more ecstatic travel.

Posted by: Hotels Cagayan de Oro | Apr 5, 2011 4:02:03 AM

Those are very nice suggestions. I actually don't like business trips, unless of course, I'm in the business class of the plane. But I always make sure I look my best when I meet business partners. I just wish I have a private plane so that I can travel without the hassle, hehe.

Posted by: Jamie Shellman | Jul 11, 2011 3:21:36 PM

Business for the first time in the years after the onset of shock faced by many families in the street along the road. It can be very frustrating trying to balance a loving family with the resumption of a career. May be irregular even for a mother to start a race for the first time. But fortunately others have gone before us and can teach us many things such as 3 tips for moms in the business networks and associations conferences, and coaches at least three ways to hit obstacles the way and be more successful.

Posted by: Explosive stock option | Oct 4, 2011 4:51:25 AM

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