How to Stay Productive While Traveling

Being Efficient on the Road

How to Stay Productive While Traveling

© iStockphoto
ErikKhalitov

Have you packed everything you need to stay productive?

Travel is often one of the perks of working with team members or customers around the world. Doing business with people face-to-face is often more effective and productive than doing it over the phone or via email, and working with colleagues in different countries can be exciting and rewarding.

But how can you stay productive while you're on the move? Irregular work schedules, limited resources, disrupted sleep, lack of exercise, and separation from friends and family can all take their toll. You may feel tired, and accomplish less than you'd planned as a result.

In this article, we'll explore how you can be happy and effective while you're away from your office.

How Travel Affects Work Productivity

In 2013, Americans logged 452 million trips of one night or more away from home, according to the U.S. Travel Association. And research shows that business travel results in an average of 6.9 hours of lost productivity for each trip.

According to travel management consulting firm CWT Solutions Group, the top five travel stressors are:

  • Delayed or misplaced luggage.
  • Lack of Internet connectivity.
  • Having an uncomfortable seat on a long flight.
  • Hold-ups.
  • Impractical flight times.

Tips for Staying Productive While Traveling

So, how can you stay productive when you're away from the office? Here are four strategies you can use.

1. Travel Smart

Plan Ahead

Organize as much of your itinerary as you can in advance, and make a list of everything you need to pack. Keep your travel information close at hand, including your flight details and hotel confirmation – you can store these on your smartphone or carry hard copies with you.

Plan ahead for misplaced luggage or delayed flights by packing essentials such as keys, medication, electronic devices, toiletries, and perhaps a change of clothes in your carry-on bag. This means that you can continue working if there are any unplanned disruptions to your journey.

Research Your Destination

Research unfamiliar destinations before you travel, so you don't waste time looking at maps or asking for directions when you arrive. Check the area around your hotel for restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, and things to do in case you have downtime during your trip.

Avoid Long Security and Customs Lines

There are several programs, such as...

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