Business travel is often filled with delays or wait times. However, unexpected windows of time don’t have to be productivity killers. Use these seven handy tips, tricks and tools to turn your next business trip into a master class in getting things done.

  1. Never eat alone. “Eating alone is a waste of time,” says Tom Leyden, a marketing executive at Excelero. “Eating with a business connection can always lead to something-;an introduction, an opportunity, a great idea.” 
  1. Travel with a read-and-review list. Take advantage of the reading list functionality on your phone or tablet, or use a free magazine app like Zinio. This is a great opportunity to catch up on industry-related “required reading.” 
  1. Have a reliable wireless plan with plenty of data. Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, be sure you have the right wireless plan. Make sure you’re using a carrier that includes international coverage if you’re leaving the country. 
  1. Clean up your email inbox. Even without internet connectivity, you can delete emails or organize them for later action on your mobile device. Sorting by sender can speed the process. You can also write emails that will be sent when you reconnect to the internet. 
  1. Bring the right accessories. Keep all needed power cords, cables, and connectors together in a small bag. If you’re headed somewhere where charging opportunities might be scarce, consider bringing spare batteries or a portable charger for your critical devices. 
  1. Use mobile apps to optimize planning and scheduling. Apps such as TripIt and TripCase can help you squeeze maximum productivity from every spare moment of your trip. This article reviews 10 great travel apps for on-the-go entrepreneurs. 
  1. Register for the TSA Pre-Check program. It’s available at more than 180 airports and 37 airlines, and it can speed you through security. In April of 2017, 97 percent of program members waited just five minutes or less, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A five-year membership costs $85 (for $100, international travelers can register for the Global Entry program), and you can apply online here.

Of course, all work and no play can be counterproductive if taken to an extreme, so consider scheduling some time to take in the local flavor. “Try to be more like a local than a tourist,” advises Comunicano CEO Andy Abramson, who was named Business Traveler of the Year by Business Traveler magazine in 2015. He goes to street fairs, farmers’ markets, and local watering holes. “Being more like a local, you blend in with the color and flavor of where you are.”


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