Do you remember the first time you traveled abroad? Unless your family owned a private jet, it probably came in the days when international travel meant weeks of preparation and packing. You purchased tickets at an airline's office or from a travel agent, and you had to arrive at the airport at least two or three hours before takeoff to ensure you got the best seat at check-in.
Today's technology has made all of this easier to manage. Now, you can book your ticket the night before and even download an app that provides up-to-the-minute information on your flight's status. With these new digital services, however, comes a greater need for efficiency, which can lead to added pressure and hectic itineraries.
When my company opened its London office to serve our U.K. clients, I found myself shuttling back and forth over the Atlantic with increased regularity. I wasn't just flying to London every time, either-with this new continent came a wave of new opportunities I hadn't anticipated.
Some potential clients were interested in the German market. Others were headquartered in Spain. The major European digital conference is in Cologne, our next agency network meeting is in Paris, and our upcoming annual company trip is to Mexico. Finally, I realized I needed to create a system for my travel to make the endless trips a little more manageable.
Simplify Before You Soar
The Gravity team is flying somewhere almost every week, and I've got more stamps in my passport than I can count. Here are four tips I've learned from all this traveling that can help you cope with anything the world throws at you:
1. Buy a world travel adapter and a suitcase organizer. Your suitcase is probably packed full of devices, all with their own tangled wires. When you arrive at your destination and reach your hotel, the last thing you want to do is untangle everything and discover that you packed the U.S. to U.K. adapter rather than the U.S. to E.U. one. Don't take that risk-invest in an adapter that does it all. Take a look at an organization system like GRID-IT, which helps keep your devices tidy in transit.
2. Use one hotel group. Finding hotels online can waste a lot of your time and leave you feeling disappointed if your room doesn't match the pictures. Using one hotel group makes everything simpler. At Gravity, we have a great relationship with Meliá Hotels International. Innside by Meliá is perfect for business travelers. The company has more than 350 hotels and partnerships in 40 locations worldwide, so you can always look forward to a stylish room with premium business facilities.
3. Pick an airline, and stick with it. Every airline offers its own rewards and frequent-flyer programs to win your loyalty, and it can be tempting to sign up for them all. It's better to stick to one or two programs, however, to accumulate more miles and actually reap the rewards. AwardWallet is a great app for managing your balances, allowing you to stay on top of your assets and ensure you use your miles wisely.
4. Don't do business in-flight. It's hard to resist the temptation to make one last revision to your presentation on the plane, but you'll arrive feeling better if you switch off instead. Use the time to research and immerse yourself in the world you're about to enter. Talk to a fellow passenger, read an in-flight magazine, or use a travel guide app like Triposo. You'll land feeling invigorated and ready to get down to business.
As your company expands, you'll travel more and more frequently. Don't let the stress get to you, and don't take your experiences for granted. It's amazing to have the opportunity to see so many places. Let your travel inspire you.