In the corporate world of Singapore, traveling is a part of almost every job description. Whether you’re a first-year associate or a high-end executive, it’s wise to keep your passport up to date.
In the earlier days, traveling for work seemed like a dream. After all, don’t we all fantasize about being paid to travel? However, with time, the constant change of scenery can be challenging and draining. Also, dealing with work responsibilities and managing logistics leaves little time for leisure activities.
Don’t get us wrong; this doesn’t mean that business travel has to be a drag. More often than not, the only thing preventing you from having a relaxing and comfortable work trip is a lack of planning.
You can easily take care of all your official duties, explore the city, and unwind from your busy routine on a work trip. Moreover, business travelers rarely get an opportunity to explore the cultures of a city because they don’t plan their trip properly.
If you’re a busy executive who regularly finds themselves traveling for work, these essential travel tips will help you make the most of your next business trip.
Find a Travel Agent
While we all know the importance of having a go-to doctor and lawyer, not many of us think about having a preferred travel agent. However, if you’re a business executive that often travels for work, having a dedicated travel agent may help you in more ways than one.
As an expat in Singapore, you’ll realize the need for a dedicated travel agency, especially if you’re new or your company isn’t enthusiastic about making plans for you.
You can get ripped off if you don’t know any reputable travel agencies catering specifically to professionals and business trips. With a dedicated travel agency by your side, you’ll have access to deals and discounts for flights and hotels that the general public does not.
Moreover, with a travel agent looking after all your travel arrangements, all you have to do is say the word, and they will take care of the rest.
That means even if you’re traveling from Singapore to Malaysia for a week and want to explore the country, you can easily book a Genting tour package without worrying about hotel bookings, flight delays, or airport pickups.
Everything will be ready for you just how you want it.
You probably remember the 2009 George Clooney – Anna Kendrick comedy, Up In the Air, and the infamous ‘What’s In Your Backpack’ analogy which Clooney’s character Ryan includes in his speech.
While the intended moral of that analogy is that we need to let go of excess baggage in our lives, the literal interpretation applies spectacularly to busy professionals who frequently travel.
The heavier your backpack (or suitcase, in this case), the more you have to pack and unpack at each stop you make. Think about other professions that require a lot of traveling, such as pilots or cabin crew.
Have you ever seen them carrying anything larger than a small hand-carry suitcase? Then, why not follow heed to the people who travel for a living?
Pack as light as possible for work trips with limited clothes, a maximum of 2 pairs of shoes (including the one you wear on the flight), and only the essentials such as a small makeup/grooming kit, chargers, etc.
Not only will you be more comfortable while traveling and avoid the wait at baggage claim, but you will also have more space to shop and bring back souvenirs from your travels!
Plan for your Trip
The biggest mistake we make when traveling is failing to plan an itinerary. Whether it’s a work trip or a family holiday, a pre-set itinerary helps you stay on track and get the most out of each day.
When you’re traveling for work, you’ll likely be spending your mornings busy with official duties. Naturally, you’ll be tempted to return to the hotel room and order room service in your PJs once you finish work.
Moreover, handling the mental load of finding something to do around the city will demotivate you from making further plans.
With a planned itinerary, you won’t have to worry about where to go, and you’ll also have that nagging voice in your head pushing you to stick to the plan. Another great tip is to get yourself excited about the exploring part by researching the activities and places you’ve chosen to visit.
It would be even better to find a friend to accompany you. This way, you’ll also start to look forward to the trip! However, remember not to overdo it. The purpose of your trip is work, and any stress or scheduling conflict which may jeopardize that should be avoided.
Buy Travel Gear
Many people find traveling uncomfortable and stressful, courtesy of the terrible seating arrangement in most airplanes and the mental work of handling your luggage.
Fortunately, you can make your next traveling experience comfortable and stress-free by investing in some travel gear. Some shops in Singapore might be expensive, with branded suitcases costing between S$80 – S$150; we suggest looking for deals instead.
With that said, the following are some great traveling essentials you should consider getting:
- A briefcase: If you regularly travel for work, buy a briefcase that can fit over the handle of your carry-on case. This way, you can safely store all your work files and important documents.
- An electronics bag: Having a dedicated bag for your electronics may seem unnecessary, but when you’re on the go and suddenly need to access an external hard drive or your backup charger, you’ll be glad you got one.
- A travel pillow: If long flights often leave you with terrible neck pain, it’s time to buy a travel pillow that you can use to support your neck.
Prepare for your Flights
As a frequent flier, you’ll spend a lot of time at airports. Therefore, you must learn how to get the most out of each flight.
There are simple tips you need to follow to make your flights breezy and your time in and out of airports quick and comfortable:
- Arrive Early: As a rule of thumb, reach the airport an hour before your flight for domestic flights and 2 hours for international flights.
- Self-Check-In: You can save time and avoid long check-in lines by using the self-check-in option on the airline’s website.
- Lounge Access: Airport lounges have many benefits, such as premium waiting areas and access to food and drinks. If you’re a frequent flier, consider obtaining a membership.
- Test your Luck: We all hope for an upgrade on flights. Well, you’ll be surprised to know that most of the time, all you have to do is ask. After all, what have you got to lose?
People who frequently travel for work either call it living the life of their dreams or surviving a nightmare. There is no in-between.
With the tips highlighted above, you can become part of the former group and make the most out of each work trip!
We hope you learned something from this article; if we missed something, please tell us in the comments below.