For those whose jobs don’t require them to travel, the world of business travel can seem like one of luxury and excitement. For those who do actually travel for business, the reality can be a lot less sexy and the sentiments range from “I fucking hate business travel” to “business travel makes me want to die.”
For example, I just recently took a trip between Sydney and Melbourne for work and was there for a total of about 13 hours – that’s a little over HALF of a full day. It consisted of boarding a plane with my hair done and a face full of make-up (which is never ideal), rushing from the airport to the event I was supposed to be at, checking into my hotel close to midnight, drowning my sorrows in gin and tonics at the hotel bar with only the bartender to keep me company and waking up at 6am to catch my flight.
Honestly, business travel can be kind of lonely and that’s the part that’s often left out of the narrative. Business travellers who are a lot more connected online have it a little better because that can kind of stave off the crippling loneliness. Millennial travellers also probably have friends awake at all hours who will happily video call them and talk them to sleep when they’re scared of the dark in their hotel room, which is exactly what happened to me.
So what are some steps you can take, to make business travel less shitty? I’ve got some hacks for you, my friends.
Read Your Travel Policy, Find Out Your Expenses
In normal everyday life, you might be on a budget when it comes to choosing your meals. However, you can forget about eating Mi Goreng for the 5th night in a row because in business travel life, you have a company who will reimburse you for X amount of meals. So find out exactly how much you can spend and then eat like a motherflippin queen. Don’t you dare walk into subway with hopes to pay half on your card and half in cash, do a bit of research before hand into what local cuisines are supposed to be amazing and hit that shit up!
Protip: Don’t lose that receipt, or you’re really fucked.
Pre Plan an Activity You Can Squeeze In
Before you jet off, have a look into what local attractions or sights you can squeeze in. If you’re flying international, make sure you try and get the most of your spare time because let’s be honest, these flights aren’t cheap and you’re flying for free.
Protip: If you haven’t really looked into anything, ask an Uber driver or a cabbie what’s hot in town and they will hook you up with something legit. 9/10 times, they will spit out something better than fucking TripAdvisor which let’s be real, is a forum for middle-aged tourists who won’t step foot into the wrong side of town just for a taste of the world’s best fried chicken.
Make the Most of Your Layovers
Long stop overs isn’t something to dread… go on and explore! See what you can do in the little time you have and for once in your life, be spontaneous, run wild and be free!
Protip: Don’t miss your connecting flight.
Map Out Your Time Zone Change to Avoid Jetlag
This is something I ignored up until I passed age 23 and started feeling that imaginary stuff adults complained about, kind of like how hangovers are mythical creatures until you hit a certain age and then it’s like someone’s lit your head on fire from the inside. So, instead of going with the flow your youth once accommodated for, find out exactly when you need to fall asleep on a flight (is it 3 hours in? or 5) or whether you should even sleep and follow that. You will thank me later when you’re fresh AF for all that business you bout to do.
Protip: If you know you’re not going to be able to sleep, invest in some sleeping aid. It’s just not worth that disgusting feeling when you land.
Treat Yo’ Self at Duty Free
Especially if you’re from Australia and everything, including breathing, is heavily taxed.
Protip: Make-up fanatics, check out MAC, especially in the US. Even with a ridiculous exchange rate, MAC is more often than not a great saving at Duty Free. In general, check the price of whatever it is back home and calculate the conversion. If it’s cheaper, go on, indulge.
Business travel, especially when travelling international, can really be the pits. But it does allow you to take some great photos for the ‘Gram and as always, don’t forget to Snapchat away to your heart’s content, making all your friends mad fuckin’ jealous.
Safe travels, you beauties.