Travel brings excitement, exoticism and the chance to open your mind to new ways of doing business and new ways of life more broadly. In a world of low-cost flights and eroding language barriers, it’s an integral part of many professionals’ lives, whether you’re hopping on a cross-country train or taking a long haul trip across time zones.

Having experienced a job involving 80% travel I can vouch for the importance of the right tools and tips for ensuring comfortable, productive experiences on the road. Maybe you’re working in the field and want a clear way to anticipate traffic and improve planning, or maybe you’re seeking alternatives to dry in-flight entertainment. Whatever your travel needs, this checklist will introduce you to new ways of improving the way you travel for business.

 

Check price comparison apps and websites

It could be that your company has a dedicated travel agent or existing corporate discount deals with established airlines or train companies. If not, then free and easy to use tools for comparing prices on travel are just a few taps away. Many bookers may already be familiar with Skyscanner, which has now expanded from ranking flights by price to offering deals on hotels and car hire too. It’s an ideal way to save time by removing the need to scour tens of sites in search of the best fare.

Skyscanner logo

Those staying on land in the UK should use the Trainline website or app and avoid the painfully high walk-up fares on major routes (London to Manchester can cost as much as £320 for a day return at peak times!). There are lesser-known tools for saving too, such as MoneySavingExpert’s TicketySplit that separates your train journeys finding multiple, cheaper tickets between stations rather than grouping prices together for an all-in-one journey. Travellers with a little more time to spare should consider this option.

 

Provision for power at all times

These days you can be on email even at 32,000 feet with Wi-Fi and mobile data allowing people to work flexibly and frequently when away from their desks. It’s therefore unwise to risk running out of power when you’re on the go, not least because your smartphone can be a lifesaver when navigating unfamiliar new cities.

Laptop-and-portable-battery-charger

via Battery Hype

Whilst not the most stylish of products, portable power packs are a modern travel essential especially given the questionable battery life of many of our favourite handheld devices. AmazonBasics have powerful, pocket-sized packs available for under £10 that are perfect for phones, whilst the heftier Energizer XP18000a can keep your laptop running for the best part of a day.

 

Ensure you have entertainment

Whilst we’d all love to be productive all the time, late night train journeys and long haul flights can also be a great time to unwind. Luckily, the miracles of modern technology now allow us to carry around a library of offline entertainment on the go without being hampered by heavy hardbacks.

Amazon’s Kindle remains popular as an e-reader with its seemingly eternal battery life meaning you can delve into your favourite novel without worrying about blackouts. Otherwise, podcasts can be a fantastic way to pass the time between A to B, with shows like The Slack Variety Pack or Back To Work offering sound, informal business advice to get you inspired en route to a meeting.

 

Use apps for the road

Guidebooks have their charm, but aren’t always practical in a world of 10 kilo carry-ons. Equally, bizarre bus stop signs or mystery taxi numbers can leave you at risk of getting lost or worse, ripped off, so it’s best to be in the know. A familiar favourite for Londoners is Citymapper, which now covers 31 cities globally including New York, Hong Kong and Sao Paolo. It neatly breaks down all your routes on public transport, via taxi, by foot or by bike, giving you absolute clarity on where you need to be.

With the Citymapper app you can navigate around London, New York, Paris and Berlin

via Travel Talks Blog

Inspiration for lunchtime culture can be found with Time Out, covering 50 cities around the world, or Barchick for after hours fun with clients or friends. Whether you’re looking for museums or mojitos, you’re sure to find some pleasant surprises.

 

Pack practically

A great suitcase can make all the difference for jet setting executives and junior managers alike. Tumi luggage is favoured in the business community thanks to their generous 2-year warranty and sturdy structure that withstands the inevitable wear and tear that comes with the air miles.

Samsonite rarely disappoint either thanks to their smart design and reasonable sizes that allow you to fit a surprising amount in a cabin sized model.