How To Bring Your “A” Game On A Work Trip
Travelling overseas for work may be an exciting experience if you’re new to it, but if you’re a frequent traveler, it can become tedious and tiring. Long layovers in the airport, noisy neighbors in the hotel, and diets that don’t agree with you can get old. But no matter how exhausted or frustrated you are, you still need to put your best foot forward when you’re meeting your overseas business partner or client.
Going on a work trip means that you’re taken out of the familiar spaces of your home and office. Here are some tips to help you ease the stress of traveling and ensure that you’re always at your best when you’re on a work trip.
1. Pack right.
Even if you’re the most experienced traveller, having a packing list helps. Focus on the essentials that you can’t buy on your trip first. Make sure you have all important work documents and travel documents. Upload copies of these documents on a cloud service so you won’t panic in the event that you do forget them. Know exactly what you have to bring and what you need in order to minimize pre-trip stress.
Sometimes, work emergencies may call you overseas at short notice and you have to be ready in a very short time. You may want to keep a bag of travelling essentials that has your toiletries, travel adapters, chargers, medication, etc. This will make packing a lot easier.
2. Sleep right.
Traveling across time zones is the worst, especially if it’s for a short trip of two to three days. But in order for you to be on your toes, you first need to be in your bed.
The best way to circumvent the time difference is to adapt to the schedule of the time zone of your destination. Try to arrive a day earlier in the morning and spend your day out. Resist the urge to snooze the daylight away, even if it is bedtime back home. That way, when the city sleeps, you will be able to too! Set a bedtime for yourself like a school-going kid, and set two alarms, just in case.
Getting the right amount of sleep at the right time is better than any caffeine overdose solution. Coffee will most likely make you jumpy and only give you the energy you need for a couple of hours before you start to nod off in that dry mid-afternoon meeting.
3. Eat right.
Besides resisting the urge to take an after-flight nap, avoid trying exotic street food on your work trip. Local food sometimes takes getting used to and may not settle well with your stomach. With food, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to spend the majority of your trip in the toilet!
Of course, if the local business partner or client takes you out for dinner at a local joint, enjoy yourself and welcome the hospitality. But do keep some medicine handy in case your stomach starts to act up.
Even if you’re in a pretty modern city like Tokyo or New York, eat responsibly and remember that you’re at work and not on a leisure trip. Traveling does put some stress on the body whether or not you notice it, and you shouldn’t be adding to this stress by loading your body with alcohol or junk food.
4. Dress right.
Your clothing should definitely be weather appropriate but maintain a level of professionalism. Don’t turn up in slacks and a t-shirt just because you’re in a tropical climate.
Keep your look sleek and business-like. Even if you’re living out of a suitcase, always make sure your suit or dress is well pressed. Most hotel rooms have irons or laundry services available for you to use.
5. Know the culture.
Since you’re experiencing a different culture, always be sensitive to the people around you. Cultural sensitivity is key in leaving a good impression on the people you’re working with. Know what constitutes as rude or inappropriate behavior and adhere to the norms of the place you’re in. Don’t make unnecessary comments on accents and dressing, even if you don’t mean to offend, as your neutral remarks may be misconstrued as criticism.
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