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Jet lag, bad hotel beds, and lost luggage – just a few of the miseries of business travel. But travel is vital to manage operations, close sales and to build relationships.

The biggest mistake you can make is to avoid business travel for face-t0-face meetings. You’ll develop a current perspective of different regions in which you do business and enhance relationships with your stakeholders.

So stay in touch with them.

Like anything in business, the trick is to make travel fun if not easier by making the most of the long hours.

Here are 13 tips you might wish to consider:

1. Passport

Even if you have five months left on your passport, that’s insufficient for travel abroad. Many countries won’t permit you to enter if you don’t have at least six months of validity left before the expiration date.

If that’s your situation, start the renewal process right away. And if you’re visiting nations requiring a visa, be certain you have two blank pages for each operation.

2. Invest in Global Entry

To save time in customs, spend $100 for Global Entry. In this way, you can simply use a kiosk to process your entry. Check your Global Entry account to make sure your passport information is up-to-date.

Where are you going? Obtain the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC business travel card for accelerating your entry into some of the Asian countries. Otherwise, consider Global Entry’s allied plans for the Netherlands or South Korea.

Also, check to be sure your Global Entry five-year renewal isn’t up for expiration.

3. PreCheck and avoiding unnecessary Transportation Security Administration (TSA) hassles

Regularly check your airline travel agent profiles to see if they match the records of the Transportation Security Administration or what’s known as TSA data. That includes all spelling and numbers.

4. Comparison shop

If it’s time to comparison shop regarding your status with airlines and hotels, do it now. Perhaps your status has been downgraded or you want a better deal on an elite status.

5. Sign up for bonus opportunities available in Q1

Like a lot business matters, the most-affordable time for business travel is the first quarter. For instance, advertisers spend less money and business travelers tend to spend less money in Q1.

So many airlines and hotel chains offer many benefits in Q1 bonus promotions. Check their registration requirements.

6. Check expiration dates on your mileage points

Review the expiration dates on all your airline and hotel bonus plans. The expiration dates range from 12 to 36 months.

If your plans will expire soon but you don’t intend to travel right away, it might be worth a small purchase to keep your plans current until you travel again.

7. Change your travel passwords now

Hackers have invaded many travel accounts of major airlines and hotel chains.

8. Simplify your baggage

Consider just a single carry-on bag. Pack light in a lightweight fabric bag that has many zippered pockets. Remember you can use hotel laundry services.

If you’re a real travel warrior you might even wear extra clothes before boarding, if you can be comfortable.

9. Study the culture before you go

Avoid embarrassments. Be sure to research all culture and social customs in advance of your trip. Customize your approach to avoid boring or offending the people with whom you meet.

10. Get in synch in every city

Rise early. Go for a brisk walk or run after you arrive. You’ll recharge your body and get better acquainted with the city.

11. Before traveling take steps to avoid jet lag

You can minimize jet lag by setting your Outlook calendar to display your time zone in each city next to your home time.

You can customize your meeting planner and other timerelated tools.

At each airport, make the international time zone your salient time in order to change to change the timestamps on your e-mails and your computer’s display.

Eat and sleep as you would at each destination. Exercise in the morning and avoid taking naps.

12. Rejuvenate on the plane

Airplane travel provides an excellent opportunity to rest your brain. Take along some headphones to avoid hearing noises on the flight. Read a non-business book or listen to your favorite music.

13. Make your trips productive

Set a time limit of just a couple of days for business meetings. Bundle your meetings – schedule as many meetings as possible.

If you bring your family along or visit relatives, this will also enhance your family relationships by allowing more time for family,

From the Coach’s Corner, related business-travel tips:

Before You Travel Abroad, Take 6 Financial Precautions Today — Whether you’re traveling to a foreign country for business or pleasure — there are at least six steps you should take. You need to do more than just making sure that your passport is current, planning your itinerary or deciding what to pack.

Travel — How to Avoid Foreign Currency-Exchange Fees — When traveling abroad for vacation or business, foreign currency-exchange fees can get costly for thrifty-minded people. There are steps you can take to avoid extra fees in exchanging currency. The pitfalls to avoid range from using airport exchange tables to using credit cards that surcharge the purchase of products and services.

11 Travel Tips – Save Money, Prevent against Cyber Theft, Fraud — The most vulnerable travelers are businesspeople. That’s because they have to use Internet and e-mail. They’re in danger expressly from vulnerabilities, such as from wirelessly accessible passports to using WIFI.

4 Tips to Defend Against Hackers When Traveling Overseas — The finger-pointing continues over the sources of cyber attacks on the U.S., including the media sites of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The U.S. government and the publications have accused China of malfeasance.

Take Your Business Globally with These 12 Tips — If you want to export your products to the international marketplace, keep in mind and implement 12 steps.

Expanding Globally? Why Singapore Might Be A Good Bet — Singapore continues as a bastion of success as 43 percent of companies doing business there forecast continued growth financially and strategically until at least 2017, according to a Telstra Global Report in 2014.

8 Strategies for Business Tax Deductions on Your Vacation — Did you ever notice professional organizations hold their conventions at favorite tourist destinations? Why? It’s possible to deduct some of those travel costs as business expenses. If you’re careful, you can write off some expenses on your vacation.

“To succeed in business it is necessary to make others see things as you see them.”

-John H. Patterson


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.