Airplane flying over modern business skyscrapers, high-rise buildings. Transport, transportation, travel. Sun light on blue sky.
As travel resumes in the new normal, it’s essential to remain diligent and follow common-sense safety precautions. Business flyers need to be extra conscious because they often visit different destinations. It makes sense to have a pandemic-proof travel strategy that keeps you safe as you traverse the country or fly overseas. Fortunately, there are some simple measures and actionable tricks you can rely on.
Get your jabs. Before anything else, get your vaccination. You will need to show your vaccine certificates to travel. You may even have to show it at indoor concerts and event venues, so get it before flying. There could be guidelines regarding testing for some destinations, though vaccines have you covered. Not to mention, they offer protection against the virus, which is more important than anything else.
Choose your flights wisely. It is best to avoid crowds in the air and at the airport. You can do it by choosing your flights wisely. Stick to non-peak hours like early morning and late nights. You will not have to worry about social distancing when there are fewer people around. Moreover, you will not have to stand in long queues at baggage counters and security checks by choosing odd-hour flights.
Research your accommodations. Your risks are significantly covered with vaccination, less-crowded flights, and airport parking. But the threat may persist at your destination, specifically if you are not careful about your accommodation. Research hotels and check their safety protocols. Read reviews to get first-hand information from customers. Book only once you are double-sure about safety.
Pack essential supplies. Despite vaccines, hand hygiene is still the best way to prevent the infection. You can do your bit by packing essential supplies of sanitizers and gloves. Do not forget to wear and pack face masks because they are the first line of defense against the virus. You will get them on the flight, but make sure you do not run short during the trip.
From video calls to conference halls. Many fall conferences have resumed, even as pandemic concerns linger, so follow all protocols to help ease pre-conference jitters and boost corporate confidence.
Don’t skip the warm-up. If business travel is like a workout, many of us are out of shape. Spend extra time “warming up” or paying attention to your travel and conference details. Check local health regulations and mandates at your destination, including mask and vaccination requirements, to avoid surprises.
Avoid the lines (and dead batteries): The world is more contactless than ever. Before traveling, download appropriate apps for the services you will use and the locations where you will stay. As you may be using your phone more, consider bringing an external charger to resolve any on-the-go battery boosting needs.
Hold back on the hugs. Returning to in-person events after nearly two years can cause both excitement and anxiety. Because you can’t predict everyone’s level of comfort, think twice before reaching for a hug or extending a handshake. Watch for social cues or, if appropriate, ask a colleague if they are open to a particular gesture.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Recognizing and working to sidestep engagement fatigue will help you make the most of your experience and avoid business trip burnout. Attending too many sessions or networking events can lead to a loss of engagement and focus. Pick and choose which optional sessions and networking opportunities you want to attend so you have ample time to rest and recharge. Also: Stick to your routine. Visit your hotel’s gym, if available, or a nearby trail for a jog.
Be patient. Be prepared for how services at event and lodging venues have changed. Food and beverage services may not be what they were pre-pandemic. Get familiar with the dining options provided. Plan out when you want to grab-and-go solo, eat with others or plan to dine outside to get acquainted with the local cuisine.
When home, remember to recharge. After returning home from business travel, consider taking time to recharge. Take a day or two to settle in and get into the swing of being back home and helping those around you.
In many cases, business travel is simply unavoidable, so your best bet is to stay safe as you fly for meetings and events. Don’t let your guard down for even a moment because the virus is still strong and active.