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When traveling for business, you need to focus on what you need to achieve for your company. It’s important to know your objectives on a business trip and to set out with those goals in mind and to accomplish them. But along the way, something rather amazing happens when you travel on business.

You may get to go to some pretty amazing places and get chances to see things you would have never sought if you have your wits about you as you travel.

Relax on a Business Trip

Business trips don’t have to be all about business. Sometimes you have completed your work, and you can take in some of the local colors, attractions, and good food as part of your visit to an area.

The first resource to tap to find out what is cool to enjoy in the city or town you visit is the locals. If you go to a remote town to conduct business with a partner or vendor, they are often more than happy to show you the lay of the land and what is fun to see and do in town.

If you can secure the evening of a local in your destination town, you can get quite an amazing tour of the area and see things that tourists may never find. Not that hard to woo a local to be your guide. If you have expense account money, you can buy your guide dinner on the company dime.

They get a good meal for free, and you get a guided tour of the area. The first lobster I ate in Boston happened when a person in the office I was working with took me to see the sights and find the best lobster in town. She got a substantial meal, and I enjoyed the local haunts of one of the great cities in the country.

But don’t be afraid to be a tourist if you are in a great city and want to see the big sites. If you are in New York and want to take the tour of the Statue of Liberty and the boat ride around the island, by God, you do that. It can be an excellent memory of your visit to the town, and after all, you worked hard on your business objectives while in town, so you are entitled to some relaxation.

One of the best ways to get some free time to enjoy the local events and attractions is if you are there on Friday, but we must continue your work on Monday. Most businesses would rather pay for two nights in a hotel and meals than fly you home and back out again. So you can keep your rental car and have two days to be a civilian for a while and explore the local haunts.

Find those unique events in town that few know about, read the local paper, and look for those little local culture or art papers like the Village Voice in New York. These papers will carry details of festivals going on around the area and what is happening in the clubs and theaters in town. You may find a regional celebration not far away that you can be part of and pretend to be a local for a few hours and have plenty of fun along the way.

If you have a couple of days to explore, don’t be afraid to travel a bit to see some things that are not that far away. On the east coast, a trip up Highway One will move you through some of the most scenic New England towns you can imagine. And you can linger and take a whale watching tour if you want to. If you already have a rental car, usually it is no more expensive to use it to see the state or go to the coast nearby where you are doing business. At most, it might cost you a tank of gas, and for that, you may get to see one of the impressive sights in the country.

Take advantage of your business travel to see the world, have some fun, and as the song says, “stop and smell the roses along the way.” Combining business with pleasure can make those long nights away from home not so empty.

Tips to get through Security more Quickly

Getting through security takes longer than ever. Ever since homeland security has become such an issue, moving through airport security has become more difficult. As a seasoned business traveler, this part of your business trip requires some savvy preparation and your knowledge of the system so you can sail through security at the airport as quickly as possible.

But the ability to navigate airport security quickly is not something that comes easily or without some significant planning and training.

The biggest problem of getting through security is not you; it’s the other people who did not come prepared for this process. If you get stuck behind someone who is completely stumped by what I expect of them, it can take forever to get through the system. So the priority is to hit airport security when the crowds are low. The easiest way to accomplish this is to take the first flight of the day out of that airline. This will be when there are fewer people at the airport than during the day.

Usually, it is only business travelers who are at the airport at six a.m., so they will be the ones that already know how to handle security, and the lines will move much more quickly. Like them, you have already learned the most current rules about what will pass through security and what will get you stopped.

You will need your driver’s license and boarding pass several times as you move through the process. So have that out early on and be ready to show it often. Don’t put that information away until you are on the other side of security and ready to go to the gate. That one step alone hurries you through the different checkpoints of airport security.

Usually, airport security uses a queuing system to handle the crowds. That means that usually, it is one long line moving up to the gates, and then that line splits into several gates where various teams work the travelers through the scanning stations. As you are standing in line to go through the gates, monitor the different stations.

Some stations will stop more people, or their equipment is too sensitive, moving slower. You may notice that a new team has arrived and is preparing to open a new station. With a bit of maneuvering in line, you can hit that new station as it opens and moves through fast before the lines accumulate there.

This is also a place to do a bit of profiling. While it is not ok for police to profile, you can look over the people ahead of you and profile those who will either be detained for scanning or will be a big problem when they are ready to put their stuff on the belts. Certain ethnic groups might get scanned more often. It’s sad but true. We all want racial equality, but you might get through security faster if you can avoid being behind that person.

Also, avoid “amateur travelers” who have many kids, the elderly, people in wheelchairs, or anyone who looks like this process confuses them. You can be a hero and help someone out if you have plenty of time. But as the lines split up to go to the different stations, you can avoid being behind people who will slow up the process and go to the short lines to get through more efficiently.

You can cut down on how much you get scanned before you get to the airport. Wear slip-on shoes that you can get off quickly and back on quickly. Boots and tie shoes slow you down. Keep the amount of “stuff” you are carrying through Security to a minimum. Put your wallet, keys, and other pocket material in your briefcase or purse before you even get in line. In that way, you are down to shoes and that item to move through security, and you can move more quickly.

These tricks of the trade can make the beginning of your business trip much less of a problem and get you to the gate more quickly. And, this will reduce the stress of your trip and focus on the purpose of your business trip.

Tips to help Control your Business Travel Costs

It’s easy to lose control of your costs when you are traveling for business. But if you are working from a per diem or have other constraints on your travel budget, learn some cost-cutting methods you can put into effect that won’t make your life miserable on the road.

These cost-cutting ideas are not just to stay out of trouble with the budget people back at the home office. Often businesses have a set budget for business travel, and once it is gone, we can make no other trips during that budget year. So if you expect the need for more business trips in months ahead, it is prudent to monitor costs as you go so you can conserve that limited budget to facilitate important trips yet to come.

Economizing on the road can be difficult because I put you right in the middle of the hospitality industry. While good at making you feel comfortable and providing for your needs, hotels, and restaurants are also good at running up your tab. But there are some easy ways to sidestep a lot of unnecessary spending so you can stretch your business travel budget.

Eat before you go

Airport restaurants or snack bars are notoriously overpriced. So even if you are leaving early in the morning, have breakfast and get well satisfied before leaving home, so you don’t have to buy food en route.

Wise packing

Think through your life in the hotel and on the road. You can buy travel sizes of almost everything you will need. You can pack some light and easy-to-carry snacks such as trail mix, candy bars, or nuts that can tide you over during the trip until you can get a good meal. By being self-dependent during the trip, you save a lot by not using airport services.

A hotel is just a bed, a shower, and a TV

When booking your accommodations, think about where you should stay. If you don’t need a luxury hotel, don’t book one. If you are just staying the night in one place and then moving on, a clean, well-run motel can take care of you just as well as the executive suite at the Hilton.

Share that ride

Suppose you are traveling as a party or you are meeting business partners at the destination. In that case, you can share cabs or rental vehicles and save business costs and conserve on burring fossil fuels unnecessarily.

Markets and delis

You can even eat economically in a big town like New York or Orlando using the same sense you have at home. By taking an early trip to a nearby grocery, you can stock your room with fruits and travel foods and cut down on the number of meals you have to eat out.

Public transportation

If the town you’re traveling to has safe and workable subways or other public transpiration, that can be much more efficient for you than renting a car. Washington DC, for example, has great rail transport you can use rather than rent a car.

By using some of the same good common sense you use at home to keep expenses under control for your home budget, you can not only live inexpensively on the road, but you can also actually live better. There is nothing better than the feeling of living well for little cost and becoming known as a smart traveler.

Mobile Business Solutions You Can Try Today

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