19 February 2018

Traveling abroad with work & how to make the most out of it


Traveling abroad with work
Travelling abroad plays a big part of my job as an Event Manager, sounding exciting (and glamorous) which it generally is, but sometimes it can be a whirlwind of stress and craziness. For me, I travel abroad with work for conferences and meetings that we have produced for clients, so being prepared and organised is essential in my line of work.

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel quite frequently with my work - mainly in Europe, but occasionally further. I’ve only been working in my current job for just over a year, but I’ve been able to really master my work travel routine making the whole process stress free and managing to find ways to mix hard work with a little fun too, exploring the cities I visit when a free moment arises otherwise, if I didn’t manage the trip well, all I’d see is the inside of the hotel I’m staying in, and the city flash past me as I head to and from the airport in a taxi. 

Today I wanted to share a few of my top tips for nailing that work trip abroad. If you travel with work, or even if you like to book several city breaks over the year, hopefully you’ll find them helpful.
Traveling abroad with work
Luggage
Halfway through this year, I decided to invest in a high quality cabin-sized suitcase. I wanted something reliable, easy to transport around and sturdy. I use The Carry On Suitcase from Away - it was a big investment for me, but I have no regrets (I’m actually thinking of buying one of the larger-sized suitcases now). 

Yes, they’re on the expensive side, however it’s really improved my travel process as not only is it lightweight, and wheels around the airport like a dream but it has some pretty darn amazing features - including a compression pad for one compartment to help clear up free space and - the most important of all - a removable battery with built in USB sockets to charge your devices on the go. This has been a real life-saver when my flights have been delayed. 

The Essentials
If there’s one thing I’ve well and truly nailed when it comes to traveling, it’s my travel essentials kit. Aside from the obvious travel essential (Passport) this comes second and saves me time having to make a panicked last minute trip to Boots at the airport (giving me extra time to look at ALL the beauty products in duty free!). 

Purchase a transparent travel toiletries bag and fill it with your essential travel toiletries and keep them in there at all times (I store mine in my luggage when I’m not traveling). This pre-packed bag is then ready to go, leaving you more time to pack and fully prepared for airport security. I also have a separate bag / pouch that I keep in my luggage, with all my travel adaptors and cables I need for my trips. It makes things a lot smoother when it comes to organising what you need to pack. 
Traveling abroad with work

City recommendations
When traveling abroad for work, I tend to stay in the same hotel where the meetings are held. This means it can be easy to end up not venturing outside and therefore not seeing the city I’m in. Therefore, if I don’t have any evening commitments, I always force myself to eat outside of the hotel, even if the temptation of room service in my PJ’s is real. 

I try to seek out recommendations for restaurants prior to traveling and, if possible, book a table. When traveling with other colleagues this can be a great thing to do, as it means you’re out of the ‘work zone’ for a couple of hours, leaving you to relax and enjoy what the city has to offer.  I also grab recommendations for things to do and see in the city incase I have some free time, or I’ve extended my stay. 

Making the most of your ‘free time’
Free time is pretty rare when travelling with work - I tend to only be in the city for 48 - 72 hours tops, and when I’m not working I’m sleeping! However, I always try to get out and explore the city I’m in if I get the opportunity. Even if it’s only for an hour before I need to head back to the airport, I try and get out and see something.  

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