As Co-Founder and CEO of a tech start-up with offices in Auckland, San Francisco, Toronto, Hong Kong & the Philippines, I travel a LOT.
I’ve discovered a few strategies that mean the difference between a fantastic, successful overseas work trip and a frustrating, exhausting one.
Here’s what works for me:
1. Always avoid queues. Always!
Make this a game or challenge when you travel and you will save hours of time.
Always use priority lanes, for both security and immigration (ask nicely when you check in where they are and if they have a pass for you).
Where possible get seated at the front of the aircraft, and regardless of your seat location always keep a brisk (but not rude) pace to get to the front of the immigration queues – so many people dawdle, but that is not you!
For security checkpoints wear slip on/off shoes, and put your phone/wallet/coins/belt in your bag before the x-ray check so you only have your laptop to take out.
And most important of all…only ever, ever take carry on luggage. You probably don’t really need that extra shirt - but if you do end up needing it, you‘ll have an excuse to go shopping, which is much more fun!
2. Get a good pair of headphones.
They must be noise cancelling and very, very comfortable. My favorites are Bose Quiet Comfort 25’s – they’re music to my ears!
When you get onboard your flight, put them straight on and turn the noise cancelling function on. Block out all those people that take an eternity to board (why?!), and the annoying cabin crew announcements. Hell, why not go all out and listen to some music – you have kick-ass headphones so you may as well enjoy them! Even better – read a Booktrack! Enjoy a movie style soundtrack while you read an eBook – it will blow your mind, and actually makes you smarter (proven in university studies). Alright, plug over!
Finally, don’t forget to have your devices charged, and pack spare batteries and adapters for those pesky airlines that use a double banger plug – nothing worse than having to wing it with the uncomfortable airline headphones because your battery ran out.
3. Try to minimize the impact of jet lag by making your trip as comfortable as you can.
Pick a great airline and commit to that great airline! I always choose to fly Air New Zealand or a partner airline, as this increases your chances of upgrades and more air miles (and air miles are like gold to frequent fliers: Status + points = upgrades!).
Then, get upgraded. How? ASK every time you fly. They say yes - a lot!
Keep hydrated by taking your own drink with you onboard – I drink OneAbove.
Once you’re on the ground, don’t stress the jet lag. Sleep if you’re tired, set an alarm if you have a meeting, and eat when you’re hungry. Embrace the fact that you’re a jet setter - jet lag is a great excuse to explore a new city. If you can’t sleep, you may as well be partying and meeting interesting people.
Hey, there has to be some perks to living the entrepreneurial dream!