Most people would agree that the holidays are a stressful time, especially when you need to travel for work. Do you need to manage multiple itinerar
Most people would agree that the holidays are a stressful time, especially when you need to travel for work. Do you need to manage multiple itineraries, deadlines, and destinations, all while trying to enjoy the holiday season with your friends and family? Every year, tens of thousands of business travelers must try to balance their personal life with their work, and not everyone is successful.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways that savvy business travelers can maintain a healthy work/life balance during the holidays. You may feel like you have too much to handle this season, but if you follow a few of the tips below, you can save yourself a great deal of time, money, and energy. So, let’s take a look at how business travelers can get all of their work done on time, without taking away from their holiday plans.
1. Confirm your work schedule first.
Some business travelers may need to work up until the final hour before the winter holidays begin. If this applies to you, it means that you will need to figure out exactly when your work finishes for the holidays.
If possible, try to confirm your work and travel schedule with your company no later than October. This way, you can start making plans with your family and friends well in advance.
2. Book flights as soon as possible.
When it comes to holiday travel, you should never wait until the last minute. Holiday flights are notoriously expensive, and often fill up months before the holiday season starts. Once you’ve confirmed your work schedule, try to book your flights as soon as possible.
While your company may have already taken care of your business flights, you will need to ensure that any personal travel you’re planning for the holidays is prepared beforehand.
3. Write down your holiday plans.
It’s one thing to know your plans, but it’s another thing entirely to keep track of all the moving parts. As a business traveler, you may need have back-to-back flights for work, followed by plans to meet family, and finally the return trip home. This can all feel overwhelming if you don’t keep diligent notes.
With a written plan, you’re less likely to forget an important step (like booking that flight you need to see your family). While that may sound extreme, I know of someone who forgot all about booking his flight until it was too late. Writing things down and having it in a place you’ll easily see makes a major difference.
4. Be open to change.
If you’re trying to coordinate with multiple people during the holidays, you will almost certainly need to adjust your plans at some point along the way. People get sick, flights get canceled, weather conditions leave people stranded, work takes more time than expected, and so on.
Naturally, you can’t completely mitigate unforeseen circumstances, but you can certainly do your best to prepare for them. It may cost a little extra, but try to book your flights, hotels, and any other travel expenses with room for last-minute cancellations or modifications.
This way, you can still have a chance to get where you want to go this holiday season, even when life decides to throw you a curve ball.
5. Combine business and leisure time.
Unfortunately, you may not always be able to set aside separate times for work and holiday fun. However, even if you need to work through the holidays, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Mixing business with leisure may not be your first choice, but it may be the only way to strike a balance between your work and personal life.
If you have a business trip that takes you close to your family, set aside some time for a nice meal together. If your company allows you to work from home, feel free to take your laptop on the road so that you can work in close proximity to your loved ones.
Finally, you can even make a fun solo trip out of your business travels. Enjoy everything (landmarks, tourist attractions, etc) that the local city or region has to offer.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
This article is from Inc.com