Ah the one-day business trip, or as I often refer to it: the up and back. Flying up in the morning, and flying back at night often means being on both the first and last flights of the day. And while it has its perks — saving the company money, enabling me to sleep in my own bed — it’s typically pretty tiring! Now that I have quite a few of these trips under my belt, I’ve been able to come up with some key tips to make the exhausting “up and back” as pleasurable as possible.
1. Prior to the Trip, Get TSA Pre-Check
Honestly, this is a travel tip in general, but it’s critical for the one-day business trip. If you fly with any sort of frequency, TSA Pre-Check is well worth the $85 every five years. And it provides a huge time savings on these quick turn trips. Instead of getting to the airport two hours in advance, you can push it to an hour (or maybe even less). This is major when time is really limited.
2. Go to Bed Early the Night Before
Preparing for a quick turnaround business trip means getting a good night sleep. Depending on how early your flight is, that likely means hitting the hay early to ensure you get your hours in. The evening before a one-day business trip, I try to do everything earlier than usual to get my body ready to sleep at a decent hour. This means leaving work on time, eating dinner early, showering and getting ready for bed quickly. Sometimes it can be difficult to fall asleep before your internal clock is ready, but moving your whole evening schedule up can help.
3. Don’t Pack More Than You Need
When I take a one-day business trip, I don’t pack anything aside from the things I would typically take with me to work: my laptop, phone, chargers, headphones, notebook, pen, business cards, wallet, etc. I wear the clothes I plan to wear to all my meetings, and consolidate anything I would typically carry in a purse into my computer bag so I only have one bag to worry about.
4. Have the Right Bag
To accomplish the above, however, it’s essential to have the right bag. I personally use a messenger-style laptop bag with plenty of pockets to easily store all my little odds and ends, as well as my technology. It should be comfortable to carry and fit everything you might need during your quick-turn trip.
5. Wear Comfortable Shoes
In addition to having the right bag, the up-and-back trip also necessitates having the right shoes: comfortable ones. Of course, they have to be stylish enough to wear to meetings, but I’d encourage flats or something with a chunkier heel that’s comfortable. If I’m not rocking flats, I’ll typically only consider booties, as both tend to be pretty comfortable to travel in. Believe me, you don’t want to be in the airport twice in one day with uncomfortable pumps.
6. Prepare Just Slightly for the Worst
Remember when I said only pack what you need? Well, the truth is, there’s still a chance your flight home could get cancelled, especially if it’s the last one of the night. That said, I wouldn’t pack a full change of clothes just for this chance. Just a clean pair of underwear (and socks if you’re wearing them) will do to get you by until you make it home in the morning.
Do you do these up-and-back trips as a part of your job? What tips do you have?