Business travel tips to keep you on top of your game

Skype and other video conference programs have made it easier to conduct business across the miles, but nothing will ever replace the face-to-face meeting. Missed connections, lost luggage, dead cell phones, and just having to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings can all make life on the road less than fun.

exterior - new entrance
At Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, we welcome business travelers from around the world. 

While business travel may never be entirely hassle-free, we’ve compiled a few simple tips to help you stay on top of your game – wherever work takes you.

Ditch the suitcase
Any frequent flyer on a tight schedule will give you the same advice – don’t even think about checking your luggage. A good carry-on roller bag should be able to hold everything you need for at least a week away. This one tip will save you from endless time wasted at the baggage claim, or arguing with an airline over your lost piece of luggage.

Pack strategically
When you need to live out of a carry-on, it’s essential to pack clothes that are versatile and work together. Choose one neutral in a dark shade, and one accent colour. Then add a change of shoes and a few light accessories. If you travel often, create a master packing list to use over and over again.

Charge up
Make sure all your electronic devices are fully-charged before you leave home. Your laptop case can hold a portable charger and an extra charger for when you arrive, but there’s nothing worse than having your laptop die when you’re trying to get some work done on the road.

Bring healthy snacks
If you’re lucky, your hotel will have great food on site – but you never know what you’ll find on the road. Natural granola bars, protein bars, trail mix and dried fruit are all healthy choices to see you through until your next meal. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Watermelon Salad
Guests at Idlwyld Inn & Spa can choose from a variety of refreshing salads. 

Make the most of your travel time
Listening to audio-books and pod-casts is a lot more productive than scrolling through social media while you wait!

Blue bed
A good night’s sleep is the best cure for jet lag. 

Zap the jet lag
Adjusting to a new time zone can be tricky, and everyone reacts differently. Some people swear by sticking to their routine, while others adjust their watches as soon as they hit the airport to mentally prepare for the change.  A good night’s sleep and an extra shot of espresso can also do the trick!

At Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa, we enjoy welcoming business travelers from near and far. If you have a favourite travel strategy, please share it below!

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Ready, set, meet…3 tips for a meeting people will want to attend

We’ve all been there. The meeting that goes on and on with no concrete outcome. The meeting that gets hijacked by the most outspoken member of the team. The meeting were people pay more attention to their smart phone than the issues at hand. The meeting that leaves you asking : why am I even here?

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Here are three simple tips to make your next meeting more productive:

Know what you want to accomplish
A meeting should have a clear and well-defined objective. Are you making an announcement? Seeking input into a challenge facing the company? Or is it simply a brainstorming session?

Details - key hole
The key to any good meeting is planning….(photo: Idlewyld Inn & Spa)

Think about who you need to invite. Is the discussion relevant to them? And do they have the skills to contribute to the conversation? If the answer is no, then don’t waste their time.

Begin and end on time
There’s nothing more annoying than a meeting that starts late and then drags on and on. A written agenda can help keep everyone on track.

Remember – an hour is the longest time most people can truly remain engaged. If it’s not enough, schedule a break.

Food
Need to meet for more than an hour? Plan a lunch break! (photo: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa)

Establish some ground rules
If your colleagues typically spend more time emailing or surfing the web than focusing on the issue at hand, don’t be afraid to ban technology – or at least insist that it’s placed on the table and out of reach.

And if one person starts to monopolize the discussion, call them out. A simple : “We appreciate your comments, but we need input from everyone before making a decision” should do the trick.

What is your best tip for holding a productive meeting?

The Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa are preferred venues for meetings and multi-day conferences. Ask us how we can make your next business meeting memorable!