Whether you’re a corporate professional or an industry newbie, business travel is likely to be a major part of your working life at some point or another.  When starting out, business travel can be exciting, even glamorous, as you visit places you’ve never been before, meet new people and enjoy those hotel bars. 

But after some time, the shine of the experience can rub off, especially if you’ve ever had a flight cancelled, lost your luggage or been unable to find your hotel at one in the morning. Rather, what’s pressing for business travellers is to save time and money, stay on top and your workload, and to try do that without losing your sanity. Here are five hacks for a successful business trip:

1. Use Free Comms Platforms Like Skype

If you have family, those days and nights away travelling can mean you miss quality time with those nearest to you. Thankfully, technology is at hand. Free chat platforms like Skype and Apple’s FaceTime mean you can do video calls with your loved ones from wherever you are – as long as you have an internet connection, which your hotel will most likely be able to provide. What’s more, regular social updates – keeping everyone abreast of what you’re up to either on a public forum like Facebook or a private messaging app in a group chat like What’sApp – are likely to go down well.

2. Get The Cheapest Car Hire You Can

If you’re out on a long corporate trip, your company might ask you to hire a car. This in itself can be expensive, so save your employer some money by comparing car hire costs through a comparison website such as easyCar. This allows you to search by provider, getting the best deal for you. And always try and book early – it tends to be cheaper that way, plus it’s one less thing to have to worry about when you hit the road. And if you’re heading to Europe for your trip, you might be interested in easyCar’s research looking at the cheapest places for car hire.

3. Take A Universal USB Charger With You

It goes without saying that your devices – smartphone, work laptop, tablet – should be fully charged and good to go before you set off. But we we travel, we tend to use our mobiles and laptops at full capacity, using up data, taking photos, and working off the grid. Be sure to pack an all-purpose universal USB charger so you can keep everything topped up when you’re on the road – essential if your work will involve lots of presentations, email comms and phone calls. If, for some reason, you’re going somewhere remote where you might not be able to charge your tech in the conventional way, consider a solar charger – great for keeping everything juiced up. As long as you’ve got the sun, that is…

4. Use An Expense App

‘Would you like your receipt?’ Yes, you would indeed. One of the perks of business travel is, of course, that you can expense lots of things back to your employer as long as you manage to keep hold of all the receipts. If you’re using a cab every day and treating a client to a dinner each evening, you could create quite the paper trail. To keep on top of everything, download an expense management app – typically, all they require you to do is take a photo of a receipt. The image is then forwarded on to whoever pays the expenses, and you should get the money back in your account in no time. Take a look at some of the best expense tracker apps.

5. Schedule An Extra Day

If you have some holiday to take, why not ask your employer if you can add a holiday day onto the end of your business trip? After all, it won’t make any difference to the cost of the flights. As long as you’re happy to pay for a hotel for one night, why not treat yourself to a day of sightseeing. If you’re in Paris, New York or another of the world’s great cities, you’d be mad to pass it up.