Business operators may initially find travel exciting but, as one business travel expert points out, there are many issues – from personal security to loneliness – that can arise for frequent flyers.
Kimberley Saddington of Flight Centre Business Travel said that loneliness is an unhappy and often-overlooked reality for many business travellers.
“In between the tightly packed schedules filled with meetings and conferences, there is a lot of time spent alone for travelling business men and women and it’s easy to hole up in hotel rooms alone, especially in the evenings,” she said.
“While some seasoned business travellers say they get used to it, it can still be hard at the best of times and it’s often a shock for those who are new to the world of business travel."
Ms Saddington has the following tips for solo business travellers to help them make the most of their journeys without getting frustrated in the process.
Don’t dine alone
“Room service might seem like the most convenient option for business travellers, but sitting along in a hotel room can be more lonesome than sitting alone in a restaurant,” she said.
“If you feel too uncomfortable dining alone, an invitation to dinner is a great way to impress clients or co-workers, or dinner could be used to catch up with friends or family you may have in your destination.”
Utilise commercial spaces
“The open and communal spaces in hotels like lounges or lobbies are a great place to get some work done away from your hotel room, plus the change of scenery could increase your productivity."
The concierge is your best friend
“Hotel concierges are a valuable source of local knowledge; they can help with restaurant recommendations, provide directions and arrange transport,” said Ms Saddington.
“If you’re in a foreign destination that you have never been to, the concierge can also offer helpful safety information like areas or situations to avoid, as well as any sightseeing tips if you have time.”
Take the time to explore
“Sometimes it can be difficult to find free time during work trips with the schedule often packed with meetings, but if you do find yourself with a few free hours in a foreign destination, then try to get out and explore.
“Find a few must-sees in the area or see if there are some local tours you can join; these will get you out and about with a group of people.”
Don’t appear to be alone
“Appearing to be travelling with someone else makes you less vulnerable,” Ms Saddington said.
“It’s easy to give this impression by using ‘we’ when discussing anything about your trip with strangers. Book a table for two at restaurants and reserve the second seat with your jacket or bag. Never give out your hotel name or room number and use only your surname on room service order slips.”