The internet is awash with travel tips - roll your clothes to save space, change your money before you depart, and pack extra socks. Travel hacks published last year now read like old books found in a charity shop. Now, we’re hot washing clothes, using cards instead of cash, and packing extra face masks.
Over halfway through 2020, travelers are up-to-speed with practical tips but less so how to navigate matters of the mind. So what if you have packed your suitcase like a professional organizing consultant if your meeting is threatened by a potential local lockdown? Controlling what you can and focusing on what’s important can help you feel better about business travel in a time of transition, and even imbue your business trip with more purpose than ever before.
Certain as can be
“The only thing certain in life is uncertainty,” the saying goes; but psychologists will attest to the power of certainty. If one’s brain doesn’t know what’s around the corner, it can’t keep out of harm’s way; the lizard brain is on high alert, ready to pounce or scurry to safety. When the brain can’t assimilate a strange situation it goes into freeze, fight or flight mode. 2020 is the embodiment of that strange situation.
One way to instantly offset some of the work of scanning for threats – however subtle or low-level - is to book through your company’s travel program. “Duty of care has become top of mind for HR and travel teams,” says Belinda Hindmarsh, CWT’s VP Global Sales Effectiveness, “companies need to know now more than ever, where travelers are and need them to book within policy.”
Take comfort in adhering to any pre-trip approval processes, programs, and protocols that are all designed to prioritize your safety. That way, you’ll know you have taken the necessary precautions and can focus on a productive trip.
Travel with a mission
The pillars of international travel—open borders, open destinations, and visa-free travel—won’t return in the short term. Perhaps, the additional hurdles are what make your trip more meaningful? Indeed, Covid has reinforced the need for a human element in business.
Futurist Ben Hammersley believes that travel will take on a deeper meaning in a post-Covid future when many of us will have become used to remote collaboration and video conferencing. He told BA Highlife, “the very thing lacking, the very thing those of us who mourn the loss of our travel-centric lifestyles are concerned with, is not the ritualized meet and greet but the serendipitous discovery. Travel of any form will broaden the horizon, but business travel can make this a specific mission.” With that in mind, consider saving the technicalities and planning for remote meetings and use your trip to truly connect with clients and colleagues on a level we have all been missing.