(BPT) – If you work for a small business, you’re in good company. There are 28 million small businesses in the United States that provide 55 percent of all jobs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Travel is a necessary part of growing a small business. In fact, two out of three small-business owners and employees travel specifically to meet clients face-to-face, a Holiday Inn Small Business Traveler Study found. However, 56 percent of those surveyed note the stress of travel is the top pain point for business trips, plus nearly a third feel they aren’t treated as well as business travelers who work for large companies.
To put the joy back into traveling and to help small-business travelers get the most out of their money, consider these expert tips and tricks.
Research hotel amenities and extras
The hotel you choose should enable your success, not hinder it. That’s why you should research options and select a hotel that offers the amenities and extras you need to grow your small business even when you’re away from home.
A few hotel essentials for small-business travelers include free high speed Wi-Fi, comfortable and quiet lounge areas, business centers and meeting facilities. Additionally, a full-service hotel with a restaurant, bar and workout rooms will save you time and help you find the balance between work and relaxation.
Seek small-business perk programs
Some hotels offer programs specifically for small-business travelers. For example, The Holiday Inn brand’s “Inn Business” offer awards small-business travelers with Gold Elite status in IHG Rewards Club following just one-night stay, as well as complimentary room upgrades, priority check-in and late check-out, and the ability to earn rewards nights faster. Learn more at www.holidayinn.com/innbiz.
Another program to explore is Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club, which provides access to exclusive rates to save money plus a streamlined booking process. This is a major time-saver considering it takes an average of nine steps to book a hotel room, according to the Holiday Inn Small Business Traveler Study, and now it can take a little as two steps.
Stay organized and save time
Disorganization fuels stress. A little proactive thinking can eliminate worries and headaches from small-business travel. First, make a travel checklist even if you’re frequently on the road. It’s easy to forget necessities when you’re in a hurry.
Next, if you’re flying, opt for non-stop flights to save time. A flight labeled non-stop arrives at a destination without a layover. This is not to be confused with direct flights which can have a stop, but travelers wouldn’t be required to get off the plane. This results in a longer trip time compared to a non-stop flight.
Finally, it’s easy to get confused when traveling frequently. Take cell phone photos of your hotel room so you can easily reference the number. Also, take photos of your car rental and where you park so you can find your vehicle-of-the-moment without a hitch.
Eat well and maintain a schedule
Traveling can throw off your schedule which can make you feel tired and impatient. First, pack a protein-packed snack and remember to stay fueled and hydrated to avoid headaches, fatigue or worse.
Next, try to stay at hotels that offer room service from a full onsite restaurant. This makes it easy to save time by starting your morning in-room with a wholesome meal, or, kick back after a long day with a tasty dish enjoyed from the comfort of your private suite.
To avoid burnout and stay healthy, sleep is vital. A portable white noise machine helps induce sleep, especially when changing time zones. Also, keeping up an exercise routine at the hotel’s gym is great for melting away stress and allowing the body rest come nighttime.