Business Travel Tips To Make the Most of Your London Stay
Table of Contents
10 Business Travel Tips for Pre-Travel
Preparation is key. Making sure you have everything organised in advance will make your trip smooth – here are some tips for travellers to sort even before you get on a plane.
1 - Check Your Documentation
It sounds obvious, but it’s essential to check all your documentation is in place well in advance – especially your passport. If it’s been a while since you travelled, then make sure this is up to date and give yourself enough time to renew it if not. Get your visa and health insurance in place if these are needed (EU travellers can use the EHIC card for free NHS treatment).
As it gets closer to the time, make sure your travel and accommodation is all in place and any documentation you need for both is checked and close to hand.
Finally, don’t forget to pack it all!
2 - Check Your Company Business Travel Policy
Make sure you talk to your HR team about any company business travel policy for corporate travellers. This will let you know what can be claimed on expenses, how phone calls and other communication are dealt with, as well as anything else that will be expected from you. Knowing it all in advance will make the trip far more relaxed and you may find yourself entitled to more than you expected.
3 - Plan a Detailed Itinerary
Your time in London is going to be shorter than you’d like – make sure you know what you are doing and when. A comprehensive itinerary will help you make the most of your time in the UK. Plan the days when you are going to be working and don’t forget to leave time to explore the city. If you feel your trip doesn’t leave enough time for you to spend that personal time, then consider discussing extending the visit with your boss – taking a day or two as leave while you are in London to mix business with pleasure will mean you make more out of the trip and are more enthusiastic to go.
4 - Book Flights and Accommodation Early
If you are in charge of sorting out the logistics for your trip, then make sure to do it as early as possible. Not only will you save money but you will be able to secure superior accommodation and potentially better flights.
Don’t assume you need to stay in a hotel – there are many strong alternatives to the traditional hotel, especially when travelling for business. Sanctum offers five star serviced apartments that provide everything the corporate traveller needs. With a separate living area, kitchen, and bathroom, a serviced apartment is a superior option for those travelling for business – especially if the stay is longer than a few days.
5 - Update Your Phone and Download Local Apps
There are several useful apps that are worth downloading to make the most of your London trip. If you plan to use public transport or walk about, then Citymapper (Android / iOS) is a must. Other apps worth considering include:
- For public transport: London Bus Live Countdown (Android / iOS) and London Tube Live (Android / iOS)
- For taxis: Uber (Android / iOS) or the Addison Lee app (Android / iOS)
- For food and drink: OpenTable (Android / iOS) and Best Coffee (Android / iOS)
- For entertainment: Stagedoor (Android / iOS), Visit London (Android / iOS), and Secret Stories (Android / iOS)
It is also a good idea to update your phone to the latest operating system; not only will this avoid potential connection problems during your trip, it will also ensure you have the latest security.
6 - Double Check Transport Times
Missing a plane is a bad idea! Make sure you have all your transport connections checked and know when and where you need to be to get to your destination.
If at all possible, book a direct flight to London as changes and layovers tend to be more exhausting than refreshing.
7 - Pack as Few Things as Possible
If you can limit yourself to hand luggage, it will really improve your whole experience. Many of us overpack, but really you should only need the clothes, documents, and electronics for your trip. Even cosmetics, often considered essentials, can easily be dropped from the luggage and simply bought once you arrive, as many frequent business travellers agree.
Remember to include casual clothes as well as business clothes and consider a garment bag to keep your professional outfit neat and tidy – these can often be taken as additional hand luggage.
8 - Print Out Essential Information
We live in a world where everything is QR codes and smartphone tickets but there’s still great value in having a paper copy of the essential stuff. Print out copies of everything important and add it to your hand luggage. It won’t take up a lot of room but if something happens, even something as simple as your phone dying, you will really appreciate it.
It’s also worth doing this in reverse and taking photos or screenshots on your phone of all the essential information. Remember, you may need to pull up a ticket while there’s no internet signal, so a screenshot copy of that email might save you.
9 - Charge Everything to 100%
You don’t want your phone or laptop to die on the trip, and those of us who enjoy music or television while travelling will want headphones to be in peak condition. Fully charge all your electronics the night before and pack an additional battery pack.
10 - Get Some Sleep
7 Tips When Travelling for Work When in London
Once you’ve arrived, consider the following:
1 - Eat and Drink Healthily
One of the biggest mistakes people travelling for work often make is to overlook their health. Eating healthily and drinking water will make your trip so much more comfortable, as well as ensuring you are thinking at your peak during business meetings. Vegetables, fruit and fresh water will boost your energy and brain power. There are plenty of fresh food shops in London, as well as hundreds of supermarkets, so it’s easy to get supplies once you arrive.
While restaurant food is often excellent, it does tend to be light on vegetables and salad. Consider grabbing a few apples, carrots, and grapes while you’re here for daytime snacking.
It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol, too. Staying hydrated with fresh water will stop you from feeling sluggish and mean you don’t have to suffer any unwanted hangovers. Bottled water is easily available across London, but the tap water is perfectly drinkable throughout the UK, so there’s no need to struggle to get this basic essential.
2 - Exercise
Right behind eating well is treating your body well. Take the time to enjoy the facilities in your accommodation. If you are staying in a decent hotel or in one of Sanctum’s own serviced apartments, then you will have access to gym and spa facilities. Don’t let your body suffer just because you are out of the office travelling for business.
3 - Adapt Your Meal Times Immediately to Fight Jet Lag
One tip for business travel that is recommended to us by the most frequent business travellers is to shift your routine immediately to local time. This is especially important if you have a meeting the following day. The best way to do this is to eat the appropriate meals – even if you feel it is breakfast time, if everyone is out for dinner then dinner is what you should have. This little trick helps you settle into the new timezone.
4 - Take Photos of Receipts
Some companies will use an app for the recording of expenses receipts, but if yours has no official policy, then make sure you take photos of every receipt. This will go a long way to helping you keep track of your expenses so that you are not out of pocket on your return.
Of course, you should also keep paper copies of your receipts to take back with you – store these in a waterproof plastic wallet to avoid accidental loss and damage.
5 - Utilise Your Accommodation Business Facilities
Wifi, designated co-working space, even just a coffee machine – most decent accommodation will have additional services that come as part of your stay, designed specifically to make travelling for work that much easier. Ask about these upon your arrival and make the most of them. Remote working at a desk in a bright co-working space is often more productive and enjoyable than alone squashed into a hotel bedroom.
6 - Sleep Properly and Give Yourself Plenty of Time in the Morning
If you are struggling with jet lag, you will be tempted to sleep straight away – don’t! Like with meals, it’s important to sleep at the appropriate local time. Do, however, get plenty of sleep, especially on the first night – then set your alarm so that you have enough time to get ready and have breakfast in the morning.
7 - See London
There’s no point coming to the vibrant capital of the UK without seeing the many exciting things we have here – it shouldn’t be all work work work! Why not read some of our guides to the many things you can do while here? whether you want to go luxury wine tasting or simply explore the boutique shopping experience, we have you covered.
Don’t forget to buy souvenirs to take home to your loved ones.
4 Travelling for Work Tips for When You Get Home
Had a good time and are now back home? Don’t forget to do some basic housekeeping.
1 - Email Your London Colleagues to Say Thank You
Sending a quick email back to thank your colleagues for their time and note that you plan to follow up on any plans of action helps keep that connection as well as making sure they remember you positively.
It only takes a few minutes and will help make sure that you get invited back.
2 - Report Your Expenses
Gather up those receipts and report back to the office with your expenses as soon as possible. Far better than waiting and losing them.
3 - Review Your Accommodation
Reviews help other corporate travellers like yourself find better accommodation that’s more suited to their needs. It’s not just the accommodation either – if you have the time, it’s nice to leave a few stars and comments for restaurants and the other places you visited.
4 - Get Some Sleep
You’ve been working hard – you deserve it!
Staying At Sanctum - Serviced Apartments for Business Travellers
With three locations in the heart of London, Sanctum’s serviced apartments provide five star home-away-from-home accommodation for business travellers. With a wide range of amenities and services, staying in a serviced apartment provides everything you need to work comfortably while travelling for business.
Why not choose a superior option to a hotel for this next trip and give Sanctum a try – we know you won’t be disappointed.
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