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When you think about what worries your boss about your upcoming business trips, it probably isn't the fear of you getting lost on your way to the airport or choosing the wrong dish at dinner. When you're running an effective company, you need to ensure that employees who are travelling for work are effective, efficient, and productive, even while they're on the road.

Every business takes note of employees who don't do well on the road, so if you don't want to be replaced with someone else who can handle a more rigorous schedule than you can, you need to cultivate certain habits to encourage your company to allow you to take more business trips. Here are five effective habits you can take up.

1. Make sure you sleep enough.

Resting on the road can be difficult, but if you get home sleep-deprived and exhausted, you will need to take more time off before you return to the office. Jet lag will hit you harder and you might be at more risk of coming down with a cold from the stuffy airplane environment if you are poorly rested. Even if you have to go out with a client to enjoy the nightlife, take precautions to ensure that you will sleep well afterwards, such as avoiding caffeine and bringing sleeping aids if necessary.

2. Get some exercise every day.

Most business travellers have some downtime, during which they get to explore the city, drink at the hotel bar, or otherwise enjoy their time out of the city or country. Set aside some of this time for exercise. You could rent a bike to go around the city, pop into the hotel gym for a quick treadmill run at lunchtime, or go for a swim before bedtime. Whatever you do, make sure you get some exercise each day to help you rest at night, stimulate creativity, and keep you in good shape for the road.

3. Make smart meal choices.

Companies can understand you missing a meeting once in a blue moon because you ate the wrong food, but eating greasy foods day in and day out will not help your cause. Choose healthy meals with colourful veggies on a well-balanced plate with items from different food groups. Greasy fast-food will only leave you hungry later on, and it affects your energy levels and how fast you can think on your feet in the next meeting.

4. Stick to the company budget.

People breaking this rule is one of the most common reasons they get replaced on the road. Taking care of travel business means you're going to have occasional emergencies and need a taxi, take a client out for a celebration steak dinner, or need a different hotel room than the one that was booked, but this should not be a regular occurrence. Do what you can to stay under the budget and you will be popular at the office.

5. Maintain your normal schedule.

Crossing time zones can make it tricky, but whenever you can, stick to your normal schedule. Have a set time that you try to get to bed by each night and try different methods to find one that helps you cope with jet lag. Maintaining a schedule will make it easier for you to adjust to being at home again, so your company doesn't decide to send someone else on the next trip.

Being an efficient, productive employee on the road will pay off. You will get the chance to go on increasingly important trips and see better countries, and if you are always punctual and efficient, your company might give you the day to see a country before requiring you to come back home. Make sure you're popular among your bosses so you're the first choice for the best travel opportunities next month.

Alisha Whittaker used to work in the travel business. Now retired, she still keeps up with the latest business topics and then writes about them for various blog sites.


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