Seasonal Tips for Corporate Travelers: Navigating the Summer Heat

Seasonal Tips for Corporate Travelers: Navigating the Summer Heat

Summer travel can be challenging for business travelers, especially during the hot and humid months of the season. As the temperatures soar in the US and Europe, we know that staying cool and comfortable while maintaining productivity is important. Here are some tips to help you navigate the heat and handle the unpredictability of summer travel.

Dress for Success in Hot Weather

You’re a pro – you’ve packed for hundreds of trips. However, it doesn’t hurt to rethink your process and your fabrics. Synthetics tend to be the most wrinkle-free and “travelproof” with some elevating your travel game with UV protection, moisture-wicking, or anti-microbial properties. Keep in mind that they might not breathe as well as natural fabrics like cotton or linen. Yes, these tried and true options might require more care or refreshening to avoid wrinkles, but our feeling is that it’s effort well spent. And you may not always find business-appropriate attire in synthetic fabrics. 

Either way, opt for light-colored clothing to reflect the sun's rays and avoid dark colors that absorb heat. Don’t forget to pack a hat and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the sun when walking between meetings or when meeting clients out.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is essential, especially in hot weather. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it regularly throughout the day. Yes, reusable bottles are better for the environment, but more importantly having one with you will encourage you to drink water more frequently. This helps regulate your body temperature and keeps you alert and focused. What to avoid? Excessive caffeine and alcohol as they can dehydrate you. Instead, opt for water or electrolyte drinks to stay hydrated and energized. If you’re meeting clients or colleagues for drinks and it’s hot or sunny out, consider mocktails or even the old standby of seltzer with a lime.

Prepare for Severe Weather Disruptions

We help business travelers get where they need to be – it’s our calling. We know that summer heat often brings thunderstorms and severe weather that disrupts travel plans. The solution? Plan for it. To mitigate these disruptions, we track flights and will alert our clients if we see any issues arising. It’s also wise for you to check the forecasts for your destination. If storms are predicted on your flight out, we may contact you if there are any delays. We recommend booking flights earlier in the day when thunderstorms are less likely to occur. Additionally, we suggest having a backup plan in place for alternative travel routes or accommodations if needed. Talk to us – we can ensure you get where you need to be stress free and on time. 

Handle Flight Delays and Cancellations

Flight delays and cancellations are more common during the summer months. Aviation analytics firm FlightAware reports that from January to March 2023 there were 402,881 flight delays in the US – meaning 19.6 percent of all scheduled departures were affected. In summer months, from June to August 2022, there were 544,462 delays. That’s 23.3 percent – a change of about 4 percent. 

If a delay is inevitable, remember you can't change the weather. What you can do is prepare for disruptions to your schedule and make the most of time when grounded. To stay productive during unexpected travel hiccups, carry a portable charger to keep your devices powered and bring essential work materials in your carry-on. Use this time to catch up on emails, review presentations, or schedule virtual meetings. Having a flexible mindset and being prepared for delays can help you make the most of your time. 

Plan Around Key Regional Events

Summer is a busy time for events and festivals throughout the US and Europe, which can impact travel plans with crowded airports and booked-up hotels. Research any major events happening in your destination city and plan accordingly to avoid additional travel stress. Booking accommodations and transportation in advance can help you navigate these busy periods more smoothly. And you might find one or two events that you would enjoy, so add some time to your itinerary. 

Stay Comfortable and Productive

Staying comfortable and productive during summer travel requires some planning. Choose hotels close to your events, and select properties with amenities like a business center or fitness room to avoid the need to get out and about. Schedule meetings during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon, to avoid the peak heat. Taking short breaks to cool down and relax can help maintain your energy levels and productivity.

Understanding Weather Patterns

Different regions have distinct weather patterns during the summer. In the US, the southeastern states like Florida and Texas experience high humidity and frequent thunderstorms. Meanwhile, extremely high temperatures from weather phenomena like “heat domes” like the one currently raising temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast are becoming more and more common. 

In Europe, southern countries like Italy and Spain can be scorching, while northern regions like the UK and Germany may experience milder weather. Understanding these patterns can help you pack for the conditions and plan your activities, or even reschedule your itinerary if you have flexibility.

Practical Advice for Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is key to navigating the end-of-summer heat successfully. Check the weather forecast regularly and adjust your packing list accordingly. Book flights and accommodations early to get the best options and avoid the last-minute rush. Keep a travel checklist to ensure you have all necessary items, including sunscreen, hats, and cooling towels. By being proactive, you can minimize the impact of the heat and enjoy a smooth business trip.

Call to Action

Summer business travel doesn't have to be a liability. With these tips, you can stay cool, comfortable, and productive, no matter where your business takes you. At ICS, we're committed to making your travel experience as seamless as possible. Contact our travel pros to plan your next trip and experience the ultimate in business travel convenience and comfort. Stay focused on your goals while we handle the rest.