Top tips on how to reduce business travel stress

Business traveller with no travel stress

Stress and poor mental health are one of the biggest public health challenges right now. We continue to separate mental health from physical health and vice versa, but they are very much interrelated. This becomes more apparent when we consider travel stress in the context of business travel, and its subsequent effects on individual wellbeing.

“Wellbeing is a major issue for business travellers, with eight in 10 (81%) saying they have felt negative emotions while on work trips, including stress (22%), anxiety (18%), exhaustion (18%) and loneliness (17%)…” (1)

As part of stress awareness month and mental health awareness week, we provide tips on how you can maximise your travel programme and limit any unnecessary impact on your traveller wellbeing.

What is travel stress?

Any regular business traveller will tell you, it’s not all glam and gram, and their LinkedIn posts only tell part of the story. Whilst a vacation offers a break from routine, work and city life… travelling for business incorporates them all. For many, it includes packed schedules, disrupted sleep and can be quite lonely (2).

Companies who consider health and wellbeing as part of their travel programme generally see much higher ROI from their business trips. It certainly pays to get expert advice when it comes to long haul, complex trips as these are the ones that can have the largest impact on your travellers wellbeing.

Here are some practical tips from our expert team;

Flight times

It’s important to take into account different time zones and consider the time of day in which travel is taking place. Overnight flights are a great option to ensure your traveller avoids jet lag and makes the most of their time travelling and in destination. Frequent travellers often alight, have dinner and sleep until woken up at destination.

Note, that this is not a time to skimp on class. If your traveller is giving up a night’s sleep in their own bed, then make sure they’re able to get some rest on the flight. A traveller arriving refreshed, relaxed and ready for the day is well worth the investment.


Not all airport and flight connections are created equal. Whilst smaller airports may benefit from quick transitions, larger airports may be better equipped with additional shuttles, baggage handling services, amenities etc. Equally, geography plays a big part – changing at Dallas might be preferable to Los Angeles due to flight times and time zones for instance.

Look for alternative airlines that have hubs to help break up the journey. And remember that travel stress does not end when the trip is over – badly timed, long, uncomfortable trips can leave travellers with jet lag and exhaustion long after they have returned. This isn’t good for them, or for business.


Travellers going the distance, and with multiple stops, may benefit from a layover to break up their journey. Seek out alternative routes that provide better trip options. Many airlines offer inclusive stays in airport hotels, free transfers to cities and up to 2-night layover offers to encourage travellers to explore new destinations.

Layovers also provide an opportunity for travellers to extend their time away, and add some leisure time at the start or end of a trip. Additionally, allowing for personal downtime has been proven to have a positive impact on traveller wellbeing. And in line with the official stress awareness month theme, ‘looking after yourself’ (3) your travellers will be able to more easily factor in some essential self-care.


Considering the whole journey for your travellers will pay dividends on reducing their travel stress. Pre-paid transfers from home to airports, airports to hotels and hotels to events can help map out a schedule for them so they don’t have the worry.

This also ensures you’re providing adequate duty of care to all travellers, including those whom are vulnerable and perhaps travelling alone in unknown locations. Also, organising transport for groups can help team relations as well as reduce costs.

Airport transit

For most business travellers, stress is at it’s peak throughout the transition through the airport. From check in, to security and passport control, to boarding, there are multiple points of potential aggregation.

Fast-tracking services are not just for VIP’s anymore. For a set fee, your traveller can bypass long queues, whizzing through security and passport control with the necessary hand holding to ensure they ease through, with minimal stress.

Airport Lounges

One final piece of the journey is waiting to board, unavoidable but it can make some travellers anxious. A recent mental health survey carried out by the Mental Health Association revealed that

“a quarter of adults said they felt so anxious that it stopped them from doing the things they want to do some or all of the time. Six in ten adults feel this way, at least some of the time. On a positive note, anxiety can be made easier to manage.” (4)

Checking them into an airport lounge, independent or airline associated, can help them pass the time in a calm, peaceful environment away from the crowds. Amenities include food and beverage, showers, spas and massage, papers, charging points and ironing services. Many airline lounges will also come and call on you when your flight is ready to board, so there’s no danger of missing flights.

A holistic approach reduces travel stress

Considering the entire traveller journey from door to door helps better understand the pain points and areas where stress can be alleviated for your travellers. By making some small changes, your travel programme optimises the chances for happy, productive and stress-free travellers, in turn improving your chances for business success.



  1. Negative impact of business travel revealed, Health & Safety Matters
  2. How to make business travel less lonely – MIDAS Travel Blog
  3. Stress Awareness Month – Stress Management Society
  4. Mental Health Association – 2023 theme is ‘anxiety’