Gas prices are low. That means your travel budget may open up to accommodate a few more trips this year, at least in the near future. While business trips to conferences, meetings, and relevant conventions are definitely valuable, small-staff association leaders often find themselves playing a mad game of catch up when they get back.


Take the pain away from travel, and be doubly productive on the road! Here’s how.


If you’re going to work on the road, make sure you have all the tools you need. Are necessary documents saved in the cloud or on your laptop? Make a list of what you need and what you need to do while you’re on the move. Then think realistically about what you CAN do while you’re travelling. It’s important to be honest about what you can really expect to get done on your trip. Allow yourself time to socialize and rest, too. Remember that the social networking is often the best part of a business trip!


If you find your time limited while you’re away, leave your to-do list divided among those who are capable of completing them. Don’t pile on your entire workload, but make sure the things that must be addressed are, in fact, addressed while you’re gone by people qualified to do so. Empower them with all the access they need (your AMS, for example) and all proper phone numbers, tools, and budgetary access. Tell them well in advance so that they can let you know what they need, too!

Schlep the laptop

And other tools you need! That means files you need, phone numbers and other mobile hardware that you can travel with. Consider your luggage: can you safely carry on a laptop and the luggage you planned on taking? Don’t forget the TSA when you’re considering what tools you’ll bring.

Be in touch

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure the people you’re meeting on your trip are aware of any time constraints due to work you must complete while away. Make sure your staffers, members, and board know what you will and won’t be accomplishing while you’re gone. If your trip is long enough, establish a few check-ins with folks back home to make sure things are going okay.

An AMS can improve your productivity by taking some of the heavy lifting off your shoulders, but you need to find the right one for your association. Need some help shopping? Let us help! Download our free guide and get started on your search so that you can absolutely master productivity in 2015.