Take off with an itinerary and a brown paper bag

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WE ALWAYS suspected that British Airways chairman, Sir Colin Marshall, and Virgin's Richard Branson had different approaches to life. Now we know.

Sir Colin's hot tip for business travellers is to plan the itinerary carefully in advance. 'There is nothing so debilitating as not knowing what is going to happen next on the road,' he says.

And Mr Branson's? 'When flying long haul, remove your shoes and put your feet in brown paper bags. It helps your circulation. And if you're having a salad, take the cucumber slices and slap them on your eyes - it's very soothing]'

Their suggestions are just two of a collection of 'often humorous and always incisive' ideas from well-known business travellers put together by AT&T, the US telecommunications company, with the aim of making ordinary executives' journeys more productive and more enjoyable. Other contributors include restaurateur and caterer Prue Leith, Adele Biss, head of the British Tourist Board, and Bernd Chorengei, president of hotels group Hyatt International.

Besides the pointers from the famous, Clever Tips for Business Trips offers advice on matters as diverse as how to obtain the best deals on car rental and hotels, choosing an airline, finding the right balance between cash and credit, picking the right kind of baggage, and how to stay healthy. 'International business travel is a demanding exercise - juggling itinerary, budgets, airlines, hotels and car hire companies is no easy task,' AT&T says.

'Every business traveller's aim is to arrive in sparkling form, do the business and return on schedule with body, mind and luggage still intact. And if you can enjoy yourself and save money in the process, that's a bonus.'

Oh, and by the way, easy communication is available via the AT&T Calling Card, which, the company claims, is the world's most popular international telephone card with 40 million users around the world.

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