Many mystery shoppers spend a lot of time in the car, traveling from one client location to another. That can be lost time or, with a little planning, you can put it to good use. Here are some ideas on how you can use your travel time.
Plan your route. Use mapping software, such as Microsoft Streets and Trips, to plan your route before you get in the car. With this software, you can enter a list of addresses, and the software will map out the most efficient route. That way you will not spend a lot of time (and gasoline!) backtracking or getting lost.
Don’t forget your errands. Need to pick something up from the dry cleaner? Mail a package at the post office? Buy toothpaste at the drug store? Include the little errands you need to run in your itinerary for the day and get them out of the way between mystery shops.
Double up. Take a companion with you who can help you review the guidelines and reports for each shop as you drive from place to place. Or have them drive, so you can jot notes from the last shop and prepare for the next.
Catch up. Don’t get to spend enough time with a friend or family member? Take them with you, and use your travel time to catch up. If you need to do your mystery shopper jobs alone, they can pop in to a nearby store or get a cup of coffee while you work.
Learn something. Get an instructional program on CD, such as a language course, and listen to the lessons as you drive. Or choose an audio book of that new novel you have not been able to make time to read. Amazon has great prices on audio books, and many libraries have extensive selections of books on CD.
Be safe. Do not do things while driving that will distract you from your most important task: Driving. No texting, no conversations that cause you to lose focus, nothing that takes your attention away from the road and other drivers.
Using your travel time effectively makes you more productive and more profitable.