The first thing many business people get used to is just how stressful traveling in general is. Whether you are an everyday businessman or Danielle Lurie, taking adequate measures beforehand to have a pleasant travel experience will always allow for more free time as well as preparation for those meetings.
Now you may be asking, why should I leave when we can now do everything online? The reason behind traveling for business is that completing big deals between firms and creating a better relationship between two business parties involves being face-to-face since that helps give the other party a full impression.
Here you will come to find out how to best prepare for your business trip and how to not overlook any important details that may seem obvious.
Why take trips for business?
It is not just about striking a deal for your company. Traveling for business includes field conferences, especially when working for a company with ties in medicine or technology, client trips, and so on.
Sometimes your company has multiple locations as well, which means going there in person allows for a better assessment of the work culture present there as well as a meeting done in person.
Business trips also tend to motivate employees and represent the company with pride.
How and why should I prepare?
When planning your every step out, it allows for relaxed travel, thus a better impression on those you are meeting since you are not worried about other things outside of what you went there to accomplish.
Before all else, it is essential to check your company’s travel policy to be able to adequately plan ahead. This means you should get the adequate tools, buy the recommended insurance coverage, book the flight you were told to, and make sure to stay within your company’s spending limits during the whole trip.
After checking your company policy, it is time to start the itinerary unless you were given one, which means you should start by booking your flight, train trip, car trip, or boat trip.
Taking into account the budget you were given, book your trip to the destination you were assigned to and try to arrive hours in advance since you will also be booking a place of residence and will need to settle in. Make sure to even out the cost and travel ratio to not overstep your budget.
You should also look at the travel times between destinations within the city you are going to, for example, from the airport to your residence to the meeting place.
Being well-rested in time for any meetings or conferences is also important when breaking deals, so consider leaving a day early to rest enough, or buying a plane ticket that includes in-flight WiFi so you can work whilst you are traveling.
Before traveling to the destination, try and research the city if you are unfamiliar with it. This includes customs and manners that may be different, dangers such as pickpockets or reckless drivers, the rules on tipping, and so on. In addition, exchange your currency if necessary before leaving for your flight.
When you pack, make sure to pack into a carry-on-sized suitcase paired with a briefcase or handbag you will be needing. It needn’t be said that overpacking is a bad idea, and bring the bare essentials including important documents, tech gadgets you will need, and adequate clothing for the weather. You can buy the rest on location.
You may want to consider bringing business cards with you, just in case you cross paths with someone who may be a strong business partner or associate in the future. Having business cards on hand allows for a quick exchange of information without wasting any time or energy with the formalities.
For accommodation, location is the most important factor. If you are only attending one meeting place then make sure to book a hotel, Air BnB, or anything else near the meeting area so you don’t have to worry about commuting or traffic.
If you are going to be running to and from places, then compensate by finding accommodation that is between both places and also researching modes of transport between the destinations.
Maintaining the budget is also of utmost importance when booking accommodation, so check your company’s travel policy to see if they have any hotel hotspots you may be able to strike a good deal with.
You should also keep in mind what amenities you will need and at what time, including what time breakfast is served, free WiFi, room service, and so on.
Now that you are at your destination and settled into your accommodation, do some research on those you are meeting and the places you are going to visit if you haven’t done so beforehand. This will help you make a good impression and will prepare you for the meeting itself, whilst avoiding any impostor syndrome in the workplace.
Remind yourself of why you are there and the goal you and the company you are working for wish to accomplish with this meeting. Research the place you will be going to and what to wear there, as well as basic information on the client or colleague so you do not say or do anything rude or unprofessional.
If you are uncertain, get in contact with the other party to double-check some questions you may have regarding the meeting. This also gives a good impression, showing the effort you are putting into being adequately prepared.
You should track any purchases you make to not overstep the company budget since you are either using a company card or your personal card to then be reimbursed by your company. Either way, knowing how much you spend and what you need will also be useful information for any future trips you might need to take.
Make sure your phone will work in your destination by talking to your cell service provider and securing a roaming plan if needed.
Lastly, make sure to make time for your relaxation so you can stay level-headed and keep your mind clear of stress and mistakes. Make time to look at the local sights, visit a restaurant you think you will enjoy, and generally decompress after all the stress you have been to.