Planning a business trip can be an incredibly stressful and costly affair, especially if you are new to the whole process! There are so many things that you need to take care of and remember. Your list might include booking a private jet charter and car service, booking accomodation, liaising with clients that you’ll be seeing to organize meetings, and all kinds of logistics without which the trip would run off the rails. We have put together a little guide to help you tick things off as you go, and to ensure that you don’t forget any crucial details! Read on for our ultimate guide to business travel.
Know Company Policy
This is definitely the most tedious part of any work travel trip, but it’s essential to know what your company makes allocation for and what it does not. If you aren’t a hundred percent sure of these policies, you may find yourself in hot water or even paying for something you booked in error, out of your own pocket. The company’s insurance may cover only certain airlines, car services, or accommodation, so take careful note of this.
Do Your Research
Long before you leave on the trip, you need to do your travel research. Business travel expenses usually fall to the company (you’ll know their policy on this if you keep abreast of company travel requirements). Still, you need to make sure that you are getting the best value for money when you book your travel and accommodation and everything else that goes with a business trip. The earlier you book, the better a price you can usually find. Some travel agencies may even run specials that include flights, car service, and accommodation all in one package. If you are going to a big city, you may get better rates at hotels or bed and breakfasts that are slightly out of the way or in the suburbs: it’s usually worthwhile to take a look at these even though they aren’t in the heart of the city.
Know Travel Requirements
If you are staying within your home country or state, you’ll likely be aware of most travel requirements already. However, if you’re leaving the state or the country, you’ll need to be sure you have all necessary documents such as passports, visas, immunization documents et cetera. Some countries may require that you quarantine upon entry for a certain number of days or weeks; some may only require that you supply proof of vaccination. If you don’t have all the information before you book your trip, you may end up shut out of the country or paying unexpected fees out of pocket.
Now that you’ve handled the logistics, you need to pack for the trip. You’ll likely only have an allowance for one piece of luggage and a carry-on, so you need to make the most of it. Depending on what kind of business you’re in, you may need to pack office, casual or formal wear. This will also vary depending on where you will have your meetings, so take note of your trip itinerary when you pack. If you want to pack light but have a more extended trip, be sure to communicate with your hotel before you leave to check if they have a laundry and dry cleaning service. Also, check whether there are irons and enough closet space in the room to store all your garments to keep them in good shape. You can’t show up to a business meeting in a smelly or crumpled shirt!
Things you need to remember to pack are:
- Your business meeting clothes
- Casual clothes for any time off you may have
- Shoes and whatever you use to keep them clean
- Your toiletries, including shaving, hair care, makeup, and skincare.
- Electronics and chargers
- Books for travel or free time reading
It might be helpful to make a list and tick things off as you pack.
When You’re There
If you’re traveling abroad for work, take note of the accepted customs and make sure that you stay in line with them. Traditional customs are very important, and it will reflect poorly on both you and your company if you don’t respect them. Look over your itinerary on the plane or when you reach your hotel, to be sure that you know what you are committed to doing and when. The whole purpose of your trip is to engage with clients or partners, so if you miss those engagements, the journey will have been for nothing, and it will reflect very badly on both you and your company. This could have far-reaching consequences for you at work. Getting enough rest and sleep are essential to functioning well when you’re traveling. Make sure you get to bed early and don’t indulge in any late-night partying. Keep ALL of your receipts; your company will need them to reimburse you for any expenses that you paid for out of pocket and to keep records of their expenses for their accountants.
If you pay close attention when you’re planning your trip and traveling, you shouldn’t run into any problems! Good luck and safe travels.