Travelling for business can be exhausting and complicated if you’re not a seasoned traveller. Not only do you have to do all the rigamarole of booking flights and hotels, but you’ll also have to prepare for meetings and dress professionally along the way. Here are a few tips for travelling like a pro your first time around.
1. Safety First
It’s important to keep safety at the forefront of your mind as you prepare for your trip, especially if you’re travelling with a company card or with important documents. For any valuable information, documents, USB’s, etc., make good use of the safe in your hotel room and consider getting a secured credit card. Keep an eye on your luggage at all times and don’t leave anything unattended. And never share your hotel or room number with anyone you don’t 100% trust with that information.
You may also want to look into travel insurance, particularly if you’re travelling to a high-risk area. Traveller’s insurance is relatively affordable, and your company may be willing to foot the bill if the risk is high enough. If you’re planning to travel for business often, you may want a year-long worldwide coverage plan so you won’t have to think about it every time you travel.
2. Packing Intelligently
Packing for a business trip can be tricky because you’ll likely have to bring along your laptop, folders, and business casual clothing. But it’s essential to pack as light as possible, because you’ll be on the go for a lot of the trip and lugging multiple suitcases around will make your journey more expensive, more exhausting, and will waste time.
Find a sleek piece of luggage that can fit your bare minimum of clothing, and can also be carried on the plane. Try some new packing techniques, like using packing cells or vacuum-sealing to get the most out of the space you have. If wrinkles are an issue, a hotel room can usually provide a clothing iron, but in case of emergencies, you can always run your shower on hot and hang the clothes in the steamy bathroom.
3. Getting Up to Date
One quick way to run into trouble before a business trip is by neglecting to get all your information up to date. Check that your passport hasn’t expired, and get it renewed at least three months before your trip if it has. Make sure you have any necessary work and travel visas provided and check with your Travel Manager (if applicable) to ensure that you won’t run into any trouble at immigration. Having everything in order, right down to your boarding pass, will keep you calm and cool during travel.
4. Using Amenities
It’s important to maintain your peace of mind and some amount of relaxation during business trips. Being in a state of stress will make it hard for you to do your job well, and will make you dread business trips in the future. Airlines frequently provide lounge access for business travellers or will charge a small fee for access. A lounge is a great place to hang out between the legs of the journey and will give you an opportunity to recharge mentally, particularly if there’s been a delay on your flight. And remember, if your company is offering to cover costs, don’t be afraid to get everything you need to stay comfortable and relaxed during the trip.
5. Creating Connections
If you’re planning to travel a lot for business, you’ll most likely be staying in the same hotels and using the same services over and over again. This is a great opportunity to build relationships with businesses, hotels, and airlines that will serve you well in the future. Get to know if there are rewards programs for repeat customers and take advantage.
Travelling for business can feel like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. Use these tips to have a better experience.