Typically, when you are asked to go on business trips you are given opportunities to further some important company business relationships. Being sent on business trips also reflects the growing confidence your managers have in your abilities.
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Before You Leave
Write down everything you’ll need to bring, including clothes, toiletries, and anything from the office you’ll need for work. You don’t want to arrive at your important meeting and realize that the file you need is 500 miles away.
Review your company’s reimbursement and travel and expense policies
Each company has different rules and policies in place for business trips. Review your company’s policies on business travel expenses and re-imbursement.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
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Join the frequent flier
and hotel affinity programs for your chosen airline and accommodations to start earning points from day one.
Join hospitality clubs
If you plan to travel a lot, it is wise to join one of the many airline hospitality clubs offered by major airlines. These clubs provide a quiet area in which to relax in a comfortable environment during a long delay.
Pre-program the GPS
Stay on track (and on time) when you’re traveling. Enter addresses for places you will visit into your smartphone’s GPS before departure. Don’t forget to include airports, hotels, restaurants and meeting locations. Spending a few minutes pre-programming will eliminate unnecessary paper directions and stress over getting to where you need to go.
Tip: Also, save important numbers from your travel location in your smartphone. To ensure safety and simplicity, include an emergency contact, local cab company and the hotel where you’re staying.
If your carrier doesn’t have an international plan, turn your data roaming and your push notifications off as soon as you get on the plane.
Have the right currency on a business trip
If you’re taking a business trip overseas, be sure to stop in at your bank ahead of time and get enough currency
from your destination country to pay for small expenses before you get a chance to go to a hotel or bank’s exchange window. Also, ask your bank or host whether your ATM card is going to work for getting your destination currency at the hotel where you’ll be staying or at a nearby bank.
Plan you meetings
so that there is plenty of time between appointments. This leaves you plenty of time to move around an unfamiliar city to your next meeting if necessary.
Don’t forget to back up
Back up your work. It would be a disaster if you worked for hours preparing documents to close a deal and your computer crashes. Back up everything for your meetings on a CD or flash drive.
Double-book airline tickets
For some crucial trips, you can’t afford to have a flight cancelled or delayed, because you’ll miss a meeting. On those occasions, double-book airline tickets. In addition to the flight that’s your number one choice, purchase a fully refundable ticket for the same schedule, but on another airline or from another local airport.
Pack layers and clothes that all coordinate
Select garments for versatility and layering, and take advantage of the pack ability of new textile technologies to arrive with wrinkle free clothes.
Beat Jet Lag
Even mild dehydration will make the other symptoms of jet lag even worse, so drink plenty of water before and during your trip.
Sunlight is the biggest help in resetting your body’s internal clock, so once you arrive, get outside and take in some rays.
In general, “losing” time is more difficult to adjust to than “gaining” time. Traveling east we lose time; west we gain. An “earlier” bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night. Going west, we fall asleep easily but may have a difficult time waking.
Following at least some of these suggestions will help make your business trip a successful one!
What are the things you have learned from business traveling? Do you have suggestions that we should add to our list?