In the United States, people take 1.3 billion business trips every day. If you’re one of those taking a business trip in the near future, congratulations! This is an exciting opportunity.
However, many people start to stress the idea of a business trip. If you’re wondering how to prepare, you’re not alone! Travel can be stressful, particularly in today’s world of COVID policies and canceled flights.
That’s why we’ve assembled a guide to preparing for your business trips. From making travel arrangements to packing for that business meeting, we’ve got you covered! Let’s get started.
Check Out Your Destination
These days, many business trips are paired with leisure. In other words, if you’re sent to Spain, why not tack a few PTO days onto the end of your business trip?
No matter what you plan to do on your business trip, make sure to research the destination. This will help you avoid critical faux pas, especially in a business meeting!
For instance, say that you’re taking a client out for lunch. This is a crucial business meeting, and the stakes are high for your company. But when you arrive at the restaurant, what happens then?
Maybe you aren’t sure whether you should tip the staff or not. Or, you commit an accidental faux pas and are rude to the waiter by accident. This makes you look ignorant, or worse, rude.
That’s a poor first impression, and it can be avoided with an appropriate amount of research.
If you are adding some leisure activities to your travel itinerary, some research can help make sure you hit all the important things! If your company is paying for your travel, make the most of it! You’d hate to visit Spain and then realize you missed a key highlight of the trip.
Preparing Your Travel Documents
Stressed about something going wrong at the last minute? Many people are! However, you can often avoid mishaps with a little preparation.
Start by researching the necessary documents. For starters, you will need an ID. In some states, an enhanced driver’s license is now required, so make sure that you have that taken care of!
For international travel, you’ll need a passport, a visa, and the appropriate tickets for your transportation. When in doubt, pack more documentation than you’ll think you will need.
If you don’t already have all of these documents, apply sooner than you need to. It can take a long time to issue a visa, so make sure that you don’t put it off till the last minute!
Select Your Accommodations
If you’re wondering how to prepare for a business trip, planning ahead is everything. Depending on your company, the process will change. Some companies will reimburse you for everything, as long as you have the receipts.
Others will have HR plan the trip for you, which means they will be the one picking your hotel and so forth. However, if you have any input, make sure that you calculate the practical things!
For instance, you might be able to choose a hotel that’s very close to the location of your business meeting. If you’re in a new location or country, this can be more valuable than all the luxurious perks another hotel could offer. Corporate lodging can also be a great option, too.
Create A Travel Itinerary
If you tend to stress over travel arrangements, an itinerary can reduce stress. Think of it as a roadmap—it serves as the main source of truth for your trip.
A successful travel itinerary will include every possible detail that you’ll need to know. Here are some things you should track on your travel itinerary:
- The address of your hotel
- The address of your business meeting’s location
- The names of the people you are meeting
- Information regarding your travel reservations
- A schedule that allows enough time for everything
- Time slots with padding built-in for traffic, lengthy meetings, and more
- Contact information of local embassies
To stay safe, you should share this information with your trip coordinator or HR department. That way, if something happens, they will know where you may have been last seen, or where you should be at a certain time.
Depending on how tech-savvy you are, there are a lot of different options to communicate this information with others. While you can write it out by hand or send it in an email, why not utilize an app? Some apps will allow you to sync up your travel itinerary with work calendars, a colleague’s schedule, and so much more.
Preparing for the Meeting
If you’re wondering how to prepare for a business meeting, ask! Don’t assume that something will be taken care of, or that everything will work itself out. Taking a business trip is a chance to build valuable connections and make a good first impression. With that in mind, don’t squander it!
Start by writing down everything you want to accomplish in this meeting. Maybe you want to commit to a deal or connect with new contacts.
You should also plan ahead for all the expectations that come with this meeting. For instance, what is the dress code? What are their policies regarding masks and vaccination status?
If you’re giving a presentation, make sure all the necessary equipment is there. You may need chargers, HDMI cables, a microphone, and more. Ensuring that all this equipment is on hand is a great step in the right direction.
Taking A Business Trip
If you’re taking a business trip, congratulations! This is a great opportunity to make connections, see a new place, and build your own career.
When you plan ahead, you can help ensure that this business trip will be a success. This will make it much less stressful for everyone involved!
Start by taking all practical matters, such as lodging and visa status, into account. Then you can start planning appropriate outfits, learning phrases common to the location’s language, and more!
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