Travelling for business is often a necessary evil, depending on your job and workload, but if the trip is well organised, you can get all the work done that you need to finish before returning home.
It is important that you take some time to prepare for your business trip so that you can be as organised and efficient as possible while you are away.
Business trips can be stressful and chaotic, so you want to have everything in place before you go so that the trip is productive and as enjoyable as possible. You should avoid leaving everything until the day before you go away so that you don’t have to deal with any added pressure on the days leading up to your trip. Here are eight tips on how you can best prepare for a business trip and the different things you will want to consider.
Make Sure You Have a Passport… and One That it is Valid
This may seem like an obvious thing to do before any trip, but you will be surprised at how many people forget their passport before they go on a trip. Your head can be so full of other things that the most obvious thing is easily forgotten.
You also need to make sure that your passport is valid for up to six months from the final day of travel. This six-month validity passport rule is a general guideline that you will come across if you are travelling internationally. It is important that you check your passport validity, as you may not be allowed to travel if you don’t have six months left on it.
Whether you don’t have a passport, or it isn’t valid for long enough, there are fast track passport services available that allow you to get a same day passport. Getting an urgent passport will likely require a meeting at a passport office, but you will be able to pick up your new passport on the same day! You can book urgent appointments here. Make an appointment as soon as you spot your passport needs renewing. Select your nearest passport office and you can even request a same-day fast track appointment!
Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is essential. You must make sure that you are covered by insurance for any form of travel, and especially a business trip. You may find that your company will provide or subsidise your travel insurance for you, but you cannot assume this, and you must investigate it before your trip.
You may think that if you are only going away for a few days and are travelling on an internal flight to somewhere else in the country, but you should still get travel insurance. You can get insurance to cover loss or theft of your devices, as well as health cover.
Travel insurance doesn’t have to cost the earth, so by shopping around at a comparison site you can get a good deal and rest assured during your trip that you and your possessions are all covered.
Check the Company’s Travel Policy
If you are employed by a company, then it is important that you have a read through of their company travel policy before you head off on your business trip. It is essential that you are familiar with the company rules when it comes to business trips and that you take advantage of the tips and suggestions that your work has to offer you.
You should also find out about expenses that are available to you and whether you should be charging your accommodation costs to a company credit card or if you will be reimbursed after you have paid for it all yourself. These are the sort of issues you should clarify before your trip, so that you are fully aware of spending limits, etc. before you travel.
Find Decent Accommodation
Your business trip will be a whole lot more enjoyable if you have somewhere decent to stay. If you are booking your own accommodation then make sure you shop around for some of the best deals, at some of the best hotels in the area.
You should also try to book your accommodation as soon as possible, as hotels that are popular for business professionals often get booked up quickly, and you don’t want to end up a hotel you didn’t want to stay at. Therefore, you should consider booking your accommodation as soon as your business trip is confirmed.
If you don’t want to stay in a hotel, then you might consider booking a serviced apartment instead so that you get the perks of a hotel but your own space and privacy to relax in.
Wi-Fi is an Essential
It is important that you have access to Wi-Fi throughout your business trip, and while you will likely have access in your hotel, you should also consider investing in a portable wireless device. Having a wireless device to plug into your laptop means that you can work on the go and make use of travel time such as train journeys or flights.
A portable wireless device is a great way to get access to several devices at one time, wherever you are, without having to spend extra money on a local SIM card or pay for a Wi-Fi connection.
It is important that you pack wisely when you are away and only take with you what is necessary. You will likely need to look smart when meeting with clients and other colleagues during your trip, so you should make sure you have a few different options of clothing if you are there for a few days.
If you are worried about your clothes becoming creased while they are packed away in your suitcase then you can inquire about having them ironed at the hotel you are staying at. A lot of frequent business travellers take a spare change of clothes in their hand luggage with them in case their hold luggage gets lost during the journey.
While you will want to stay looking smart when working while you are away, make sure that you take something more casual with you to wear as well, in case you decide to go for a drink or something to eat in your spare time in the evening.
As a business trip can be stressful and hectic, you may find that you don’t look after yourself properly. You should be sure to eat as healthily as you can (even at business meetings and event dinners) and be sure to keep hydrated. Eating too much junk food and drinking too much alcohol can make you feel groggy and lethargic, which is not ideal when you have work to do.
Again, this seems like a more obvious way to prepare for any trip, but it is essential that you consider what currency you will need when you land. Be sure to check what currency the country uses that you are travelling to, and if you can, make sure you have some change in that currency for when you land. Trying to pay for a $1 bottle of water with a fifty-dollar bill will not make you popular with the shop owner.
Going on a business trip can be made a lot less stressful if are well organised. If you are, you should find your time away to be efficient and successful.