How to Prepare for a Business Trip
In this post, we’ll list actionable ways that you can prepare for a business trip. Although some of these ideas may seem rather intuitive, they’re frequently overlooked by even the most seasoned travelers. By taking a deep breath and acknowledging everything that needs to be completed, your trip will be a success.
7 Ways that Business Owners Can Prepare for a Business Trip
1. Print Your Itinerary
To have a successful business trip, you should know your schedule before you depart. Fortunately, there are templates in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google Docs that make it easy for you to create an itinerary.
Ideally, a good itinerary will include where you need to be, when you need to be there, who you’ll be meeting with, and any needed information, such as receipts or business cards. By taking the time to plan your itinerary in advance, you’ll be much less stressed once you’ve arrived at your destination.
2. Organize Your Documents
Typically, travelling requires various documents, such as plane tickets, hotel confirmations, and other relevant information.
If you’re flying internationally, you’ll need to have your passport and, in some cases, a visa. Usually, getting a new passport takes 3 to 6 weeks, so if you don’t have one already you’ll need to apply for one prior to your trip. If you’re flying domestically, you should still also bring your driver’s license, flight information, hotel confirmation, and car rental receipts.
3. Pack Efficiently
Although it can be tempting to over-pack, it can also be incredibly costly. Depending on the airline that you’re traveling through, you could pay up to $50 for an additional bag ($100 round-trip). To avoid overpacking, try to limit yourself to one outfit per day, unless your itinerary requires different types of attire. Still, bringing excess jackets, shoes, and casual wear can also be removed to save space.
4. Stock Up on Business Cards
Business trips are an excellent opportunity for you to create connections within your industry. Although you could go through the effort of exchanging numbers with everyone you meet, it’ll be much easier for you to hand out your business card. Business cards create a sense of professionalism and are a tangible reminder of the connections you’ve made. Fortunately, creating custom business cards is easy and relatively affordable, so you should order your card’s prior to your trip.
5. Keep in Contact With Your Staff
Just because you’re going on a trip doesn’t mean that operations should cease on the home front. Set aside some time to check your emails and make any necessary phone calls to clients or employees. Check in on important projects, but let your employees handle day-to-day tasks. Provide instructions to your employees before leaving for your trip, but make sure that they know that they can contact you if they have questions or any issues arise.
In addition, you should invest in Wi-Fi wherever it’s not included. Although it can be annoying to spend money on this, you’ll feel better knowing that you can stay in the loop.
6. Exchange Currency (if necessary)
If you’re travelling internationally, you may need to exchange your currency to the national denomination of your destination. There are numerous ways that you can exchange currency including special ATMs, most banks, and currency exchange stations at the airport.
7. Have a Backup Plan
Sometimes things go wrong. From flight delays to traffic, there are situations out of your control that will make you unable to reach your destination on time.
Even though travel issues can be stressful, you should have a second plan in case your travel itinerary falls through. Whether you plan to video chat into a meeting, drive instead of fly, send a proxy, or have another attendee take notes for you, creating backup plans is fundamentally important.
If you have an upcoming business trip on your schedule, don’t panic! Although traveling can be overwhelming, but much of this stress can be easily avoided by being organized. By keeping these simple, yet important, travel tips in mind, your trip can be much more productive.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.