Traveling for business is a fantastic opportunity for those that are fortunate to be able to it. You can take great pleasure in being paid to attend meetings, meet clients and forge friendships in a new city or country and then possibly have enough time left to visit some sights. These tips will help you get the most out of a business trip, regardless of whether it is your first or you already have hundreds in the bag.
Start by choosing the right bag for your trip. If you are only going to be away for a few days then a smart holdall or carry on suitcase should be enough. Only take essential items with you such as suitable business attire for meetings, casual clothing for downtime and minimal toiletries. The Sky Roll Up Garment Bag is a superb option as you can roll up your shirts and suits without them getting creased. It also has a section for a pair of shoes. Decide upon what electronics you need, too. Is it necessary to take your phone, laptop, tablet and e-reader?
Make a Checklist
Even if you have done this before, there’s always a chance that you could get distracted while packing and overlook something. By making a list you’ll arrive at the airport calmer and not have to constantly check to see if you’ve got your passport when on the way. Either write everything down or make a printable checklist that you can use for each trip. Some key items to include are boarding passes, credit cards, foreign currency, passports and phone and laptop chargers.
Schedule Meetings Carefully
Make sure that you are fresh and switched on for every meeting, whether formal or informal, by giving yourself time to relax in between each. There’s nothing worse than closing a meeting and then having to rush across town to another while constantly worrying if you will be on time. By scheduling time to return to your hotel for an hour or sit down for lunch you’ll give yourself a better chance to arrive energized.
Allow Time to Explore the Destination
While you will be mostly occupied by work-related events (this is a business trip after all), don’t miss the opportunity to be a tourist. Research the destination before you depart to find out about any historic landmarks, galleries, museums and parks that you’d like to see. And check for any sporting events or concerts that might be taking place. If you have the option, see if you can extend your trip over a weekend so you have more time to explore before heading home. Similarly, accept the offer from colleagues/clients to go out for dinner and/or drinks. When going to bars and restaurants with locals you are more likely to discover hidden gems.
Whether your company is bankrolling the trip or you're meeting with clients for your own business, make sure you keep track of your receipts for purchases while traveling. It will make submitting a report to your company for travel reimbursement much easier. If you're a solo contractor, you'll be able to write off much of your work meals and travel on your taxes. Travel can drain your resources, so the more you can use it to your advantage the better.
Take a Travel Partner Along
If it is an option then bring a friend or your loved one with you. Many hotels charge more, or the same, for single occupancy rooms than doubles so what better way to use that extra space than by offering it to someone. When you are at work, they can be out exploring the city and looking for interesting places for you to eat and drink. You’ll be thankful of the company after a busy day and bringing them to social events can make interactions with your colleagues and clients easier.