Everything’s going according to the plan – you’ve earned your college degree, landed a good job, you’re motivated and always on the lookout for new opportunities. At one point, your boss has asked you to fly to another country and conduct business as the company’s representative. If you’ve never gone on a business trip before, there are some things that you need to prepare for.
Business travel is not the same as going on vacations, which can make it stressful. When you’re on a business trip, the costs become almost unimportant and your time becomes more valuable. Having to meet an important client or give a big presentation might be making you nervous, and that’s completely understandable. You should know that you’re in good hands, because we’re here to give you a handful of great tips that will help you get through your first business trip successfully.
1. Plan ahead
Most companies have their own travel policies that usually cover everything from your accommodation to the amount of money you can spend. Before you pack your bags, inform yourself on your company’s travel policy by talking to the HR department. Your company probably has a preferred airline, hotel chain, and other things.
2. Pack your luggage
For most business trips, you’ll only need a shoulder bag and a rolling carry-on bag in order to pack light. Dragging a big suitcase can be a nightmare, so ditch the excessive luggage. Just fold your clothes carefully when packing, and you’ll have fewer things to lug around. Before you start packing, make a checklist of everything you’ll need there, such as clothes, toiletries, business files, and other necessities.
As for the clothing, you’ll want to make a great first impression, so dress for the part. Dress as well as you do at the office (at least), possibly even better. Also, your shoes should be comfortable enough that you won’t get blisters while walking, since you’ll probably be doing that a lot.
3. Always be organized
It can be exhausting when you need to stay in contact with your clients and employers and find restaurants and meeting locations all at the same time. There’s a lot of pressure, and by writing everything down, you’ll avoid a few headaches. Always keep a list of important information in the same place (wallet, journal, briefcase, or a note-taking app on your smartphone). This list should include your business appointments, hotel’s name and address, and flight schedule.
It’s important to let your family and friends know where you are, so provide them with your hotel and flight information.
4. Eat cheap and don’t drink too much
Look for places you can eat for a reasonably priced fare (if you’re dining alone), because your employer will appreciate if you don’t spend a bunch of their money on dining in five-star restaurants. Expensive places are great for entertaining clients, but not for eating alone on a business trip. As for drinking, there’s usually a lot of alcohol at business events, and it’s important not to over-indulge. Stick to 2-3 drinks per night because you’re there to represent your company. Drinking until you vomit or pass out won’t do you any good.
Instead of wasting money and time on buses or taxis, a better option would be to hire a professional chauffeur to drive you around the city. For example, if your business takes you to Australia, you should make sure to find a reliable chauffeur service in Sydney that will make the whole trip more enjoyable and save you the time you’d otherwise spend on Google Maps, trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B. Besides getting to your meetings in time, having a chauffeur will also impress your clients.
You’ll likely spend some time without having anything to do, while waiting for your flight or sitting in a hotel room. Make sure to use these moments to relax, recharge, and clear your mind. Another important thing to do is keep all the receipts. Your company is paying for your business trip, so don’t spend money on your own enjoyment and then lie on your expense report, because that can get you penalized or even fired. Use these tips to prepare yourself better, get packed, and bon voyage.