50 travel tips for business
50 travel tips for business
Written By: Lindiwe Zulu

If you’re going on a business trip, you want to make you stay as easy as possible. You want to make the most of your trip without having to stress about the nitty-grittys. We have compiled a list of tips that will make you well- prepared and better equipped to make the most out of your trip. 

  • Make sure your travel documents are ready  

Your passport is one of the most important documents you will need on your trip. Make sure it is up to date weeks before your trip. It is also important to keep your other travel documents including any airline reservations, hotel confirmations, and rental car details in one safe place. This will make it easy for you to access them when you need them. 

  • Know your company’s travel policy

If you are employed by a company, it is important to read their travel policy before you go on your business trip. Make sure you know the company rules when it comes to business trips and take advantage of the tips and suggestions that your work has to offer you. 

Enquire 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 what you can afford to do and not do at your expense. Make sure you use the recommended booking tips and tools and you might get a good deal too. 

  • Get travel insurance

Booking travel insurance for your business trip can save you a lot of time and money. Depending on the type and level of travel insurance you opt for, it can cover a variety of issues including baggage loss, medical emergencies, flight delays, flight cancellations and much more. Travel insurance will help minimize such liabilities, helping you to focus on the most important matters on your trip. 

Invest some time in doing some research about the country you will be visiting. Find out about the different negotiation styles, customs, attitudes towards punctuality, and proper use of names and titles. Understanding in advance how to greet your counterparts and manage appointments will be most helpful and your business associates will appreciate this. 

Check out normal workdays and business hours for the country you be visiting. This will help you know when you can plan your meetings. 

  • Pack light 

Always take carry-on luggage only. Not only does it help ease the hassle of the check-in at the airport, but it’s also easier to carry around in trains, through public transportation or even straight to your business meeting. Pack it with your essentials and be smart about what you include. Pack clothes that are well made, versatile and easy to care for. Pack Items that Can be Paired to Create Other Outfits. You will also be able to get more out of your business wardrobe when you buy items that can be worn with other items. Additionally, it is important to always pack the same way. This way, you won’t forget important items and this will ease the trip preparation and decrease the stress level that normally comes with it.  

Charging everything you will need overnight before your business trip. Put them next to important items such as your car keys and your wallet so you don’t forget them the next day on your way to the airport. When your devices have been charged, you can use them during waiting times and your travel time. Also, in times of digital tickets and wallets, it wouldn’t be quite ideal if your phone battery was down when checking in. 

  • Don’t leave anything for last minute 

Business trips are hectic enough without the additional task of solving any unexpected situations that may arise therefore it is important to be prepared and not leave anything for the last minute. Preparation before departure will make your business trip more productive. It is important to remember that if you’re going on a business trip is that you have limited time in your hands. Plan your days, weeks and month ahead. Book your accommodation as soon as your trip is confirmed. Organize and set meetings before you fly out. 

  • Choose your accommodation wisely 

Your business trip will be a whole lot more enjoyable if you have decent accommodation. Hotels that are popular for business professionals often get booked up quickly, therefore, you should consider booking your accommodation as soon as your business trip is confirmed. It is  also a good idea to pay close attention to the amenities at the hotel. Some  hotels may serve breakfast too late if you need an early start.  As a business traveler you’re likely to want Wi-Fi connectivity, room service and plenty of power points for charging your devices, therefore it is better to choose a hotel best suited for your travel needs. 

  • Back up your important documents 

Traveling is a time when small electronics like mobile phones, laptops and tablets are at increased risk of being lost or damaged.  It is important to back up your important documents. Cloud-based storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox or iCloud are a great way to ensure that your files are backed up and accessible from anywhere. 

  • Check currency 

It is essential that you consider what currency you will need when you get to the country you’re traveling to. If you can, make sure you have some change in that currency for when you land. 

  • Prepare an Itinerary 

Planning an itinerary is imperative when planning a business trip. It should reflect your goals and priorities that you wish to accomplish on your business trip. Your schedule should be flexible enough for unexpected delays like traffic and flight delays. 

  • Know the weather prior to traveling 

The last thing you want is to be stuck in another with short-sleeved shirts and no umbrella and it is cold and raining. It is important to check the weather for your destination. This will allow you to pack appropriately. If it going to cold, you should pack a versatile coat and if it is going to be warmer then you should pack light clothes that are professional yet comfortable. 

  • Make sure you  have a secure travel connection  

It is important that you have a secure connection throughout your business trip, and while you will likely have  WIFI access in your hotel, you should also consider investing connectivity in other devices such as portable wireless device or a travel sim card. 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. Having a travel sim will not only save you on expensive roaming charges but will give you options that best suit your business trip. 

  •  Set your hours to the right time zone

Knowing the time zone of the country you’re going to will help you plan better. When you are setting a meeting for another country, set it with the country’s time zone in mind. 

  • Get a reliable smartphone 

And get very comfortable with editing documents on your phone. “For example, I’ve edited 30-page spreadsheets and meeting agenda documents on the fly in Mexico City 20 minutes before a monthly meeting, thanks to learning my way around Google Docs on my phone,” Buck says. “The whole team was able to access them via a quick link, and provide their edits in real-time from their various cities around the world.” 

  • Join rewards programs.  

Once you start traveling often for business, you’ll be glad you signed up for at least one frequent flyer program to earn miles and other airline-specific perks. 

If staff notices you frequently patronize their airline, rental-car company or hotel, they are more likely to help you, says Maria Perez, marketing manager of airfare search engine Fly.com. 

Take advantage of your corporate travel to gain points or miles on your airline, hotel or travel credit card of choice. You should also choose a credit card without foreign transaction fees 

 Members of rewards and loyalty programs often receive early boarding on flights, priority hotel room, first-class upgrades and “all-around better treatment,” Perez says. 

 Some rental-car companies deliver rental cars to rewards program members personally, while less frequent customers must shuttle to the company’s facility to retrieve their rental, 

  • Dress appropriately

Dress While I don’t wear a suit (traveling or at home), I like to stick to my sport coat and jeans to have an approachable and professional look when I arrive at a work site. Remember: When traveling for business you’re always representing your company, so you should be presentable and appropriate for your work responsibilities. 

  • Carry enough business cards

Make a great first impression and arrive prepared for sudden networking by keeping extra business cards easily accessible. Every business trip is different. Certain trips are filled with meetings from the moment you land, while others are more relaxed and let you enjoy gaps between schedules. Regardless of your schedule, always dress comfortably for the flight. Forget about wearing a suit; you will not be able to snatch some rest during the flight with a formal business attire. 

  • Be clear on the business objective of your travel 

Work trip schedules run pretty tight and you may not have much time to get your regular requests done without sacrificing sleep. In addition to being as well-rested as possible before you go, get as up to date with your workload as possible to give yourself a buffer. It would also be worthwhile to see if there are any colleagues who can help pick up some slack while you’re out of the office, making sure they are aware of what might come up, and where they can find what they need 

  • Stay healthy and hydrated

Airline food can also be a bit hit-and-miss, so your best bet if you need a snack mid-trip is to pack your own. Foods high in protein including cheese and nuts will keep you feeling fuller for longer, as do travel-friendly options like energy bars and trail mixes. 

And the most important business travel tip when it comes to eating and drinking? Water. Dehydration is one of the worst parts of flying and can be a major cause of fatigue. 

  • Take some time to enjoy your destination

As a productivity trainer, I travel quite frequently. Sometimes, there can be quite a bit of downtime. It could be long delays between flights, or canceled flights requiring you to rebook on a later flight. This often causes travellers a great deal of stress. But don’t fear downtime. If your flight gets delayed, you might default to checking your email or doing other work. But it may actually be more productive to use this unexpected time to meditate or just let your mind wander. This kind of mental break really boosts your productivity and creativity. 

  • Book a hotel close by

Book a hotel close by to the client or business location  or even the aiport. to avoid early morning commutes, traffic delays, etc. Before booking, try asking your client if they have a preferred hotel in the city and if there’s a discount that you’d be able to use.

  • Switch hotels

Don’t be afraid to switch hotels the night before your early morning flight back home. 

  • Be by the airport

Staying closer to the airport for that 5:45am flight will give you a few extra minutes of sleep and reduce any goof-ups you might have from that early morning delirium. 

  • Location

The location of the hotel matters a lot. This is because you don’t want to spend too much time commuting to your working location. 

  • Accessibility

It’s also very important that the hotel is located near the airport, the business conference, or other locations you may need to visit while on your business trip. This will help to avoid long commutes and traffic. 

  • Internet connectivity

 It will be frustrating to board a hotel that lacks a free high-speed wireless internet connection, especially when considering the premium costs of most business class hotels. Having a reliable internet connection is paramount in this day and age. Among the many reasons, it helps to improve your effectiveness and efficiency when preparing and researching various business plans and logistics. 

  • Dining options

Now, by the time you are arriving at your hotel, there’s a big chance you’ll be too exhausted for any other efforts. It’s very important to consider the food options in your hotel as well as from the nearby restaurants. These will come in handy whenever there is a need to arrange a business meeting outside the business conference. 

Some more pointer to keep your business travels easier and safer:

  • Automate or pre complete tasks prior to you trip

  • Have a secure laptop

  • Bring a high capacity power bank

  • Connect remotely

  • Observe simple principals to help avoid travel delays

  • Know the difference between direct and non-direct flights

  • Take advantage of tax deductions for travel expenses

  • Purchase refundable tickets

  • Consolidate your travel into one or 2 airlines

  • Figure out the perfect cure for your jet lag

  • Stick with a single airline, hotel, and rental car company

  • Choose your location wisely

  • Check your newsfeed

  • Be pleasant when asking for hotel upgrades

  • If you running late, inform your hotel and car services

  • Find out about the countries customs or regulations

  • Check times periodically

  • Be punctual

  • Network with potential partners in your destination

  • Be productive during your downtime

  • Keep up with the travel warnings

  • Be aware of theft at your destination

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