A first time business trip can be especially stressful. Whether you’re traveling for training, a conference, a trade show or meetings with clients, partners or potential customers, each type of business trip comes with its own unique challenges. There are some first time business travel tips, tricks and hacks you should know for a smooth and low-stress trip!
Use these first business trip tips to arrive in your destination ready to make a great first impression.
Research, Plan and Prepare
Careful planning is essential for any trip, but it’s especially important that you’re ahead of the game for a first time business trip. While you’re planning, be sure to research travel insurance options, as well as transportation options in your destination. When possible, book non-stop flights and try to stick to a single airline, hotel and car rental brand so you can join their loyalty programs and earn rewards!
While writing your itinerary, make sure you give yourself more travel time than you need and prepare for changes in time zone. Make lunch and dinner reservations with clients or partners ahead of time to avoid any stress or bad impressions. Be sure to print a paper copy of your itinerary to keep on hand throughout your trip!
Before you leave, add an out-of-office reply to your email and take a picture of important documents like your passport, visa and license. Check-in to your flight online as soon as possible. Make sure all of your electronics are charged and ready to go before you travel. It’s also a good idea to take out a small amount of cash for your trip!
Avoid overpacking. The less you bring, the less you have to worry about lugging around when you have a tight schedule to stick to. If you can, pack light and maximize your carry-on so you don’t have to check a bag!
Study your itinerary, as well as the local culture, customs and dress code before leaving so you can pack and dress accordingly. Besides your professional attire, be sure to pack a casual outfit or two, comfortable clothes for travel and walking shoes. Prepare for TSA when you’re packing to avoid any setbacks. You’ll also want to bring things to keep you busy on the plane and during down time, such as your tablet, a book or a magazine. And lastly, don’t forget to pack business cards, so you have them on hand while networking!
One of the most helpful tips for a first business trip is to stay organized for a smooth and stress-free experience. Keep your luggage, briefcase and hotel room organized. Hang your business clothes to keep them wrinkle-free and ready to put on!
Follow your itinerary as best as possible to maintain your schedule and avoid delays or mishaps. Take notes on each meeting or session you attend so you can refer to them throughout and after your business trip. Be sure to keep all of your receipts in one place, so you can easily track your expenses to be reimbursed.
It’s important to put your best foot forward during business travel. Stay healthy and try to stick to your daily routine as much as possible to ensure that you’re performing at your best. Eat healthy snacks and food, stay hydrated, exercise and aim for at least eight hours of sleep a night.
Networking is one of the most important parts of a business trip. Build and maintain relationships with clients and business partners that you meet at meetings, conferences, trade shows or corporate functions. When you’re networking, refrain from having too many drinks and keep a professional demeanor!
Don’t forget to set aside time for yourself on your first business trip. Explore your destination during downtime and catch up with friends, peers or family members in the area you’re traveling to. Visit natural landmarks and nearby attractions or try some local cuisine at a new restaurant!