Your professional career or business probably requires you to travel for business trips occasionally or frequently. Either way planning for a business trip can be stressful, especially if you are inexperienced. Luckily, there are practical and easy ways to avoid stress. It’s all in the preparation. You have to make precise arrangements to ensure your business trip is a success. This way, you get to focus your energy on making your trip more productive. Here are a few tips on planning a fruitful business trip.
1. Make travel arrangements early
Take your time and thoroughly plan for your trip. Take note of your company’s travel policies. The next step is to book your travel in good time to take advantage of ticketing rates and avoid a last-minute rush. Take note of the costs to be incurred, research on accommodation and try to find ways to avoid getting charged extra. Extra travelling charges usually come through baggage and late bookings.
2. Prepare a preliminary itinerary
Your itinerary will help you stay in control and not miss any important event during the trip. It should be detailed with all the vital information such as how you will get to your destination, all information about your accommodation, information of people you will be meeting and time scheduled for your meetings. Be sure to factor in some quality entertainment time and relaxation.
3. Carefully select your accommodation
Choose a suitable accommodation depending on the length of your trip. If it’s for a short stay, you can consider a hotel between your meeting place and the airport. If you only have one meeting, choose a hotel that is close to the meeting. If you will be hosting the sessions from the hotel, ensure it has all the utilities to accommodate a formal event. This should include a steady Wi-Fi, several charging points, projector, conference rooms or coffee services. Whether the trip is international or local, pay close attention to holidays since some hotels may not offer the desired services on such days.
4. Organize your travelling documents
Travelling documents are crucial, and you cannot risk forgetting any. You will need your ID, passport, air tickets and maybe a visa. Ensure that the documents are up-to-date to avoid delays while updating them at the last minute; some could take a week or more hence the need to get this sorted early. For some long-distance trips, you might be required to provide medical clearance forms. If you plan to hire a car when you get to your destination, consider getting an international license. Such should be kept close for ease of access and checked-in as part of your hand luggage or cabin luggage.
5. Ship your luggage before your business trip
Usually, business trips are short, and a carry-on bag is sufficient but longer business trips often require more than one suitcase. Most airlines will charge you extra from the first suitcase and a heavy price for any excess luggage. It’s not unusual to find someone paying more for their luggage than their air ticket. To avoid this, your best option is to drop-ship all luggage directly to the hotel by using a luggage shipping company instead of the airline. If it’s a business trip your company most likely has a company service agreement with one of the luggage delivery companies and drop-shipping will save you approximately 50%.
Using a service like this comes with its unique advantages of having a less stressful trip. You get to avoid the long queues when checking-in or waiting to pick your luggage. You also do not have to worry about how your luggage will get to the airport since the shipping company takes care of everything from your doorstep to the destination and back. Your luggage will arrive before you do and it’s possible to make arrangements with your host hotel to pick up your delivered luggage.
6. Adequately prepare for your meeting
Your preparations depend on the nature of the business trip. Have a clear picture of what you want to achieve during the trip. If there are any materials required, ensure you have packed them. If some documents need to be printed, print them. Do the research and ensure you have as much information about the people you will be meeting. Pack all the electronics and chargers that you will be using. You do not want to appear ill-prepared for a business sit-down.
7. Get the local currency of your destination
Make sure you have passed by your bank and exchanged currencies. Do not travel with a lump sum, have some of the money in your credit cards or available for electronic transfer and a little walk around money in the local currency. This will help you in paying for some of your expenses upon arrival.
A well-planned business trip will be less stressful and very productive. You cannot afford to wing it. Take time to ensure you have a blueprint of your travel.