Before embarking on a business trip, there are essential things to consider for a smooth experience. From packing luggage, oraganizing business and travel papers, to planning travel and investigating your destination – all needs to be carefully done.
Many underlying considerations and possible issues exist, aside from the standard rules for carry on luggage, such as flight luggage limitations, luggage weight and size, etc.
This guide will help you know the dos and don’ts for business traveling. Read on to know!
Do: Pack Early and Write Down Your Schedule
If you usually just throw everything in a duffel bag and go, planning for your business trip is worthwhile and essential. Be sure you’ve cleaned and prepared all your work clothes well in advance.
Write down the logistics of your journey, from transportation to the actual business trip, in advance. You don’t want to be distracted and frazzled because of a missed flight.
The employer probably has some clear guidelines on ‘how, when, and where’, no matter how you usually fly. Take the time to read the travel handbook of your company, and plan appropriately.
Ensure that your passport has at least 6 months validity to travel. Take note of what you can and cannot write off as a business travel cost, and bear in mind any rules regarding your what you can and cannot do during the upcoming trip.
Do: Keep All Receipts
Keep the receipts for reimbursement or tax purposes. Also, if you have a business credit card, the accountant would appreciate clear receipts for their records if any concerns or irregularities occur.
Keep these compiled, in an envelope or a notebook, to help quickly and accurately record your expenses. This also reduces probability of error. Alternatively, always consult with a supervisor or HR if any clarity is required on reimbursements.
Some businesses may not reimburse workers until their return, while others may have a small budget. So even though you do expect a refund from your employer, it’s better to keep some cash or have access to some form of money, especially if there are exchange rates involved.
And be careful not to make false claims to cover things that your office won’t be comfortable paying for. Offer to pick such bills, or negotiate costs, so both the parties can be relaxed beforehand.
Do: Follow Dress Code and Company Travel Policies
Many businesses have policies laid out. In case they aren’t, let your instinct and common sense guide you. Leave the flip-flops at home and dress like you’re proud to represent the organization that invests in you.
Your company may prefer you wearing something with a company logo on your business travels. If you pair a company-issued shirt with ragged jeans and running shoes, think about the message it will send.
Don’t: Overpack and Cram
The last thing you want to worry about is lugging around a huge suitcase, rather than focusing on company meetings and closing deals. Stick to the basics, and prepare in advance.
In the event of flight changes or delays, having only a carry on bag may also be a saving grace.
Last-minute reservations would typically land you a middle seat, back row and a small grungy hotel room, 45 minutes from where your meetings are held!
Prepare for a reasonably priced flight at a time that is most convenient for you and a hotel as near as possible to your meeting places.
Don’t: Be Late
Domestic or international business travel can require a lot of planning and expense, so the last thing you need is to not have schedules or be unorganized. Be constructive and objective, and be on time.
Don’t: Combine Leisure and Business Travel Itineraries
When you want to mix your business vacations with fun and leisure, it is probably better after the job is finished to go on your relaxing holiday. After your work trip, if you visit the beach, your zen mode would have a fixed expiration date.
You don’t want to gain a reputation as the wild one, particularly on your business trips. Know your boundaries, and stick to them, and always put your best ‘professional’ foot forward.
While spending quality time with your colleagues and bosses during your business trip is definitely necessary, take some time to relax and refresh.