Intro: Traveling for business or a Business Traveler can be a fun and stressful affair. Of course, seeing new things and experiencing new places is awesome. But there’s also a lot to stay on top of.
Not only do you need to see to the functional ‘personal’ aspects of the trip (like packing your toothbrush and making sure to bring your deodorant), but there are also business and corporate issues to see as well.
So in this post, we’re going to focus a bit on the ‘business’ side of things—and talk about 5 crucial things that all business traveler newbies should definitely keep in mind for that first foray into the wild world of corporate or business travel.
Hopefully, this guide will help you to stay on top of the situation—and out of a complicated pitfall or potential corporate mishap!
Let’s dive in and talk about it.
1. Dress With Business In Mind
You may not need to be reminded of this. But it’s business travel 101:
Make sure to pack with all of your business engagements in mind.
If you’re traveling for disaster relief, make sure you bring the proper work boots, gloves, pants, jacket, your hardhat, etc.
If you’re traveling to attend a leadership conference, make sure to pack some business-casual and business-formal attire, so that you’ll be ready for whatever kind of opportunity or situation that may present itself.
2. Take Expense Receipts/Accounting Into Account
Whenever you spend money while traveling for business, it’s possible that you’re looking at an expense that’s either covered by per diem, or that can qualify as a business expense for your company.
It’s in your best interest to educate yourself about these things before departing for your destination.
If you’re not sure how to handle this particular area of business travel, consider scheduling a meeting with your travel manager, finance manager, or department manager to help you iron out the details.
You should also familiarize yourself with your business’s corporate travel policy.
Speaking of the travel policy…
3. Stick To Your Company’s Corporate Travel Policy
This policy is the rulebook and playbook for how to conduct most of the crucial affairs of business travel—and it’s essential that you follow it.
Of course, these policies tend to differ from company to company. So if you need to go through it and ask questions, feel free to do so. Just do it before you board your first flight.
Otherwise, you’re likely to run into a situation where you may not adequately understand how to orchestrate your business travel affairs—which can lead to setbacks, lost money for the company, and a finance manager who’ll be forced to think twice before turning you loose abroad with a corporate credit card ever again!
4. Stay On Top Of Your Itinerary
Your itinerary was (hopefully) crafted to give you in-depth instructions and a specific timeline for important travel-related activities.
This could include:
- When and where to board flights
- Where to pick up car reservations
- Where and when to check into your hotel
- Where and when to show up for meetings, events, or projects
- And more
Failing to obey its timeline could result in costly setbacks that could even compromise the success of your trip altogether.
5. Photograph Your Luggage
This is a tip that seasoned business travel pros often learn the hard way.
If you travel enough, your luggage is probably going to get lost at some point.
And anything that you can do to help find it is going to help you to expedite the process of getting the issue sorted out, and getting back to business.
Therefore, taking some pictures of your luggage, and keeping those pictures on your smartphone, could mean the difference between airport terminal employees playing ‘find the luggage’ in a dark room without knowing what they’re looking for—and giving them the descriptive information they need to actually locate said lost items.
You wouldn’t believe how much time, effort, and energy this one tip can save you while traveling for business!
There you go.
5 things that every business traveler newbie should keep in mind.
Need a few more tips? Consider checking out this exhaustive list from Inc.com.
All that’s left now is to hit the open trail.