Planning a business trip is never easy? There is so much to plan and execute. You need to plan for comfort yet keep it budget-friendly.
Do it wrong, and you might see yourself spending a significant amount of time rushing to get somewhere, crowds, waiting in airports, chasing cabs, lonely hotel rooms, and whatnot.
Worst? If you are a frequent business traveler, you need to go through this ordeal quite frequently.
However, some business travelers typically view traveling as a pleasant experience and consider it to be one of the primary reasons they enjoy their jobs. Travelling allows them to advance professionally (and personally) while also allowing them to escape the humdrum of the office.
But, we can’t ignore the fact that business traveling can be difficult, especially for first-timers. However, you need not worry as several tricks, tips, and hacks are there to make your business travel smooth and effective.
Check out our top five tips for reducing stress and improving your travel experience.
5 hacks for a smooth business trip in 2021
As a business traveler, you’ll be able to make a good impression and focus on the purpose of your meeting if you arrive at your destination well-prepared.
Preparation allows your mind to focus on the present moment, ensuring that you stay on track throughout that important meeting.
Here are the things you must know to become a more successful business traveler:
1. Make your travel arrangements carefully
Whether you are a business traveler or a travel manager, it’s critical to plan a business trip carefully. The first thing you should do is educate yourself on your company’s travel policy. Because you’re planning a work trip rather than a vacation or a weekend getaway, therefore adhering to your company’s policies is critical.
Then it’s time to make your trip arrangements. This might involve flying, taking the train, renting a car, or even taking a boat. Consider the route from beginning to end, balancing travel durations against cost and convenience.
Visualize the numerous steps of your journey from point A to point B. Consider things like how long it will take to go from the airport to the train station, how long it will take to fill out paperwork at the car rental business, and whether luggage storage is necessary.
Investigate which online corporate travel agency is offering the greatest deals using several sources and comparison sites. Be conscious of any budget constraints imposed by your company’s travel policy once again.
Also, don’t overlook the minor details. Such as is there Wi-Fi on the plane so you can work while flying? Would departing a day earlier allow you to be more rested and prepared for your first meeting? But you are still not done yet.
Make sure you have all of your travel documents in order. If you forget essential travel documents, hours of hard planning and research will be useless. A current, valid passport, travel tickets, and, in rare cases, a visa are required for travel between countries.
Even if you are only transiting through a country and will not be leaving the airport, it is critical to research whether or not you require a visa as soon as possible. The issuance of visas by some embassies can take several days, if not weeks.
Also, remember to bring your electronic accessories with you.
Take a laptop or tablet with you on your trip to stay as productive as possible – it will help you make the most of your travel time. Also, don’t forget to bring the necessary chargers and adapters. When traveling through an airport, you can typically get these, but being prepared is essential. It will save you time and money in the long run.
2. Research your destination ahead of time
You may be traveling to a place you’re familiar with and feel at ease in. Or, you could be entering unknown terrain. If this is the case, a thorough investigation is required to prevent taking excessive risks.
Pickpockets, for example, are common in various locations, so you’ll need to be extra cautious when carrying valuables like phones in your pockets. Reading up on the current political scenario in your destination, depending on where you’re going, may also be prudent.
Maybe you’re visiting a place or nation where the culture and customs are different from yours.
Research the variations in behavior and etiquette before you arrive at your destination to avoid looking foolish, worse, or offending someone.
For example, if you’re taking potential clients out to dinner, do you know when to tip or when to offer people your business cards?
If you’ve to travel to a place where English isn’t widely spoken, you may learn a few simple phrases like greetings and “thank you,” which can go a long way toward establishing a positive first impression.
3. Finalize your accommodation prior to arrival
Planning your business travel is only halfway through if you haven’t finalized your stay. The best way to keep this hassle-free is to pre-book your stays.
This takes away a lot of your problems and hassles, keeping your trip smooth.
A smart way to do so is to consider hotels that are nearest to your scheduled meeting zone. This will give you more flexibility in terms of commute and save time. The best part? You can use your time in more productive time like preparation instead of reaching the place in time.
It is better to check your company’s hotel policies to see if any recommended hotels exist; you might be able to get a reasonable price there as well. When it comes to cost, make sure you research rates for similar types of accommodation and choose something that is reasonably priced – some firms even have a per-day cost that limits the number of hotels you may choose from.
Also, it is a good idea to keep a check on the hotel amenities. Some hotels are catered more towards people traveling for pleasure. This might create a late breakfast facility there which might not suit your needs. Although, if they are flexible in their operations, you can always reconsider. Also, asking about their wi-fi access policy and room service is a critical part to consider before finalizing your bookings.
4. Make a complete itinerary
The foundation for a successful business trip is your itinerary. Use it to keep track of everything, from transportation schedules to people you’re going to meet and hotel addresses. You can also include meetings that have been delayed or overrun.
This is useful for communication and efficiency and a safety precaution if you’re visiting a new location.
5. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for your meeting
So you’ve gone through the processes of organizing a business trip, but what about your goals and the meeting itself? Even if you just want to reach out to new contacts or get a general picture of a prospective new client, making a list of what you aim to accomplish on the trip will help you focus.
Gather as much information as possible on the people you’ll encounter and the locations. Is there a dress code? Will you require tough shoes if you’re visiting an industrial site? What format will you use if you’re giving a presentation, and will your host have all the equipment you’ll need?
Simply emailing ahead to see if they have appropriate screens and cables might help you prevent any unpleasant delays or misunderstandings. Giving yourself the best opportunity of generating a positive first impression is crucial.
Here are a few more business travel management suggestions you should know to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
- Book early: The earlier you book, the lower your costs will be and the more choices you will have.
- Review your travel policy: Spend at least 10-15 minutes reading your travel policy. You’ll gain a complete understanding of your business expectations. You can also update your travel manager on time if you need any modifications.
- Make a detailed trip plan: Any adjustments to your flight, hotel, automobile, or other services after you’ve booked them can be costly. Before beginning the booking process, take the time to plan what you’ll need.
- Use your time wisely: If you’re on the trip and just have one meeting scheduled, attempt to include additional business-related events in your itinerary.
- Make sure you have travel insurance: You should always travel with insurance because anything can happen while traveling. You could get sick, your luggage could get misplaced, or any of a thousand other things could happen. All of this could lead to a significant financial loss. Make sure you’re protected by your travel insurance policy for where you’re going and what you’ll be doing.
Business travel is fascinating, terrifying, and incredible all at once. And business travelers must stay organized, connected, comfortable, and rested as they travel between time zones. Anything that contributes to achieving this balance makes for a happier — and more effective — businessperson, so make sure you’re following the guidelines as mentioned above before you set out on your journey.
The above-mentioned tips, which are guaranteed to work, will make your business travel experience much better. You’ll be able to make the most of your work trip and organize your business travel with ease.