How to Prepare for a Business Trip

Whether it’s your first ever business trip or you are a real road warrior, it never hurts to have a primer in how to prepare for business travel. Here are some basic tips for making business travel both safe and hassle-free.

1. Book Ahead

The longer you wait to book your travel, the more likely you are to lose out on cheaper airfares and hotel rates. In fact, procrastinate long enough, and you could lose out on airline seats and hotel rooms entirely. Make a point of setting aside your work as soon as you know the travel dates and get it booked. Your company and your sanity will thank you for having these details in place as soon as possible.

2. Write it Down

Once you know your travel details, create a complete itinerary that includes all flight and hotel information. If you have specific meetings at your destination, it doesn’t hurt to include the local address and contacts. Be sure to share a copy of your itinerary with someone at work and at home. That way if you don’t show up when you are supposed to, it will be easier to track you down. This is especially important for international travel, where personal safety is an even more critical consideration.

3. Make a List and Check it Twice

The best way to make sure that you don’t forget anything is to make a list, whether it’s on paper or in your phone. And then as you pack items, check them off. It may seem very basic, but this is the best way to make sure that you don’t take too much or forget something essential, such as a charger or your driving glasses.

4. Pack in Advance

Even though it’s tempting to throw everything into your suitcase the night before, try to give yourself a little more time. Think about the events you are attending and how your outfits will work together. With a little wardrobe planning, you can save a lot of space. Top tip: Pack some workout gear or a bathing suit in your bag so that you can squeeze in some stress relieving workout time.

5. Gather Your Documents and Monies

When you are making your packing list, put proper ID at the top of it. If you are travelling domestically you will want to have your driver’s license, while for international travel you’ll need your passport. Consider getting an international driver’s license if you think you might be doing any driving abroad. Don’t forget to make copies of everything in case you lose your ID, and keep the copies in a separate place. Be sure to verify that you have a credit card with an open balance and bring along some cash for domestic travel, and travelers checks and local currency for international travel. And for extra peace of mind, bring along a  travel wallet to carry your money, ID, and documents - this has saved many a traveller from having their trip ruined by a pickpocket.

6. Protect Your Health

Be sure to bring any necessary prescriptions, a backup pair of eyeglasses, and any other health items that you may need for your trip. Know where you are going. If you are travelling to a remote region, either nationally or internationally, check for any vaccinations or medications that you will need to protect yourself. Remember to check the weather forecast to make sure that you have sufficiently warm or cool clothing. And for international travel, consider getting travel insurance to expedite emergency medical care.  

7, Don’t Forget the Carry-On

When you are packing your carry-on, here are some business essentials that you definitely don’t want to forget: laptop, cell phone, a spare charger/external battery, business cards, a shaving kit or cosmetic bag. (If you can get a TSA-approved toiletry kit, all the better for carry-on.) Put these essential items into your carry on, along with at least one change of clothing.  If your bags are lost, you won’t be completely at loose ends. For shorter trips, your carry-on will be all you need, but you will likely need to check a bag for any trip more than a day or two.

For the best travel essentials for your next business trip, visit the Smart Voyager website.