Your first business trip! It shows you’re ready to take on bigger responsibilities and your boss trusts you enough to represent the company on a work trip. Naturally, with all things new, you may be wondering what to expect and how you can make it go smoothly.
Business trips can be exciting but it can also be intimidating for first-timers. Are there any specific rules? Any dos and don’ts to follow so you don’t mess things up?
Take it easy – the one thing you need to remember is business first, pleasure later. You may be visiting a city you’ve never been before but you’re there at the expense of your company, not on a holiday. Which means, you have to put whatever work scheduling and activities up first before you think of heading out to check out the scene.
That aside, business trips can be enjoyable, productive, and a great learning experience. Here are five travel tips to make it go well.
#1 Pack smartly
Most work trips are usually two to three days long. In this case, limit your luggage to a carry-on so that you don’t end up lugging a heavy suitcase for nothing – and making your colleagues wait while you’re looking for your luggage on the airport conveyor belt. Pack smart – bring only outfits in neutral colours, limit your toiletries to the basics in travel-size, and minimise things like a heavy book or multiple gadgets.
#2 Know your itinerary well
Before leaving on your work trip, find out what the itinerary is so that you can prepare for it in advance. Is there a meeting where you’ll be presenting? Make sure you pack in what you need to give a stellar presentation and get your slides in order! Will there be a dinner event? Find out if there is a special dress code to pack accordingly. Make sure to bring lots of business cards too because you’re most likely meeting new clients or colleagues for the first time and you want to make a good impression that you’ve come prepared.
#3 Schedule smartly
If you have an early morning meeting, book your flight to arrive the evening before so that you get plenty of rest and time to make it for the meeting. Don’t overbook yourself between appointments; give yourself enough time to go from meeting to meeting. Factor in travel time, traffic and unforeseen changes such as flight reschedules. There’s nothing worst than showing up late for a meeting that’s been scheduled way in advance!
#4 Avoid pulling all-nighters
Travelling for work can really take a toll on you, especially if you’re going for meeting after meeting the minute you land. So go easy on the after-work activities. If there is work to be done for the next day, it’s better to call it an early night to work instead of checking out the restaurant everyone’s raving about on Tripadvisor. Thinking of joining your colleagues for a quick drink? Sure, go for it – but don’t drink as though you’re on holiday; know your limit. You can do all the fun stuff on your own time, not when you’re travelling for work.
#5 Sharing a room?
Some companies may require you to share a room with your colleague. Awkward – but there’s really nothing you can do about it expect to take it in stride. And follow these rules: Don’t take up all the toilet space with your toiletries. Keep the room neat and tidy. Avoid hogging the bathroom, and get dressed and undressed in a private space. Don’t spend the entire night watching TV when your colleague is trying to sleep and don’t turn on your music on full blast – use your headphones! And if you snore, offer your colleague a pair of fresh earplugs. And if they snore? Those headphones will come in handy.
Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash