Post-pandemic, planning and executing business travel has become even more stressful than usual.
However, after being cooped up endlessly for over two years, people appreciate the power of traveling even more.
Business travel is vital for companies, and it can turn out to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job. However, you need to invest some time and attention in hammering out the travel details before settling back to enjoy the trip.
In advance, taking some action can better prepare you for your business trips and prevent many potential issues before they materialize.
Top 15 Tips for Business Travelers
Whether you are a first-time traveler or a seasoned jet setter, you cannot disregard the need for a checklist of actions you need for a travel prep.
Traveling requires attention to detail, from packing to traveling safely in unknown places. You cannot take any of these aspects lightly.
However, forgetting some details that mess up your travel plans is also a pretty familiar feeling.
Since a business trip also closely affects your team and career, you have to be even more diligent than usual.
Here, we have collected a list of 15 tips that have been curated with experience gained from past mistakes and tricks handed down by seasoned travelers.
These will help you customize your travel prep checklist and act as a guide for the best experience while on the trip.
1- Verify all your travel documents
Get the most critical step out of the way first.
Make a list of all travel documents you need, check the expiration date on your passport, and check empty pages for Visa and travel stamps.
Check whether you need to apply for a Visa for the trip or any additional certifications from the embassy or your company before you set out for the journey.
2- Apply for travel insurance
You cannot disregard the risk of falling ill or getting into an unexpected health crisis while on a trip.
Having good travel insurance is mandatory when you are traveling for business.
The last thing you want is for your health to cost you precious time that prevents professional actions and costs you significantly more.
3- Hire a corporate travel company
Planning a business trip is a massive task. Multiple details are associated with the process.
It can significantly cut your workload. However, trying to handle multiple responsibilities can also reduce planning accuracy.
A better idea is to hire a corporate travel company to manage the travel plans of your entire business. These companies are better equipped to handle the details of planning and executing the business trips.
They also handle cataloging employee travel requests and aligning them with the immediate business requirements to prioritize trips and reduce travel costs.
You can use this guide for corporate travel companies to make an informed hiring decision for your business’s best travel outsourcing partner.
4- Travel light
Business trips are essentially focused on work with little to no time left for other activities.
However, you might have to extend your stay under ordinary circumstances or make a run for a different destination right from the trip. Therefore, you have to pack to be prepared for such situations.
As a rule, it is ideal for traveling light for business trips. This will reduce the hassles of bag checks and missing luggage that can ruin a perfectly organized trip before it begins.
5- Book direct travel routes
Whether you are booking a flight or traveling by road, you need to book the most direct route to your destination as possible.
While booking connected transportation can be cheaper, it can also be highly aggravating. Not only do you have to lug your luggage at every transition point, but you also have to make the connecting transport on time.
If you are delayed at any part of the route, you will fail to make the subsequent connecting transport, thus tangling up your entire travel plan. As a result, you will have to shell out more to get out of that situation.
In addition, it will eat into the time set for the business meetings and networking, which is the main aspect of the trip.
6- Book a digital mailbox address
If you are going to be on an extended business trip, you will need a secure forwarding address for all your mail, and a virtual mailbox is just the service for you.
You will get a real street address and postal mail scanning to have all your mail virtually delivered to your doorstep, regardless of where you are in the world at that time.
7- Collect travel rewards
If you have frequently been traveling for business, collect all the travel rewards associated with it.
The best thing is to rack up these rewards and use them for personal travel plans to cut back your travel costs. The travel points or air miles you earn on your corporate travel can be significant.
You can also check with car rental companies and restaurant chains for their reward programs, which can be advantageous for your next trip.
8- Get a comfortable laptop bag
Laptops are fundamental on your business trips. You must carry your laptop even if you do not carry clothes on the trip.
While it is possible to shop for clothes when you land at your destination, the data on your laptop is sensitive and cannot be replicated.
Lugging your laptop through your trip can be majorly distressing if you are not carrying the right bag.
Just investing in a comfortable and secure laptop bag can prevent you from a world of pain, from laptop straps cutting into your shoulders to the bag bursting open at the seams in a busy airport.
9- Dress smart
Appearances are crucial when on a business trip. Traveling can be hassling; you might need to get on a video call at a moment’s notice or even conduct an emergency meeting in an airport.
If your flight runs late, you might not have the time to check into a hotel before rushing into the business meeting. Be prepared for such scenarios by dressing smartly even when you are traveling.
Choose outfits that are comfortable and chic. Most importantly, look for materials that do not require ironing or steaming after hours of traveling so you can start networking immediately without worrying about your appearance.
You can also pack a bottle of wrinkle-release spray to adjust your outfit before you land for the meeting.
10- Invest in Global entry
If you have a TSA Precheck plan or Global Entry, it will save you tons of stress and additional travel time. You can move through shorter lines at security.
In addition, you will not need to remove your laptop bag, beverages, or shoes at every security check.
Invest in a 5-year membership to get a discount on the costs while ensuring hassle-free traveling for years.
11- Sleep on the flight
If you are traveling worldwide for your business trip, try sleeping on the flight to avoid jet lag later. This will help particularly if you have back-to-back meetings as soon as you land at the destination.
12- Always hydrate
Traveling can be strenuous without the added issue of dehydration.
Always carry a bottle of water and continue to hydrate throughout your trip. You can also ask the cabin crew to serve you some water or juice and have it at infrequent intervals.
Dehydration is quite common during travel. It is easily parched, especially in the recirculated air within pressurized flight cabins.
Dehydration will increase the effects of jet lag and can trigger severe headaches.
13- Carry your entertainment
If you must stay active and sharp on the journey, you must bring your entertainment resources.
While flights provide some options for entertainment, the same cannot be said for road or rail travel.
Just be prepared to waste time with a good book, podcast, or movie loaded on your device.
14- Don’t eat alone
Always combine your eating time with networking and associating with your colleagues or clients on business travel.
You can utilize mealtime to socialize in a semi-formal setting to take the pressure off of the purpose of the meeting.
The CEO of Kimpton Hotels & restaurants, Mike DeFrino, swears by this principle of never eating alone while traveling.
15- Explore the travel destination
Finally, make it a point to explore the city where you are traveling for business.
Business trips are meant to enlarge your worldview and give you more experience.
You cannot gain that by shuttling through flights and closing yourself up in business meetings throughout the trip.
Business trips mainly focus on work, but you should not take it for granted. It is a slice of your life to enjoy, learn from, and make the most of it.
Business trips can be an excellent way to explore new destinations at the company’s expense.
If you are planning right, you should complete your business purpose and carve out some time to relax and experience the destination.
Do not just stay cooped up in your hotel room. Instead, walk or head to a local restaurant or a bar to soak up some local color and remember the trip your whole life.
In the comments section below, let us know if you do things any differently during your business trip.