While technology has made business communication a lot easier, there are bound to be circumstances that merit a trip abroad. Business trips represent one of the critical factors why businesses engage in better and foundationally stronger associations, and they will forever stay relevant. Make no mistake though, if you fail to prepare appropriately and in advance, business trips can get very hectic and might come out as not the most comfortable travels you will get to experience in your life.
Experienced people in business know that they have to make sure that everything is in order back at the office, and they have a communication plan set up with team members before they go anywhere. They are also very aware that they have to be well prepared and plan in advance to experience a hassle-free business trip every time they hit the road. Therefore, decent preparation before departure will make your business trip both more productive and enjoyable. Here is our list of essential things you need to know when preparing for a business trip to another city or another country.
Check Your Passport and Keep Your Valuables Safe
Even though it seems like the most obvious thing to do before any international trip, you will be unpleasantly surprised at how many people forget their passport at home before they go on a trip. Make sure that your passport is valid for up to six months from the final day of your travel since the six-month validity passport rule is a general rule that you will encounter when traveling internationally. Check your passport validity, as you may be denied entrance to a specific country if you don’t have six months left on it.
With over 400,000 United Kingdom passports reported as lost or stolen every year, keeping your most valuable travel documents and personal belongings safe while you are gone is essential to enjoy a hassle-free business trip. One of the best ways to store and safeguard your valuables during a trip is in a lanyard wallet, as you will be able to carry your most essential documents on a lanyard around your neck at all times. These wallets are a popular choice for people that prefer to carry something lighter than a book-bag when traveling and are great for carrying passports, various licenses, hotel keys, cash, credit cards, and more. This way, you will always have your passport available in seconds for airport security, and your credit card on hand to make prompt purchases in case of an emergency. Either way, always keep your valuables safe when traveling, especially if residing in a foreign country.
Know the Company’s Travel Policies
Always read through your company’s travel policy before you head off on your business trip. You must be familiar with the company rules regarding business trips and take advantage of the tips and suggestions that your company offers you. Find out which expenses are made available to you and whether you should be charging your accommodation fee to a company credit card or if you will be reimbursed after you have paid for it yourself. The same goes for business lunches and taxi services. Clarify these critical issues with your company before your trip, so you are fully aware of company policies before you get on that plane.
Get Ready for Your Business Meetings
After you’ve followed the right steps for planning a hassle-free business trip, never forget to address the primary business objectives of the visit and the meetings themselves. Prepare e-notes of what you hope to achieve on the trip, whether the aim is to reach out to new business associates, or gain an overview of a new potential client. Equip yourself with as much knowledge as possible regarding the people you will meet and the places you will stay.
Is there a specific dress code in the country you are headed, or if you are visiting a mining site, for example, will you need solid shoes? In case you are going to be giving a presentation, what format will it take, and will your hosts have the proper equipment you need to present such as a computer or projector? Email ahead to check the situation on the other end, and assure you dodge embarrassing setbacks or difficulties that would get your meeting off to an awkward start. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so give yourself the best chance of making a good one.
Organize Decent Accommodation
If your company’s travel policies let you book your accommodation, make sure to shop around for some of the best deals in the area where you’re headed. Your whole business trip will be a whole lot more enjoyable if you have somewhere suitable to stay after a long hard-working stressful day. Book your stay as soon as possible, as hotels that are popular within the business world are often booked months ahead. As soon as your business trip is confirmed, spend a couple of hours on the Internet and find a place where you’ll love to relax after a long day. If you are not fond of hotels, you can also consider booking a professional apartment instead so you will have your own space to chill or work.
Obtain Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is vital to any business trip, and in most cases, your company will provide or subsidize your travel insurance for you. Even if you are only going away for a couple of days, you should always have a travel insurance policy issued with you as it can cover the loss or theft of your expensive belongings and your health. Make sure to check multiple travel insurance providers to find the best deal for you so you can rest assured that you and your possessions are all covered.
Even though business trips can quickly become overwhelming, much of the stress can be easily avoided by being adequately prepared and organized. Keep our simple guidelines in mind and enjoy a hassle-free and productive business trip.