Business trips can be pretty stressful and sometimes exhausting. Worrying about travel arrangements and whether you have packed everything you need can only make the experience even worse. Planning everything ahead and being prepared for what’s to come can bring peace to your mind. You will be focused only on the upcoming meeting and ensure it will be a successful business trip.
In this article, you will learn some tips and tricks to make your business trip more efficient. For more insights from experienced entrepreneurs, sign up for our EWOR Platform and gain access to over 17 courses and a plethora of resources.
Why Is Preparation for the Business Trip Necessary?
Depending on your company and the goal in mind, business trips can be in your country or even abroad. Having a clear plan in mind can help you avoid unnecessary complications.
No matter how hard you may try to organise a perfect trip, sometimes the unexpected happens that ruin all the plans. You might miss a plane or a train, forget your passport at home or lose your wallet. Such things might ruin your trip, that is why preparation is necessary. Moreover, having everything put together during your trip can make a great impression on your colleagues.
Important Tips for Business Trips
If you are going to travel within the country, then the following tips can prove to be useful. They can help you come prepared and avoid trip-related frustrations.
Pack the Essentials
Nowadays, with the help of checklists, you can pack everything you need for business trips. These usually include clothing, electronics, and toiletries. Travel documents are also something you should pack first. An identity card or passport is something one can’t travel without, and forgetting it at home can cause many problems.
Documents Needed for a Business Trip
- Passport, Identity card
- Travel tickets
- Health insurance
- Travel Insurance
- Driving licence
- Shirts, pullovers, trousers
- Jackets, coats
- Other things like gloves, scarves, belts, umbrella.
- Laptop, tablet
- Earphones, headphones
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
- Shampoo, shower gel, conditioner
- Tweezers and razors (don’t put in a carry-on!)
- Hygiene products
- Brush, hair products
- Glasses, contact lenses
- Suitcase, backpack
- Maps, itinerary
- Travel pillow, sleeping mask, earplugs
- Travel locks and luggage taps
- Pen and a notebook
- Snacks, water
- Cash money
- Emergency money
- Credit card, debit card
- Anti-nausea medications
- First aid kit
- Prescribed medications
- Hand sanitiser, face mask
- Anti-nausea medications
- First aid kit
- Prescribed medications
- Hand sanitiser, face mask
Make Arrangements for a Business Trip
Booking flights and hotel rooms in advance can help you get the best prices and avoid worrying that everywhere else is already booked. Check when you can check in at the hotel, as time can vary, and waiting for hours before you can go to the room can be frustrating.
If a transfer from the airport or railway station to the hotel is necessary, it could be useful to book a taxi or learn about the local public transportation. Otherwise, see if your accommodation offers transport services to and from.
Knowing how to manage time is essential while travelling. In a foreign city, it can take longer to get from one place to another due to unexpected traffic delays, traffic jams, etc. If you are not familiar with the place, it can delay you when you have an important meeting. To avoid this, create an itinerary to help you save time and worries. Check the most crowded streets during rush hour and try to avoid them.
If you are travelling with a group, you can create a shared itinerary that will allow your team to visit all the places you want. Apart from the business meetings you have scheduled, you can visit museums, landmarks, or fancy restaurants.
Getting lost in a foreign city can be a stressful experience. To avoid it, download offline Google Maps or buy a physical one. If travelling abroad, learning the basic phrases to ask someone for a direction can also be helpful. Learning the most important landmarks can also help you orient yourself.
Preparation for the Meeting
Check one more time, everything you need for your business meeting. Here are a few things to consider before preparing for the meeting.
- What type of meeting is it?
These could be informative, consulting or problem-solving. Each meeting requires a different preparation approach.
- Learn the location of the meeting.
Asking for the location where the meeting will take place can help you organise transportation in advance and help arrive on time.
- What are the potential obstacles?
Think about what can go wrong during a meeting. Try making reserve copies for important files and presentation materials. If handouts are needed, print them out in advance. It will save you the trouble of trying to find a place to print the documents on your trip.
- What are the desirable outcomes?
Think about what is the purpose of this meeting and what is expected from you. Prepare beforehand the answers to the potential questions you can get asked. If the goal of this meeting is to vote for something, making sure there is a good voting system can help a lot.
- Follow-up tasks
After the business meeting has ended, it is essential to do some follow-up tasks. Share the meeting notes with the members via email or other means of communication. You might also need to communicate action items to each member separately. Moreover, file the notes in the internal filing system
Additional Tips for a Business Trip
The above-mentioned tips are suitable for any trip. But if you are planning to go abroad, you might need to take additional steps.
Before going abroad, try to book roaming with your SIM card provider. If you are unable to do so, you can always buy a local SIM card in a new country.
Check the entry formalities before planning your trip. You might need a visa to enter a foreign country. If so, you need to book an appointment to get a visa in advance.
Moreover, check if you need an identity card or biometric passport to travel. Another thing to keep in mind is that some countries don’t require a visa, but they expect you to have a return ticket upon entering the country.
Do you speak the language of the country you are going to? If not, learning the basic phrases or at least downloading an app that can help talk to the locals can be helpful.
Some apps that can help you learn many languages around the world are:
- Duolingo – has 41 languages as of 2022. It has free and paid options.
- Memrise. It is a free vocabulary learning app that has also premium features.
- LingoDeer. This app is best for learning Asian languages. It offers free classes at the beginning, but later requires payment to continue.
- Italki is a great app to learn a language by speaking it with natives. However, it is not free.
- Busuu is an app that has a free option and has 13 languages you can choose from.
- Lingoda offers different classes for different language levels. This app is not free, but you get a free trial.
Keep in mind, there are many free sources out there on YouTube and other websites that are meant to help others learn a language. Another option is to hire a personal translator for the duration of the trip.
If you suffer from jet lag, try to arrive at your destination two or three days earlier before the arranged meeting, so your body can adjust to the time difference quicker. But don’t forget about your return trip. For example, if you have it scheduled the day before you have an important meeting back home, you might want to reschedule either your flight or the meeting to show up as your best self.
Research the country
If this is your first time travelling to a new country, checking the local customs and traditions is important. Other things you should consider on your trip:
- Cultural taboos. For example, maintaining eye contact with the opposite sex is a big no in Arab countries as it is considered to be a flirt.
- Eating and drinking taboos. For example, offering to split the bill can be considered offensive in Thailand, as the host is usually the one to pay.
- Tipping culture – in some countries, such as Canada and the United States, it is common to tip 15-20%. In others such as Japan, tipping is seen as rude so avoid it!
- Emergency numbers, i.e. the police and emergency services.
- Crime rates. Check what areas of the city are safe and what isn’t.
- Weather. For example, in South Korea, the rainy season starts in June and lasts till the end of July. Even though it is summer, you will most likely have to use an umbrella every day if you visit at that time of the year.
Do you need to take any vaccines before your trip? If so, you need to schedule an appointment in advance. Another thing to consider is whether your insurance covers any health expenses you might have abroad. Sometimes, even straining your ankle and going to the emergency room can cost you a fortune. If your insurance does not cover any problems you might experience abroad, consider buying additional travel insurance. For example, trip cancellation, baggage loss insurance, medical insurance, and life insurance.
If you are bringing your medications with you, check the formalities of whether you can bring them to a foreign country. At times, you might need a medical certificate for medicines, depending on the country you visit. Moreover, make sure you research the regulations about what types of medicine you can bring with you before your trip.
Unfortunately, not all countries accept VISA or Mastercard cards, and sometimes there is no option to pay with a card at all. Obtaining local currency in your home country will enable you to pay for what you want at any time. Checking currency rates and finding the best place to exchange money can save you money. Upon arrival, you can also withdraw or exchange your money for local currency at the airport or train station.
It could be helpful to plan how much money you will need to spend. Are the expenses covered by your company entirely or partially? You should keep any relevant receipts from your business trip. This is useful as you can present tickets to confirm the costs so that your company will refund you. Another reason to keep them is that in many countries if you are not a resident, you can get around a 20% tax return.
For example, in Germany, every resident pays taxes. They are already included in the prices. If you are travelling to Germany and buying different goods and products there, you are paying the tax. In this case, you can ask the cashier for a tax-free receipt. Upon leaving Germany, you just show all the receipts to the authorities, file a tax return, and soon you will get all the taxes you paid back into your bank account.
Make it an amazing experience
Even though you are travelling for work, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the best of it. Try local cuisine, visit famous landmarks and museums, and take lots of pictures. It could be the last or only time you go to this country, so don’t forget to make it a trip to remember.
The life of an entrepreneur can be unpredictable, as new opportunities can arise at any moment. Most likely, you will have to spend many hours travelling from one place to another. Even though travelling could be quite stressful, following these tips could make your business trip more organised and successful.