The company sprang it on you this afternoon that you’re going to be heading off on your first ever business trip. You have some time to prepare but, never having done been on one before, you aren’t sure what the protocol is. What will you need? Relax. Read on for everything you need to get prepared.
Where are you headed? How long are you staying? Is anyone going with you or are you flying solo? The answers to these questions will narrow down your travel and accommodation options substantially. There’s plenty of travel and accommodation booking services such as Corporate Traveller that will help you find an awesome deal, and some can even set you up an account if this is going to be the first of many trips.
No doubt you’ll be taking a smartphone or tablet with you on the trip, so stock up on useful applications. Genius Scan will let you take and archive shots of all your receipts – super handy for reimbursement when you get home if you company doesn’t give you a per diem. TripIt and GateGuru will help you organise your itinerary and point you around any airport you’ve never been to before. They are worth their weight in gold.
3. The Essentials
Make sure you have everything you’re going to need for the trip. Make sure you have chargers for all your devices. Get yourself a nice laptop case. A notepad and a good pen are always going to come in handy. If you’re heading overseas, it will pay to organise some of the local currency at home so you’ll have some in your pocket for when you arrive.
2. The Suitcase
Get yourself one of those smaller, wheel-aboard suitcases – these are incredibly useful for those times when your gate is right at the far end of the terminal. You can take it as carry-on, which is perfect if you have to catch a connecting flight or have a meeting scheduled the moment you land. Try your clothes on before you go – it allows you to check for stains on the suit you haven’t worn since you bought it for the interview that got you this job in the first place.
1. Have fun
Relax. Enjoy yourself. You find yourself in a position not many people end up in, jetting into another city to broker a deal or take an important meeting. You’re going to get to travel somewhere entirely different and sample the lifestyle, albeit in short bursts. After a few trips, you’ll find you start to know your way around a lot of the places you’re visiting – where the best cafes and restaurants are, the fastest way to get from the airport to your hotel. Take it in.
Being thrown into a meeting clear across the country, or even the world, can be a daunting proposition but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about preparation. Know what you need, know where you’re going, know how you’re going to get there and what you’re going to do once you arrive. What was your first business trip like? Fiasco or huge success? What’s your advice for first timers? Share in the comments below!