How to Prepare for Your First Business Trip

business travel

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.

5. Booking

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.

4. Apps

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!

3 Unique Ways To Help You Get Out of Debt

Debt can be a real burden for individuals and finding a way to help get out of debt can be a challenge that can add stress and discomfort to their life. While the most common ways of getting out of debt are trimming expenses and using excess funds to repay debt or declaring bankruptcy, both of these require sacrifices that can hinder your lifestyle or ability to borrow in the future. This article will discuss three unique programs to help get out of debt.

Developing a Payment Plan with Your Lender

One of the best ways to help get out of debt is to contact your lender and to seek alternatives for the existing debt terms. Some lenders will not discuss anything with you until you miss a few payments, so doing so may prompt them to negotiate a bit quicker than they would with a loan that is current. Contact your lender and see if they can modify the terms more in your favor. Explain that you are experiencing difficulties meeting the repayment terms and request a term modification. If they are unwilling to negotiate, threaten bankruptcy. Lenders want their loans to be repaid. By filing a claim for bankruptcy, you can use this as a tool for obtaining some loan concessions from them.

Ultimately, you will have the option to withdraw your bankruptcy application and to renegotiate your loan terms with them. By threatening and filing for bankruptcy, you have a real negotiation tool that can be used to obtain better terms from creditors that may include a reduction in loan principle, a lower interest rate from them, an interest deferment period, or other loan concessions. Many creditors will reach out to you once you file for bankruptcy but if not contact a lawyer with experience in negotiating with creditors and request some concessions in exchange for prompt repayment.

Refinance Your Debt

Some loans have particularly onerous terms that may make it hard for you to meet your financial obligations and to repay the debt. If the debt that you have has a higher interest rate attached to it than the prevailing market rate for a borrower with the same risk profile as you, it may make sense for you to refinance your debt under different payment terms (interest rate or repayment period). By doing this, it will be easier for you to meet your financial obligations.

If you are having difficulty finding better loan terms on your own, you can consult with someone who has a significant amount of experience in loan modification to provide you with assistance.

Contact a Governmental Agency or Not-for-Profit for Help

There are many different programs out there that are available for people who are looking for help in repaying debt and getting out of financial difficulty. Often these programs are available to those who are minorities or who have low income levels. Some programs are only available to people who obtained their debt in certain ways, such as through student debt programs. One common program that assists some people in debt is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program which is only available to those who work in the public sector. Qualifying for some of these programs may not be difficult though it is often difficult to maneuver through the various applications and paperwork that is needed to be approved for these assistance programs. Using a legal consultant to complete the applications that can help you receive the assistance that you qualify for and can help you to get out of debt as a result.

Conclusion

While having a significant amount of debt can be challenging, there are ways to get out of debt without making the sacrifices that may be needed by trimming your expenses or going through with a bankruptcy filing. Consider one of the three unique options noted above to help you get out of debt and to put you back on the path of financial prosperity.

About the author

Robert Kent is a resident of Miami and works as a freelance article writer specializing in finances and financial law. He is presently attending FloridaInternational University School of Law. He’d like to give a special thanks as well to Fort Lauderdale attorney Peggy Cruz-Townsend for handling the legal side of his own financial troubles when he first started school.