Today’s digital era has allowed the fast and easy communication between people from opposite sides of the world to be possible. However, when you are trying to foster a solid and lasting business relationship, nothing beats deals done vis-à-vis.
Hence, it is essential to thoroughly plan for your business trip to have more chances of making a good lasting impression. Additionally, you can focus your attention more on the objectives of your meeting if you reached your destination feeling relaxed and prepared.
Here are a few steps you can follow for smooth and relaxed business travel.
Make Travel Arrangements in Advance
The first thing to do is to be familiar with your company’s corporate travel policy. Be compliant with it as it is a business trip and not a vacation.
Once you’ve done that, you can now book your travel. When booking, think of the routes you’re going to take and the transportation you’re going to need. You might need to rent a car, or a boat to go travel from one destination to another. Visualizing how to get from point A to point B will also be helpful in thinking about the rides you’ll need. Additionally, you may also consider details like the time it takes to move from place to place, or whether luggage storage is needed. If you’re thinking of working on the move, you might also want to consider if your airplane has a Wi-Fi, or if you would feel better rested if you left a day earlier.
Some companies have budget restraints on their travel policy. Be aware of that and research for the best deal offered.
Choose your Accommodation based on Convenience and Cost
Your accommodation should suit your needs. It is more convenient to book a hotel near your meeting place (if you only have one appointment) rather than stay at a luxurious hotel which may take 45 minutes to get to your meeting place (this may be stressful especially during busy traffic!). You can check the maps on your smartphone to check the distances and the traffic between routes. Thank heavens for this brilliant technology!
Consider costs by comparing the rates of similar lodging types. Ensure that the accommodation is priced fairly as some companies have specifics on the accommodation costs per day.
You may also want to check the amenities of hotels before booking them. Some may serve breakfast that is too late for your early morning schedule. You’ll also likely want free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour room service.
Make an Itinerary
As the blueprint is for an architect, an itinerary is for a business traveler. Your itinerary is also key to a productive business trip. Control every detail by using your itinerary – from the names of those you’re meeting with, the reservations you made, and hotel address. Make sure to give yourself extra time on your itinerary. This is to have ample time for relaxation, or if in case of delayed or overrun meetings, or running into a busy road.
Know Where You’re Travelling To
Whether you’re traveling to a familiar place or an unfamiliar one, make sure to do some research on the place you’re traveling to. This is to prevent unnecessary risks. It is also useful to read up on the existing political situation of your destination. Also check to see if you need any immunizations or other shots.
Also consider that there may be different cultures and customs in the place you’re going to, compared to your own. Researching these differences before you arrive, particularly in behavior and manner, may help you avoid looking like a fool, or worse, offending your clients. Another useful tip is to learn a few phrases such as greetings or “thank you” when you are traveling to a country where English is not its national language. This can make a really huge difference in making a good first impression.
Don’t Forget your Travel Documents and Electronics!
Without your travel documents, your careful planning and preparation is pointless! Traveling to places, between countries in particular, may require certain documents like a passport, and sometimes visa. Research ahead whether you need one or not. Don’t forget your photo IDs too as this may be useful for identity clarifications. A passport or your driver’s license are a few you can keep with you when traveling.
Be productive on your trip as much as possible, so take a laptop or tablet. Don’t forget to pack those chargers and adapters too!
Be Prepared for the Meeting
And you’re done planning for your business travel! Now it’s time to focus on your business goals and plan for the meeting itself.
Making notes of your target objectives may help you focus on what you want to achieve during the meeting. You may also want to research for information about the people you’ll be meeting, as well as the dress code of the place where you’ll meet. If you’re going have a presentation during the meeting, think of the format that you will use. Also ask yourself if your host has the necessary equipment. You can mail ahead for these concerns to avoid delays during the meeting.
Give the best shot at making a good and lasting first impression. Make your business trip smooth, successful, and enjoyable by taking the time to prepare carefully, make the necessary research, and follow this business travel guide.…