A business trip can sometimes be a pain in the neck, and seasoned travelers may forget the excitement and anxiousness brought on by a first meeting in another city. For novice business travelers, everything from navigating the airport to making a successful first impression can be nerve-racking, as well as an exhilarating challenge. Here are some tips for surviving your first business trip and making sure it is as successful as possible:
1. Pack light
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, finding ways to travel light can make a world of difference. Avoiding a checked bag makes navigating the airport much easier, and lugging heavy luggage to the hotel or around town can quickly lead to a sore body and a sour mood. Research your airline's specific policies, consult a weather forecast and pack as lightly and efficiently as you can.
2. Make travel arrangements early
Another instance where it pays to be proactive is to build an itinerary as early as possible. You may be booking through someone at your company or by yourself, but in any event, see if you can lock in flights and hotel accommodations sooner rather than later. This will let you focus on preparing for important meetings with total peace of mind.
3. Expect the unexpected
Even if you have a well-crafted itinerary, however, there is always something that can derail your plans. For that reason, it is wise to build in extra time and allowances as needed. For example, book a layover with plenty of time between flights. Similarly, call your hotel the night before you travel to confirm your reservation. Again, covering your bases will leave you more time to hone in on your actual business goals.
4. Stay healthy
Eliminating as much stress as possible while traveling is wise, and when coupled with proper diet and a bit of exercise before and during your business trip will ensure your body and mind are in top shape.
The Huffington Post also suggested packing hand sanitizer, vitamins and other items that will keep you healthy and avoid getting ill.1 It may even be worth researching different allergy risks tied to your destination.
5. Maximize your travel experience
You may be so nervous about your first business trip that you could overlook what an opportunity it is. Entrepreneur magazine found that even if you have time for just one meal out on the town, it's worth finding ways to get out and explore.2 Phone a friend or family member for recommendations, or otherwise get online and see what there is to do at your destination.
6. Do your research
It's essential to not lose sight over the main objective of your trip, and your business goals should take priority over finding a good place to eat. You may be meeting with a client, representing your company at a convention or even just meeting co-workers at another branch or office. Regardless, put in the time to make sure you understand what preparation is necessary for success. Review any notes on your flight or at the hotel to make sure you know names, key figures and points of emphasis.
7. Follow up
No matter the nature of your trip, be sure to send a cordial email or phone call soon after. This is not only a nice gesture but can be useful in extending a relationship or taking a lead or engagement to its logical next step. Be confident, polite and sincere no matter the format, and consider following up on social media as well. Many sites are great tools for expanding your network and strengthening a first impression.
Contact your travel insurance provider for further assistance.
The information contained here is provided by Brafton. AIG Travel assumes no responsibility for the use, accuracy, or interpretation of the information contained herein.