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Many industries nowadays require you to travel. If this is your first time, you might not be aware of business trip etiquette. Make sure you read through these handy tips before getting on that flight, and ensure a stress free journey.
Don’t Leave Everything Until the Last Minute
If this is your first time on a business travel trip, it’s a good idea to make your business plans two months in advance. Make sure you’ve got all the necessary documents you need and have time to renew your passport if it’s coming to the end date. Passports can take up to six weeks to process, so make sure you allow yourself enough time.
Some countries may require a visa. Don’t just assume you know the requirements. Do your research before you fly. If you’re travelling internationally, you might want to consider arriving one day early to overcome your jet lag.
Do Keep All of Your Receipts
It’s important to keep tabs of your travel expenses, so make sure you keep track of all expenditures and have them ready for the office for when you get back home. Stash all your receipts as proof of company spending and be wise when spending someone else’s money.
Don’t Abuse Your Position
A paid for flight and change of scenery from the office is no doubt an exciting opportunity. This might sound a bit preachy but it doesn’t mean that your trip is an opportunity to drink to excess or act as you would at the office Christmas party. Keep a tiny shred of decorum for meeting potential clients!
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Do Dress to Impress
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be suited and booted, but you want to represent your company well. Be smart and maintain a good posture, especially if you’re going to be meeting new clients. Brogues are perfect for business attire, and a blazer will help to polish your look. For women, a pencil skirt and white shirt is the standard business attire. You might want to bring a pair of smart black trousers for the flight.
Don’t Get Too Personal
It’s one thing talking about the weather over lunch, but when you’re traveling with other colleagues, try not to to overshare or get too controversial. You want to avoid being the subject of office gossip when it’s time to go back to work. Have your guard up a little bit, just to be on the safe side.
Do Bring Supplies
Remember you are essentially a spokesperson for your company. It’s not only important to look the part, but be the part too. Have your business cards and all your company information packed and ready to hand out. Make sure that all important data backed up on your laptop, and don’t forget a phone charger and plug adapter.
Don’t Forget Important Information
Be prepared with the phone number of the hotel you’re staying in, car services you are using and the company host if you’re traveling with others. If something goes wrong, like your flight is delayed, then you will be able to inform them or contact them for help. Make sure you give somebody else the details of your flight in case things don’t run as smoothly as expected. Always provide your airline, flight number and arrival time).
Do Take Advantage of Travel Reward Schemes
If you’re traveling solo, take advantage of travel reward schemes. You might want to think about getting a premier rewards gold card from creditcardforum.com and using ther points system. Do your research and see what offers are best for you.
Don’t Overlook Local Cultures and Customs
If you don’t know much about the company you’re traveling to, at least get to know a few greeting words in their language. Words like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ can be learnt pretty easily, and show that you’ve made an effort to impress. Also make sure you know the proper use of names and titles. It looks good to at least know some of the language basics of the country you’re visiting.
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Do Take Some Time to Explore
In between client meetings, make the most of exploring a new city. Check out the local hotspots and eateries, and take time to reflect on the day. Even if it’s just a five minute stroll, it will help to clear your head for the next meeting, while taking in the culture of a new place. Take your laptop with you and find a local cafe with wifi.
Here you can indulge in some people watching and get a feel for the area. Just because you’re on a business trip, doesn’t mean you have to overwork yourself. Everyone needs some down time to de-stress.
Don’t Take Your Passport Around With You
If something happens and you lose your passport, you’re going to have to spend a few days waiting for the embassy to issue you a new one. Keep your passport safe in your hotel room. Make a scanned copy of it if you have to, but don’t bring it everywhere you go.
Do Pack Light
You don’t want to be lugging a heavy suitcase around with you for a two day business trip. Make sure you pack light and keep to the essentials. If there’s anything you’ve forgotten it can always be bought abroad, so make sure you have the essential clothing you need and work items.
When packing a suitcase, a good tip is to roll your clothes to avoid creasing. Avoid taking silk shirts and clothes that will need to be ironed out. Knits, wools and cottons aren’t so prone to creasing. Pack the clothes that you’ll need first, last, so they can be accessed easily at the top of your suitcase.
Don’t Make yourself Vulnerable to Germs
The last thing you want to do is sneeze and cough your way through a meeting. Make sure you have some hand sanitizer with you while travelling and always wash your hands before you leave a restroom. Airplanes contain a multitude of germs and viruses, so it’s wise protect your immune system as best as you can.