How to Organize a Business Trip
Whether it’s your name on the travel documents or you’re a travel manager, planning business travel thoroughly is important. Your first step should always be to familiarize yourself with your company’s corporate travel policy. You’re making travel arrangements for a business trip, not planning a personal or a short break, so being compliant with your company policy is essential.
Next, it’s time to book your travel. This may involve traveling by air, rail, car hire or even boat. Think about the journey door-to-door, balancing travel times against cost and convenience. Visualize the various steps of the trip from A to B. Consider details like how long it will take to move between the airport and the railway station, the time it takes to fill out paperwork at the vehicle hire company, and whether luggage storage might be useful. Use multiple sources and different comparison sites, researching which companies are offering the best deals. Again, be aware of any budget restraints in your company’s travel policy.
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Don’t forget the small details. Does the airplane have Wi-Fi so you can work on the move? Would leaving a day earlier allow you to arrive at your first meeting better rested and prepared? At this stage, the more carefully you prepare, the more confident and relaxed you’ll be when you depart.
Preparing for business travel is, of course, only half the job. Choosing the best accommodation for your requirements is also essential. If you’ve only got one meeting place to reach, make sure you book a hotel that’s nearby – rather than be swayed by a more luxurious option that might be a stressful 45-minute trip away. Use maps on your smartphone to measure distances from the station or airport to your hotel – and remember the roads and transport networks will be busier at certain times of the day.
Check your company’s hotel policies to see if there are any preferred hotels – you might be able to get a good deal too. When considering the cost, make sure you compare rates for similar types of accommodation and make sure you select something that’s fairly priced – some companies even stipulate a cost per day that would limit the choice of hotels.
It’s also a good idea to pay close attention to the amenities at the hotel. Some tourist-focused hotels may serve breakfast too late for your early starts, and as a business traveler, you’re likely to want free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service, and plenty of power points for charging your devices. IBIS ACCOR GROUP gives travelers access to trusted peer hotel reviews and can be a handy tool for business trip planners.
So you’ve followed all the right steps for planning a business trip, but what about your business objectives and the meeting itself? Making a note of what you hope to achieve on the trip can help improve your focus – even if you simply want to reach out to new contacts or gain a general overview of potential new clients. Arm yourself with as much information as possible about the people you’ll meet, as well as the places they’ll be. What’s the dress code? If you’re visiting an industrial site, for example, will you need sturdy shoes? If you’re going to be giving a presentation, what format will it take, and will your host have the equipment you need? Simply emailing ahead to check if they have suitable screens and cables can ensure you avoid embarrassing delays or confusion that would get your meeting off to an awkward start. That first impression counts so give yourself the best chance of making a good one.
By setting aside the time to prepare, conducting some detailed research, and following these business travel tips, you can optimize your chances of a productive and enjoyable trip.
Travelwada Team wishes you a pleasant trip!