Business trips are like flying, it seems alluring at first but after the 10th time you just want to get it over with
- Person who just completed his 30th Business trip
All jokes apart business is not all that bad. You get to travel to new countries, experience a new culture, and the biggest plus point the food. Not to mention you get to meet new people, and in the process make connections for future ventures. But accepting to go on a business trip, just because the company is paying all the expense can turn out be a decision you highly regret. In no way consider it to be a vacation is the right move. It can largely backfire due to lack of preparations and will just end up looking like a fool. So we have curated some tips if you are going on your first business trip, and have no idea where to start.
1. Get enough sleep
This is quintessential before and during any business trip, always get enough sleep. If you are flying from one of the big metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, you'll have to commute through major traffic. Followed by a heavily crowded airport and flying and then again long commute depending on if the Hotel's nearby to the airport. Even during your stay, always try to get a good night of sleep. Having ample sleep before a meeting or business deal is a must.
2. Pack only what you need
While you are likely to carry a lot of stuff, depending on the length of the business trip, in comparison to vacation it is still quite less. Make imaginary scenarios or a mock of all your business work during the trip. That can help you better to understand what are the major things you need. You can always call your hotel to know about the availability of essentials which can be a hassle to pack or carry. Here's a super-important list of things you shouldn't pack when travelling to save save some space. You want to save more space? say no more here are 7 essential packing hacks for business travellers.
3. Double-check your flight tickets
This is an important trip, especially if you are travelling internationally. Missing a flight can be catastrophic especially when you a meeting to deal the next day, so try to pay extra attention. Same goes when you are leaving the hotel for the airport. Unless you stayed at a Hotel near by the airport, always try to leave for the airport tad bit early. As you are in an unknown city you might be aware of High traffic areas near the airport or simple some construction work on the road.
4. Booking Hotels
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind while booking a hotel is location. You'll always be better of having a hotel nearby the location of your business work, as less commute. If you have multiple points of commute for businesses work in a single day or spread across multiple days with breaks in between opt for hotels on an hourly basis. This would save time commuting back and forth to the same hotel, instead, you can just get hotels near you and take time to prepare or relax. Coming to booking, while booking a room in advance can be useful it depends on the nature of the job. Some trips can have last-minute cancellation, and as normally the company reimburses the expenses of the trip. Premature booking isn't always ideal.
5. Get Your Electronics Ready
Electronic devices play a very important in any business trip. Let it your laptop has all the business, your phone the main point of communication. Even forgetting something like earphones can lead to quite an uncomfortable trip. Similarly forgetting a charger can be very catastrophic as well. While many hotels can offer charges, it is always better for your own.
Most of the times you are travelling alone, so in case of medical emergencies there'd be no one to offer medicines. So it is always a good idea to carry basic mediation of fever, cold, allergies along with whatever personal medication you might have. Apart from that always carry you medical history documents in case of emergency, and the company Mediclaim card.
7. Learn Few Local Phrases
While English in spoken by people in most cities, and if you are travelling domestically same goes for Hindi. Still knowing some specific phrases like in the local language 'Help!', 'Excuse me!', 'Where is ___?', 'Where is ATM?', 'Where is Resturant/Hotel near me?' 'I need ____' etc. This can be prevalent in states where they prefer to talk in local languages like Gujrat, Southern states, and especially prevalent if you are travelling internationally.
8. Leave Valuables At Hotel
This is a precautionary tip, as you are in a unknown city with very less to no contacts. Losing important documents such as Adhar, Pan Card can cause a lot of trouble. The same applies for Visas and permits for International travel. Unless you need to carry a important, you'll always be better off keeping it in your Hotel.
9. Respect The Local Culture
Continuing the precautionary steps, do some research about the culture of the city/ state you are travelling to. This is can save you from ending up in situation where you can hurt someone's sentiment or disrespect cultural norms. Ask a friend belonging to the same culture for some pointers, do your own research from credible sites. Compile a list of 'DO NOTS'.
10. Communicate Your Trip To Someone
Another precautionary tip, especially for international or long business trips is to let someone (family member or close friend) know your whole schedule. This can be greatly helpful in case you get into any kind of trouble. Keep updating them about your trip, so in case you stop communication they can contact your workplace. Also giving the contact for the reception of the Hotel you are staying in to your family member/friend can be handy. Better safe than sorry.
11. Leave Time For Fun At The Last
Remember When we mentioned Business trips are not Vacation, well add 'Until your work is done' to it. If you have some time to spare maybe a day or two or can extend stay, you can take some me time, enjoying the local culture and delicacies. As long as you have completed your work, enjoying after some work never hurts!
These were some important pointers, one can keep in mind while preparing for their first business trip. All of these might or might not apply to trip, as there can be many variables. But the best tip for any business trip is be prepared and take advice from friend and colleagues who have travelled to similar cities or countries.