Have you just been asked by your manager to attend an out of town conference, meet with a client across the country or negotiate with a vendor in another state? If you’re a novice business traveler, chances are your experiencing a combination of excitement and nerves. Bear in mind that your hiring manager most likely would not have charged you with the responsibility were they not confident of your abilities. Congratulations are also in order for stepping up to the plate. If you’re a novice business traveler, follow these suggestions from seasoned business travelers and travel executives to ensure your trip is a resounding success.
Check with your Human Resources Department or manager to fully understand the policies developed by your company for business travel. What are the procedures for booking travel arrangements? Are you able to take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and select from the fabulous deals offered on travel packages by Priceline? What are the procedures for filing an expense report and what is the allotment for daily travel and entertainment expense? Find out each of these details prior to booking your trip to ensure you’re getting started on the right foot.
If you’re still hanging on to the old duffel bag from college that you dragged through Europe, now is the time to invest in luggage that is more appropriate for business travel. Select a quality piece that will withstand plenty of travel and last for years to come. It is perfectly acceptable to travel in business casual attire. Avoid flip flops and weekend t-shirts. Remind yourself that you are representing your company on this trip. This is even more important if you are travelling together with senior colleagues from your company or are being met by a vendor, client or coworkers from a remote office. Use your best judgement.
Finally, make sure you have prepared the necessary presentations and research to fulfill the objectives of your trip. Planning is a critical component to successful business travel. You no doubt have been charged with a specific task and it will be your responsibility to fulfill that to the best of your ability. Double check your electronics and laptop peripherals that will be required for any presentation. Commit to maintaining your professional presence even in a surrounding or event that may be unfamiliar to you. This could well be the first of many trips you will be required to make throughout your career. Best of luck to you on your first business trip – you’re sure to be a huge success!