Traveling for work can be a mix of headaches and excitement. Don’t let the big screen trick you into thinking you’ll be living out of a suitcase and scrambling to make your flight! Traveling for work can be what you make it! If you come prepared, your trip will flow nice and smooth. If you procrastinate, then of course you will encounter a few bumps on your trip.
While the idea of business travel can most definitely be frustrating, it doesn’t have to be. Keep reading for 5 rules to follow when traveling for work, so you can make your trip as pleasant as possible!
#1 Make Comfort a Priority
Always remember to keep “you” first in everything you do. You will be the one with the experience, so why not make the travel as smooth as possible? Ensuring your comfort is a priority can look and feel differently for each trip and traveler but let’s first begin with the basics.
When booking your flight, choose a seat that is comfortable for your liking. Prefer an aisle seat? Go that route. Want a window? Book that! Don’t need to take a flight with stops? Avoid it! If you have the option to fly business class, take it. Remember this travel is not for leisure, it’s for work – therefore why endure an uncomfortable transit and find yourself limited to perform at the top of your ability.
#2 Stick to a Carry-On
When traveling for work, it usually requires you to be in a new location for a short period of time pending the task assigned to you. In many cases, travel for work can look anywhere between a few days to a week. Therefore, sticking to a carry-on will help save you on time and avoid the stress of delayed or missing bags.
Some airlines can be a hit or miss when checking in luggage and the last thing you need to be worrying about is putting a claim in for lost luggage and having nothing to wear while traveling for work.
When you stick to a carry-on, you reduce the risk of outside interference messing up your business travel. This allows you to give your full attention to the assignment you were originally traveling for. When traveling with carry-on, airline rules allow for one carry-on bag and one personal item. So, if you pack strategically for your trip, you can get away with bringing exactly what you need!
#3 Familiarize Yourself with Company Policy
Travel policies are multifaceted, benefiting staff and the company. Every company has their own policy, and it’s vital for you to familiarize yourself with it so you don’t find yourself in a situation that can jeopardize not only yourself but the company. A good corporate travel policy helps narrow the travel choices for employees at your company, which makes travel much easier.
In other words, your company has likely already done the leg work in sourcing out the preferred hotels, airlines, and other travel details in providing you with a lower rate to travel for work.
When working within your company’s business policy, employees can reduce the amount of time it takes to plan a trip therefore allowing their focus to be solely on the task they are given to travel to handle. Often times, major companies have departments dedicated to booking travel!
And, whether it’s called out in the policy or not, when traveling for work it’s important to keep any receipts, invoices, or folios that were spent while traveling for work so they can be reimbursed and expensed back.
#4 Pack for Business & Casual
Previously I mentioned the importance of bringing a carry-on to avoid any lost or misplaced luggage. Understanding carry-ons are smaller in size, the goal is to pack strategically in terms of bringing clothes for business and casual wear. Although you’re traveling for work, there may be down time to explore a new city and that won’t call for business attire.
Simply toss a pair of your favorite jeans in your carry-on for some casual wear and enjoy your trip! To give you an idea of what a business casual wardrobe is for working while traveling, your wardrobe can generally consist of tops and jackets that can be paired perfectly with tailored slacks or jeans. Most importantly, a universal comfy shoe to pull off the ideal office-appropriate version of a fashionable and trendy look.
#5 Obtain the Itinerary
When traveling for work, make sure you understand the assignment given to you along with what’s expected of you. Obtaining the itinerary for your work trip will support you in various ways. It will help you book and plan your travel and know what to do when you’re there.
For instance, if you’re traveling around important meetings, your itinerary should help you arrange your flights to arrive and depart accordingly. Your itinerary should also include where you should stay – ideally at a hotel location close to the site where you’ll be working.
Additionally, what you should pack in terms of wardrobe. Will you be outside the majority of the time, or will you be in an office? Confirming your itinerary is one of the best rules to keep in mind to help your travel be as easy as possible.
Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Business Travel
There will be rookie mistakes made at any level, so remember not to be too hard yourself! The next time you are presented the opportunity to travel for work, I encourage you to keep these tips in mind. What rules do you abide by when traveling for work?
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