Each company strives to become productive and successful and strengthen its position in the domestic or international market. To expand and improve the business, one cannot do without new knowledge, technologies, and business partners. Thus, business trips have become an integral part of doing business for millions of people worldwide.
Up to 2020, there have been 445 million business trips annually. Although the outbreak of coronavirus made people suspend business trips, it also gave business travelers more time for considering the best practices and getting fully prepared and equipped for the trips to come.
Using the time of social distancing for planning ahead is a great way to stay productive and composed. Thus, be sure to attend to our list of successful business trip secrets and create your own perfect business travel checklist.
Tips for A Perfect Business Trip
Plan Each Business Day in Advance
Good preparation is the secret to a successful business trip. Business people usually value their time very much; therefore, the beginning and duration of all business events (meetings, negotiations, seminars, training, conferences) are agreed upon in advance.
Write down in detail all the days of your business trip, starting from the very arrival: hotel accommodation, relaxation, business breakfast, direct meetings/events, as well as sightseeing/cultural programs. Consider possible time differences in advance to avoid misunderstandings. Having a clear plan on hand, you will take the maximum from the trip.
At the stage of organizing a trip, you need to contact partners, customers, and contractors, with whom you will communicate at the destination. You should compare their schedule with your own in advance in order to choose the best time for meetings. Think about where it will be more convenient for you to communicate – in the office of a partner company or in neutral territory. This will directly affect the choice of your hotel.
Follow Time Zones
We often forget about such phenomena as acclimatization, change of time zones and jet lag. The process of adapting the human body to changing time zones is not a constant phenomenon but is accompanied by unpleasant symptoms. Therefore, we recommend that you think in advance about how not to oversleep and not to harm your wellbeing during a business trip.
Try a clock widget such as World Clock Today for iPhone, or Dual Clock Widget for Android. Due to the time difference, you can get calls and messages at an inconvenient time. In this case, you can utilize the Do Not Disturb function. Be sure to keep your alarm clock activated!
Take Care of Transportation
In order to have time to see the maximum of interesting things in unexplored places, you need to rationally spend your free time between business meetings. Thus, the use of taxi services or renting a car will help you to quickly overcome significant distances, which means it provides a chance to visit many more attractions.
It is necessary to think over and draw up in advance all the routes. Determine for yourself how you will get from the airport to the hotel, and from the place of residence – to business meetings.
Charge your Gadgets
Charge all your electronics before flying. Carry travel chargers with you in case your battery runs out. You never know if you will need a laptop during the flight to work or immediately after the flight during the meeting. In addition, you may need to use GPS applications from your mobile phone when you arrive at your destination. Therefore, you should always be prepared in advance.
No Paper Documents
Make a list of working documents and papers that you need to take on a business trip and be sure to transfer them into a digital version. Mark sheets that you should put your signatures on. You can use Google extensions to sign them. Attention to these details will help to avoid unnecessary fuss (re-signing, sending by courier, etc.). Switching to the digital network during your business trips will make your trip easier. Besides, with modern cloud technologies, you can be sure you won’t lose important data.
To stay productive and connected, you will need constant access to fast and secure Internet connection. Considering the wealth of security risks, public wifi is not an option for business travelers. Thankfully, the selection of portable wifi routers has recently expanded with another revolutionary solution – a portable LTI nect MODEM that is compatible with laptops, doesn’t need charging, and doesn’t tie you into contracts. It not only receives 4G LTI signal but also distributes it to up to ten gadgets. So, it is a good idea to preorder one to be ready to have a portable internet solution handy when the travel restrictions are taken down.
Just as in the case of documents, store all the necessary contacts online. It is sound to save all the emails and phone numbers that may come in handy on a business trip in different situations: hotel, meeting party and partners. Warning about being late or specifying the address will be more convenient with the right contacts at hand.
Use Time on the Commute with the Benefit
Business travelers make up 12% of airline passengers representing 75% of airline profits. Why is air travel the best choice for a business trip? First of all, this will save valuable time, which can be used for a detailed study of the action plan during the negotiations. Secondly, it is one of the most comfortable modes of transport that will allow you to look into the business tasks or just relax to arrive at a business meeting focused and energized.
Bring Your own GPS
GPS systems on rental cars can be pretty outdated. Don’t risk skipping your turn and bring your own instead. Keep it updated with the latest software so that it can deliver you to your destination on time. And definitely don’t use your phone – calendar reminders and calls are unnecessary distractions while you’re driving.
Business Trips During a Coronavirus Pandemic
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend refraining from traveling to China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, where most cases have been diagnosed. Other countries offer similar recommendations. Such warnings are “taken seriously,” according to Dr. Richard Dawood, travel medicine specialist and medical director at Fleet Street Clinic, London.
We do recommend you to attend to the warning and avoid business travels during the active stage of pandemic unless they are indispensable. Nonetheless, if you are still compelled to go o a business trip, follow the recommendations:
- wash your hands regularly and wear a protective mask
- wipe with antiseptic wipes any surfaces where pathogens may remain – folding tables, armrests, etc.
- avoid shaking hands with business partners – this change in business etiquette is widely accepted now
- choose airline travel: almost all international airliners are equipped with HEPA filters that refresh the air every 2-3 minutes thus causing less risks compared to other types of transport.
If earlier business trips were perceived as an inconvenience that violates the usual work process, now, they have been increasingly seen as an advantage, an opportunity to develop professional skills and travel the world.
Although the pandemic has changed pending business travel plans for millions of people worldwide, it might be a good time to get prepared and think how to make the most of business trips when things are back under control. We hope our tips have helped you do this.