For those new to business travel, the initial journey can be fraught with uncertainty and stress. However, with realistic expectations and key information, business travel can be quite an enjoyable experience. What do you need to know for your maiden voyage? Ensure a smooth trip with these corporate travel management tips for first-time business travelers.
Make Sure Corporate Travel Policies are Clear
A well-written, regularly updated corporate travel policy can quell the fears of many first-time travelers, ensuring compliance, and eliminating uncertainties surrounding reasonable and customary expenditures.
Schedule a Direct Flight
Booking in advance and choosing a direct flight saves time and prevents delays due to layovers, canceled, and missed flights. Sign up for frequent traveler programs to take advantage of perks on and off the clock.
Carry-on whenever possible to avoid lost luggage anxieties, carrying a duffel or roller bag and laptop bag to stow beneath the seat during the flight. Make a packing list, beginning a week ahead, so you won’t forget important items, or leave them behind in a rush. Create a pre-packed toiletries bag that you restock on return for grab-and-go convenience. For clothes, pack practical, versatile pieces, including mix-and-match tops and pants, one pair of sneakers, and one pair of comfortable business shoes. Leave expensive jewelry and electronics at home to avoid travel snafus.
Ensure a Comfortable Trip
When possible, get TSA pre-check status or global entry to avoid long lines at security. Eat as healthfully as you can before and during your trip to avoid “travel tummy.” Don’t forget to hydrate, as this is a common cause for traveler fatigue. If possible, don’t join coworkers or superiors on the plane. It is unwise to discuss client relations in public. Instead, use flight time to gather your thoughts, plan trip goals, catch up on emails, or read.
Prioritize Your Week
On arrival, remain focused on the reasons for the trip. Outside of business, try to maintain a normal routine as much as possible, eating, working, exercising, and connecting with family on a schedule. This will help curtail jet lag. At business meetings or functions, immerse yourself in the office culture, networking, and building relationships.
Make the Most of Per Diems
Request a corporate credit card to avoid expense forms. Ensure a thorough understanding of company per diem policies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner expenditures, as well as other potentially covered items such as minibar snacks, room service, movies, dry cleaning, and transportation. Research local hot spots before your trip, looking into the local cuisine, activities, and events, so you’re not scrambling to find something to do after-hours. Business trips don’t have to be boring, and there are many ways to stretch your travel dollars.
Always Engage in a Post-Trip Review
Before diving into backlogged work and emails, inform management or team members about important details surrounding your trip.
Beat business travel butterflies. Plan for success with the help of the business travel management experts at GTI Travel today.