The first time we’re trusted enough to represent a company on a business trip can be a great milestone in our careers, and a unique experience at that. You may be heading to a certain event to represent your company, you may be giving a talk, or you may be heading somewhere to finalize a business deal in person. Perhaps you’re there to undergo further training to refine and improve your skills, or maybe you’re meeting an investor for your own firm.
No matter what, there’s a scant difference between travel for business and travel for leisure, but there’s no reason why the two can’t blend carefully provided you take a balanced approach. In this post, we intend to discuss a few measures you can use for this effort, potentially aiding you in moving forward and developing a competent approach going forward. This way, you’ll be much more likely to be asked to head on future business trips, as well as avoid pitfalls that can get you or the company in trouble.
With that in mind, please consider the following advice:
Keep All Of Your Receipts
It’s essential that you keep all of your receipts when on a business trip. This way, you can claim them all on expenses later, and it provides the company with a means to reimburse you or except you from the tax. Your business trip is an expense that the company has to pay for, and so for their accounting records, they will need the exact proofs of every single purchase you make with the company card.
It can even be helpful to clear space in your wallet or bring with you a folder to store the receipts securely at the end of the day. It might sound like a pain, but taking photographs or using a scanning app to scan the receipts to your cloud storage folder on your smartphone device can also help should you lose those easy-to-misplace scraps of paper.
Protect Your Devices
When you travel, even if that’s just to the next city over as you stay overnight in a hotel, you will need to use public or client-access WiFi networks that you will need to log into. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your data is safe ahead of time so that you’re under no threat of having your work stolen.
Of course, biometric locks can help, as can multi-factor authentication efforts such as those provided by offline authentication apps or security key devices. We would also recommend that you peruse the best VPN for traveling and for your needs while traveling, as encrypting your data on both sides of the exchange can prevent it from being read and intercepted.
Purchase Comfortable Carryalls
Storage and the logistics of bringing materials along with you will be two necessities you have to plan for when traveling for a business trip. Ths is often aided by the use of a strong, robust laptop carry case with secure locks on it. You may also bring along with you a briefcase for documents, fitted snugly into a larger suitcase with wheels and an extension carry holder you can use to easily traverse airports with.
Depending on how much you need to bring with them, some professionals also bring along a rucksack they can use for more personal items, such as raincoats, thermal drinking receptacles, and more. This might sound obvious, but sometimes with professional dress, we need to make sure our professional bags and carryalls are in-theme and just as secure and protected as before.
Plan Your Route
It’s important to recognize that when we travel for a firm, we are representatives of that brand. As such, it’s unfortunate for us to be late at a time when this could reflect badly on our company. For this reason, using GPS apps, it’s helpful to make sure you plan your route to a convention center, meeting or particular location ahead of time.
This might involve the train routes, as well as backup taxi routes should you need to book one, or reserving a pickup from a taxi company ahead of time, giving yourself half an hour to spare when you arrive at the venue.
This way, you can always be on-time like clockwork, as well as give yourself more time to:
Familiarize Yourself With The Location
Business trips may or may not have something to do with the local culture of an area, or it may not. For the former consideration, it’s essential to know the customs and cultural considerations that may go into business dealings if you hope to make this affair a success. For instance, Arabic countries are often thoroughly hospitable, preferring to spend time with niceties and common courtesies, even giving gifts, before business is discussed. This is seen as a polite way to settle down into business, greeting those before you as people first, not just professionals.
In other countries, such as Japan, too much beating around the bush could be considered a little cagey, and may not work just as well. They consider respecting someone’s time to be flattering, and so may appreciate those who come directly and honestly. Of course, these are just cultural norms and they do not apply to every individual, nor should they be relied on as hard and fast rules. But it’s important to know just a little about this, by reading case studies, business reports, and about the local culture before you get there.
Indulge A Little
Ultimately, a business trip is a fun experience for many and a nice change of pace, particularly for those professionals who rarely make it out of the office. Don’t be afraid to have fun while there in your free time, such as heading to a local bar, or working out in the gym, or trying the hotel facilities such as the swimming pool and spa. It’ll keep a pep in your step during your more formal responsibilities.
With this advice, heading on a business trip will seem like less of a dour chore and more of an enjoyable mission.