Some people say that the main cause of failure when it comes to business travel is a lack of preparation. As such, it is important, before leaving home, that a corporate traveller takes time to lay the groundwork. These four basic rules will help anyone travelling for work to have a trouble-free business trip without surprises.
1. Information is key
Corporate travellers usually know that, before a trip, it is a good idea to prepare for their meetings, find out about the people they will be dealing with, have at hand all the documentation about their own company etc. However, they often forget to find out about their destination as well. This is particularly important when it is a trip abroad and, even more so, if the destination is a country with a different culture. It is very important to have some idea of the customs, courtesy procedures, the city and getting around, and even the language, etc. All of this will be highly appreciated by the people you are dealing with and it will enable you to operate more freely and effectively.
2. Keep expenses in mind
All business travel involves expenses for the professional on the move, even though they are reimbursed by the company later. Before leaving, check the daily limits for bank cards, the conditions for using them abroad, anticipate expenses and request an advance, if required. It may also be a good idea to take come cash in the local currency of your destination. In addition, it is also worth reviewing your company’s expense policy to be clear on what, how and how much you can spend, as well as how you have to demonstrate outgoings on the expense and mileage claim spreadsheets.
3. Be thoughtful with your hosts
Taking a small gift for the people you are dealing with will always be a welcome gesture and may help to get them on side. The type of gift will depend to a great extent on the degree of trust and closeness with the other party, so you should take a lot of care. An option that is usually a popular choice, for instance, is a bottle of wine, although obviously not when travelling to a Muslim country or when our host is teetotal.
4. Make the most of dead time
On business trips lasting a few days, you are likely to have some free time between meetings or at the end of the working day. If you have not planned anything in advance, you may find yourself at a loose end and waste this time. However, if you do your homework beforehand, this dead time can be a great opportunity to discover the city or to do some activity that you like, giving you the chance to relax and enjoy yourself.