Obviously, not all trips are just about fun and adventure – some do happen on emergencies while others travel for business or work reasons.
Yet for this article, we shall be focusing on the business or work side of globe trotting – and tell you, this is more than just wearing a suit and making a fashion walk. It’s about the practicalities of business travel from a real leader’s standpoint – as there are those who take business travel as some ‘escape from work’ or even for flirting.
- Do not go on a trip just for the sake of going on a trip. If you are really dedicated to your company, then you should weigh in the benefits, costs and urgency of traveling. After all, we are well into the internet age where realtime conversations are not just possible but even free. You should know that.
- Develop contacts in the travel industry, obviously, to make travel processing easier, cheaper and faster for anyone in your company even upon quick notice. This is important in emergencies since business can sometimes be very unpredictable as is traveling, so do not forget to secure a travel insurance as well.
- Be an informed traveler. Like, not just being aware of travel warnings but understanding the culture of your destination – of course, especially on the business side of things, from attitude to communication style to social engagements to gift-giving and all.
- Elaborate a goal-oriented yet flexible travel plan beforehand. Stick to your itinerary. And forget the leisure part of traveling (unless it’s in the partner or client’s culture which you should understand firsthand) until you complete what you are supposed to do in your destination. Business before pleasure.
- If you have more than one destination, be on the next one at least 36 hours before the scheduled meeting for better preparedness. Thence, regularly keep in touch with your office and the people you would be meeting with. Communicate and coordinate.
- Being practical has its rewards, too. Travel on business class only when traveling with an important client. Think costs and help your company by trying to forget legroom unless you are a frequent flyer with far better mileage programs or so.
- Have a quick meeting with your team. Delegate accordingly and make sure there are enough operational resources while everyone knows their priorities and responsibilities before you leave. And do not forget about your secretary’s “to do” tasks.
- If you are not the head, make sure someone could temporarily take your place. Leave instructions and whatever files needed to do the job. And review with your boss your basic itinerary.
- Double check your company and travel papers, sample product and whatever equipment or gadget you may bring. Make sure your papers are complete and your equipments are working.
- Try to make a duplicate of all your documents especially important papers and travel documents. One set should basically be with you at all times or as necessary, while placing the originals in your hotel’s front office safety vault for safekeeping.
- As always, keep your stuff to a minimum with just the necessary pair of suits or formal attires, footwear, a couple of casual wears along with your grooming or beauty kit.
- Of course, inform your family the what, where and when of your trip including your hotel bookings, scheduled return date and the preferable time you could be contacted. Just update them if there would be any changes.
Remember, you are the company, be a good and proud representation of it.