I consider myself to be a pretty organised person, and a phrase that I follow is “failing to plan is planning to fail”. This approach can be applied to all areas of life, but especially business travel. Here I have provided a handy checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your next business trip.
#1 Book your travel arrangements in advance
Whether it be a rail ticket, hotel stay or airfare, ensure your travel arrangements are booked well in advance to avoid tickets/rates increasing. You can find out why Airfares increase in such a short period of time here.
#2 Check if a visa is required
Visa requirements can be tricky, if you use a Travel Management Company (TMC) to organise your business travel requirements currently they will give you advance notice of any entry or visa requirements needed for your forthcoming trip, saving you time with your documentation or direct contact with embassies.
#3 Research the route from the airport to accommodation/workplace and vice versa.
Prepare yourself for travel by researching the airport you will be departing from or connecting through. This way it enables you to manage your time more effectively and gives you a stress-free journey when transiting through airports on connecting flights. Why not book additional extras such as lounge access/car parking/fast track security and priority boarding in advance of your journey? Your TMC can organise this for you, making the trip from carpark to aircraft and vice versa as smooth as possible.
#4 Do you require inoculations or medication for the country you will be visiting?
When travelling to developing countries, travellers need to ensure they are fully aware of the additional health risks of travelling to their destination, as well as the vaccination requirements. This is to protect against illness/disease situations across the world such as the recent Zika virus outbreak. Your TMC should be used as a guide, but you can also check if you require a vaccination for your destination by checking the MASTA Travel Health Checker website.
#5 Advise credit card/debit card provider you will be using your card overseas.
This step is sometimes an afterthought when you find your card has been declined overseas. Always let your bank know in advance of any trip to prevent your credit/debit card provider blocking your card in case they assume fraudulent activity is occurring.
#6 Do some research on the country you are visiting so you are aware of their local customs and culture.
Understanding local customs is crucial when arranging business travel trips. Some countries have days of religious observation that may affect working days which would be considered a normal working day for UK travellers. Similarly, check the dress code/weather for the trip and pack appropriate clothing. If you know in advance before travelling it will help with any embarrassing transport issues or fashion faux pas whilst there. It’s also worth checking up on business etiquette to make sure you are well briefed for meetings, especially if it is your first visit to a country.
Documents you may require:
Your travel management company will help you with the organisation of some of the
Items listed below. Make a handy checklist to ensure you have the following documents in hand before your travel:
Visa (if applicable)
Credit card/Debit card
Drivers Licence (If planning to hire a car)
Travel insurance document
Work Related items you may require:
Any regular corporate traveller knows that business travel is not light! Business travellers are true workaholics, catching any glimmer of WI-FI signal they can, from the airport lobby….to the local coffee shop, answering emails as and when they can and dedicating every moment to the task in hand. Ensure you have packed all of your technology tools in preparation for all your trip (including any apps you may require) ensuring your gadgets are packed (in the correct bag depending on the country you are flying to and from) in advance.
Laptop & charger
Mobile phone and charger
Pens & notebook
If you, unfortunately, find yourself on a flight enforcing the gadget ban here are “6 things for corporate travellers to do on a plane without a laptop or tablet”
Hopefully, the above checklist will help your next business trip run without a hitch. If you have any tips for a smooth business trip then we’d love to hear from you, leave a comment in the box below.