Business travel can be incredibly stressful and the pressure for things to go smoothly is high. The difference between a successful, low-stress business trip and one that isn’t comes down to planning. Missing a connecting flight or realizing your hotel is 45 minutes from where you need to be can lead to missed meetings and missed opportunities. So, whether you’re going to be gone for a few days or a few months, we’re going to share some planning tips for your next business trip.
Outline Your Business Goals
Your travel should reflect your business goals. For example, consider how you would plan for each of these trips:
- A casual conference held in a hotel for a few days;
- A city with meetings and formal occasions across multiple locations
- An extended, month-long trip with hands-on work
- An international trip
The goals of these trips are different, so you can’t plan them out the same way. For each one, you’ll pack different clothes, book different types of accommodations, consider local transportation, and so forth. So, your first step to a successful business trip is knowing exactly what the trip entails.
Book Travel and Accommodation Early
Once you’re clear on the trip, make sure you don’t delay when it comes to checking your documentation, securing flight reservations and accommodations as waiting too late causes the prices to go up and you may miss out on your preferred travel times and locations.
Double Check Your Documentation
Make sure your license isn’t expired, or, if you’re traveling internationally, your passport. It can take a few weeks for these to get updated, so get this done early so you don’t forget.
Booking a Flight
When you’re booking your flight, be realistic about your needs and any delays or challenges you may face. For example, you may want to consider booking a flight the day before your meetings start so you can get a good night sleep rather than catching the earliest flight out and dealing with fatigue and even risking missing important meetings due to delays.
Choosing the Right Accommodations
For short business conferences, a hotel is generally the preferred accommodation, but make sure you find one that has the amenities you need, whether that’s free high-speed Wifi, a gym, onsite restaurant, or a full-service business center. If you’re going to be in the same location for a month, such as if you’re overseeing a long-running project or working in a different location for a month or longer, a corporate apartment may be more comfortable, convenient, and cost-effective alternative to a hotel. Short term apartments offer the amenities of home, allowing you to unpack, cook, and do your own laundry in your own space with the convenience of a hotel.
If you’re flying to your out-of-town trip, you may need to consider how you’ll get around, whether you will rent a car or rely on a ride share program like Lyft or Uber. Again, this is where knowing locations and destinations comes in handy. If you will be there more than a few days, will be traveling to multiple locations, or your hotel is far from the airport, you may be better off renting a car, whereas ride sharing works well on shorter trips with minimal driving.
Write Out Your Itinerary
Not only will a detailed itinerary allow you to stay organized, but you can give a copy of it to your office and your family so they know where you are and how to reach you. You’ll want to list:
- Flight information, including flight times, your flight number, and airports;
- Accommodation name, address, and phone number;
- Meeting times and locations;
- Meal and entertainment arrangements;
Anticipate and Track Your Expenses
If your company reimburses your travel costs, or you need to account for spending with a company credit card, keep track of your expenses. Instead of trying to manage receipts, use a mobile app like Mint to take pictures of your receipts and log your purchases.
Stay Safe and Healthy
The most important aspect to traveling, especially if you’re alone, is to stay safe and healthy. This means:
- Be mindful of where you’re keeping your money, passport, and gadgets and avoid keeping all your money (whether that’s cash, credit cards, etc) in one place.
- Look up safety and areas that may not be best for travelers, especially people traveling alone.
- Look up an urgent care location that accepts your health insurance in case you get sick while you’re gone.
- Get plenty of rest so you’re sharp during meetings.
- If traveling internationally, be aware of whether tap water is safe for drinking or if you should choose bottled, purified water.
Book Your Short Term Apartment in North Carolina
If you’re traveling to North Carolina, including Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Chapel Hill, and you’ll be here for a month or longer, let us make your stay more comfortable. To learn more about our short term rentals, call us at 336-299-1312 or fill out the contact form below to get started.