Even though nowadays we have all these connective technologies, business travels are still a very popular activity in many companies. When you’re new and young, you find the idea of spending some time in a new and interesting destination amazing. But after you spend some time in airports and various hotel rooms that all look alike, you start missing the comforts of home. As a businesswoman, I’ve met some of my biggest challenges while being on a business trip. What to wear, how to pack, what to do, how to find my way around an unknown city, how to stay safe if I’m alone, these are all things that have bothered me a lot before my first business trips. Here are some tips that will answer all those most important questions.
Always plan ahead. You should never go on a business trip without preliminary preparation. Trust me, once you take off, you will be too overwhelmed with the travel and your upcoming meetings to take care of the small details. So, a few days before your travels, you should research the city you’re going to stay in, the hotel, the distance between the hotel and the places where your meetings are, and interesting places you’d like to visit in your free time (if you have any). Fortunately, our smartphones make it easy for us to find out that information. All you need to do is download a navigation application, type in the addresses and check the fastest route. And the Internet is filled with useful guides for almost every city of the world. If you’re travelling to a distant country, you should also exchange currency a few days earlier and make sure all your documents are up to date.
Take care of your security. If you’re travelling alone, security should be your top priority. Even though we live in the 21st century, some parts of the world are still not a safe place for women. Airlines have strict rules about carrying potentially dangerous objects, even pepper spray, so this is out of the question. What you can do to protect yourself, is make sure your bags are compact and locked and your documents are well hidden close to you. When you’re in the hotel room, make sure the clerk doesn’t announce your room number. This way you may avoid some unpleasant stalking. Also, make sure the door to the hotel room has a double lock and is secure. Use a door jammer if necessary. I would also recommend a self-defence class, it will really give you more confidence.
Pack light. Many of us have this problem, where we are incapable of packing light. But if you want to save yourself all the effort of dragging a big suitcase, you’ll have to plan and restrict yourself. For a week-long trip, all you need is 2 pairs of pants, 5 tops, 3 dresses, some underwear, 2-3 pairs of shoes (2 in the suitcase, 1 on your legs), 1 pajamas, 1 or 2 belts (if needed), some toiletries and hair tools, some basic makeup and jewellery, and that’s it! All that can perfectly fit in one small rolling suitcase. Add your purse to that, and you’re good to go.
Travel smart. There are many types of transportation, make sure you always choose the right one. If your destination is located on the other side of the country, then you’ll go by plane, of course. But if it’s located closely, it will be a lot cheaper to use a train or a bus, or a car even. Compare prices from a few sources, to make sure you’re getting the best deal. If you’re being picked up at the airport, make sure the person picking you has all the corresponding documents, don’t trust the sign with your name on it only. When you leave your meetings or the office, remember to remove your badge. Strangers don’t need to know your name, trust me.
Take full advantage of the situation. Even though they might be tiring and even dangerous, business travels are a great opportunity to meet new people from your line of business, make new connections, and maybe even visit a new and exotic destination. Therefore, you need to take advantage of every single perk offered. Make a detailed itinerary of all your meetings, choose the most interesting local dining places, and choose some places to visit if you have the spare time. We only have 1 life, and we should enjoy every moment of it, even the working ones.
About Your Guest Blogger: Jane Wilson is a business manager, a mother and a home improvement blogger. She is responsible for the Melbourne part of Fantastic Cleaners, a licensed cleaning company, that services both residential and commercial clients. In her free time, she likes to write about her life and projects in her blog, called Modern Housewives.