You're climbing the career ladder or have successfully started your own business, and your first business trip is coming up soon. In addition to the stresses and strains of a normal trip, many organizational challenges await you.
With this guide for new business travelers, you'll make sure you don't forget anything important.
A business trip is not a relaxing vacation
When you embark on a business trip, you have clear goals in mind: You want to acquire customers for the company, expand partnerships and collaborations, conduct market research, increase sales, or educate yourself at a conference. A guide for new business travelers can't do without pointing out that work-related travel is anything but a paid vacation.
Therefore, prioritize your goals and make sure you accomplish them within the estimated travel time. This clarity will increase your motivation and allow you to structure your day in the best way possible. This will give you the opportunity to enjoy the usual benefits of travel alongside your work commitments.
Plan your business trip carefully
If your employer sends you on a business trip, they will take care of the elaborate planning. The situation is different if you are self-employed or an employee with management responsibilities. Even with business trips, it is important to keep travel costs as low as possible. The money you save thanks to careful planning can be invested in other business areas. Secure price advantages by planning your trip in advance. Planning early means you can often find cheap airline tickets and hotel rooms.
You'll also have more flexibility in choosing travel times and hotel locations. For some trips abroad, you will need to clarify entry requirements in advance. The bureaucratic effort is not to be underestimated and requires you to provide various documents to the authorities in the destination country. The earlier and more detailed you plan your business trip, the more flexible and relaxed you will remain if unexpected difficulties arise.
The most important things at a glance - create a packing list for your business trip.
You are sitting on the plane. Suddenly you remember that you forgot something: Your toothbrush, your favorite shirt or some of your sports equipment. What is at best an annoyance on a vacation trip can jeopardize the success of a business trip. Therefore, before a business trip, leave nothing to chance and make a detailed packing list. What clothes will you wear, what cosmetics and toiletries will you carry? The documents you need for your meetings are of primary importance to you. Internet-enabled devices such as laptops and smartphones allow you to access your business data from anywhere. Storage media such as USB sticks and SD cards ensure that you can transport large amounts of data safely.
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Make sure that you carry not only your business documents, but also airline or train tickets, all booking confirmations and your passport, as well as a visa if necessary, when you leave. You can present most documents in legally valid form electronically. Therefore, before you leave, check that you have the correct devices with you, along with their passwords.
Find out about the cultural customs in the destination country
One piece of advice for new business travelers is to consider the cultural customs in the host country. Different social norms and behaviors can inadvertently lead to misunderstandings and upsets.
On a normal vacation trip, there is no threat of lasting negative consequences; on a business trip, a faux pas can make the difference between success and failure. Therefore, inform yourself about the historical background of the target country. By doing so, you will show respect to your hosts, create a basis for relaxed conversations, and know which behaviors and expressions to avoid. By learning about the culture of the target country, you also have the chance to identify other potential business partners and sales markets. Once you have gained insight into the market trends and economic situation of the country, this can be of great benefit in the upcoming negotiations.
Pay attention to your safety when traveling on business
Not every business trip will take you to safe destination countries with low crime rates. Organized gangs specialize in spying on wealthy business travelers at airports or train stations and then stealing from them. Therefore, keep an eye on your luggage and valuables and make sure no one has unauthorized access to your bags and suitcases. Always carry your most important documents such as your passport, visa, tickets, credit cards and business documents. Before you leave the hotel, make sure you have a safe place to store them.
Inform trusted people of your travel plans. This includes flight details, your hotel address, and key contact information. For a safe business trip, it is also advisable to find out about endemic diseases in the destination country and get vaccinated in advance if necessary.
It's rare for a trip to go smoothly. Before your first business trip, unlike a vacation, you are especially tense and hope that no problems will arise. Deviations mainly cause stress when schedules are tight. Therefore, create at least one alternative plan as part of your planning. Occasionally, air or rail strikes occur, so lack of travel alternatives can put an end to your business trip before it has even begun. Also, remain flexible about your planned itinerary during the business trip: anticipate impromptu meetings, negotiations, or other unexpected challenges that also present opportunities.
Use apps for business travelers
With the help of apps that manufacturers have developed specifically for business travelers, you can streamline the planning and execution of your first business-related trip. Conveniently book flights and hotel accommodations with software, and receive automatic notifications when issues arise to respond quickly and efficiently. Apps also allow you to store and manage important travel documents and business records electronically.
Bottom line: essentials for business travel.
The first business trip is challenging and can cause stress. With the above travel tips for business travelers, you focus on the essential aspects of your trip.
An Oberwerth bag will accompany you safely and reliably on your next business trip - whether it's a laptop bag or a weekender!