Alex Wright

First Business Trip?: 5 Expert Tips for Success

Traveling for business can be extremely rewarding but more so than not, it can be very stressful, especially for first-timers. If you find yourself in a position where you’re needing to conduct business on the road, the stakes are likely high and people are counting on you to perform. The pressure can be overwhelming and if you’ve never been in this situation before, there is even more room for error. Despite the expectations to deliver, there is no need to panic! There are plenty of tips and resources to ensure you conquer your business goals. While most seasoned professionals have mastered the art of travel, they too had to take their first work trip at some point. Fortunately, you’re already ahead of the game by reading this guide. Here are 5 expert tips to ensure success.

Make a Packing Checklist

This might seem silly but a checklist could be the difference between being a hero or zero. Take some time to think about what you’ll need to be successful and organize your thoughts. As you pack each item, cross-off your list to ensure you’ve established a reliable system. Once you have a few trips under your belt, you can ditch the list but this nifty hack will help calm your nerves and ensure victory.

Pack Smart

Packing can be tricky for a few reasons. It’s wise to pack light so you can avoid checking your luggage but you don’t want to limit your options either. A lighter bag will allow you to navigate more seamlessly throughout your location but it’s important to pack the essentials. You should plan on bringing some of your nicer outfits. After all, this is your opportunity to make a great impression so it’s better to overdress than feel insecure about your fashion choices. Also, don’t forget to pack your business cards!

Manage Your Time

The importance of being timely when traveling for business cannot be overstated. It’s better to be overly cautious and build in a cushion to allow for things (inevitably) going wrong. With business on the line, you should focus your energy on prepping for your meetings, not stressing about catching your flight or making it to your conference on time. There’s no harm in arriving at the airport extra early. Missing your flight doesn’t exactly paint you as a responsible & reliable employee. Not to mention, it could cost your company money, which is never a good way to impress the boss.

Track Your Expenses

For first-time business travelers, the concept of expensing your travel can be exciting but also overwhelming. First things first, make sure you review and understand your company’s policy. Some companies have very strict guidelines whereas some don’t have very clear ground rules established. In both scenarios, you must understand the basics: what qualifies as an expense and how do you go about getting reimbursed? Check out our Essential Guide to Travel Expensing for Business Flyers to quickly brush-up on the subject. If you’re not sure a certain purchase qualifies as a travel expense, use this question to guide your decision-making process: is the expense ordinary, necessary, and reasonable? As a novice business traveler, you might overlook the importance of documenting your expenses. There are plenty of great tools out there to help you manage your expenses  (Shoeboxed, Expensify) but when in doubt, hold onto your receipts! Don’t be shy about asking for a receipt, either. Not getting one could (literally) cost you!

Prioritize Your Health

To perform at optimal levels, make sure to prioritize your health and sleep on the road. It can be tough to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling but the value cannot be stressed enough. If you’re energized and refreshed for your meetings, you’re way more likely to have a positive experience. How exactly does one stay revitalized while traveling? To get you started, here are 3 Effective Ways to Stay Healthy During Business Travel: commit to your health, make your room your gym, and don’t give up on your diet. If you love to exercise, make sure to carve out some time to get your blood flowing. Not convinced you can stay in great shape while traveling? Follow these tips and you’ll be working up a sweat in no time. On that note, don’t go too hard on the drinking. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, especially for first-time business travelers that are excited to experience a new setting but don’t get carried away. You’re still representing your company and you want to make a good impression.

Business travel is a great opportunity to prove your value to your employer. As long as you apply these expert tips, you’ll be sure to have a triumphant business trip!

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