Do You Sometimes Travel? Top 3 Tips for a Hassle Free Business Trip
Do you sometimes travel for your business? Maybe to a conference or trade show? I do and I’ve learned a few things over the years that make traveling a little easier. Here are my top three tips.
As I collect my documentation for my trip, I like to keep it all in one folder. I surprise myself how often I have had to refer to something before I leave. If you are crossing the border you will need this available for the crossing. Here is the information I keep together for quick access.
- My hotel information (or lodging address and phone number)
- My trip information (flight, travel route, travel time)
- Car rental or shuttle information (confirmation, location, phone number)
- The Conference information (itinerary, registration, contact names)
- A list of information/items you will need to have ready for the conference or trade show
- Shipping details (if you have to ship items before you leave to meet you there)
- Cell phone numbers of anyone you are traveling with
I like to ensure I have cash, in the currency of the country I will be traveling in, on my person while traveling. This way I can easily rent a trolley if needed or pick up a coffee at a small shop without having to use my credit card all the time.
Before I leave I make sure my credit card companies know I will be using my cards in an unusual way and location. The last thing you want is to have your card frozen because they suspect it is being used illegally. It is a great service and to keep your card safe you have to make the call before you leave. You need to do this for your bank cards as well.
3. Where’s Barb
You need to let people know you are away. Here is a list of things you can do to ensure people know where and when they can reach you, if at all.
- Set a vacation voice-mail on your business line (if you want them to call you on your cell number make sure it is in your message)
- Set the automated vacation email message. If you can get email, let people know when you will be returning messages.
- Give your itinerary and full contact information to someone in your business or your family. I’m a firm believer that there should always be someone that knows exactly where you are for emergency purposes.
- If you are meeting someone at your destination, make sure they have your cell phone number and location so they can arrange to connect with you without issue.
Do you have any things you do that make your trips easier? I bet you do. Let’s hear about it in the comments below.
Great list, and that first point (documentation) it’s amazing how easy things can be when you have everything in place, and are able to access that information quickly.
For myself, I would add the following to round out your list:
When traveling, I try and insure that I have everything I need, and nothing else. It’s a hassle walking around the airport, hotel, or conference center with a 3 bags. Using a good sized travel bag, I try and get everything I’ll need for the tip into one, easy to carry, pack.
Similar to your documentation, one thing that I’ve learned in my short time traveling for business is that you want to confirm, and then re-confirm everything. Because travel for business often is planned weeks if not months in advance, you want to make sure that the a day or two before you set out on your trip, that everything is still as it should be
Connecting with Others
Often, if you’re traveling a distance for business (i.e. using an airplane, or a long car ride), you’ll have down time. This recently happened to me in a short trip to Toronto. I had an early morning conference, and then a later afternoon meeting. Knowing this, I connected with a few colleagues for lunch, and was able to further connect with a few friends on Twitter as they where having a meet-up (unofficial). I’ve used Twitter, Facebook, or MeetUp in the past to see if there was anything going on in the city I was traveling too. Hey you might as well “kill” time with interesting conversations vs. Angry Birds.
Really great points Josh. Thanks for adding these.
I know how unproductive I feel if I have downtime and I’m wasting it on an unfocused, non-client generating activity that does not enhance my business during business hours. But I do enjoy a short game of angry birds when I need downtime, which we all require.