In this article we will make some suggestions on what to take on a business trip. Many of us have to travel away for work. While some people may enjoy that, the reality is that most people know it is something they have to do, rather then something they want to do.
Business travellers range from someone who is self-employed to someone working for a larger Corporate company. This article will help you to know what to take on a business trip that you will find useful.
The routine is basically the same for most of us. You catch the "Red-Eye" at silly o'clock, then get to the meeting by bus, train or taxi. We attend the meeting and then make the arduous journey back that evening. It can be a long and exhausting day. We thought we would put together some tips on how to make that experience a lot easier on the body and mind.
Travelling like this can be stressful enough and yet you are expected to cope with this and also perform at your maximum level throughout the entire day. Over the years we have covered thousands of air miles to meetings, conferences, road shows and other business events. Along the way we picked up many tips to make this easier.
Travel Tip 1 - Boy/Girl Scout Attitude
We all know we should "be prepared". However when you get busy at work this is often pushed aside. Always try and get a good night's sleep before any type of travelling. Check and make sure that if you have to do some pre-work, such as a presentation, that it is done before you start travelling.
There is nothing worse that stressing before a meeting. Many people believe that they can quickly do this before a meeting. It is seldom the case as more likely than not you will not have access to the Internet. It is also very easy to get distracted when travelling and that makes it difficult to concentrate and focus.
If you have to do a presentation then make sure it is completed and run through the day before. Don't leave this until you get on the plane as that is just too stressful. You will instantly put yourself under pressure if you leave this to the last minute. We would also recommend having an presentations backed up in case something happens to the one on your laptop.
Pack everything the night before, check all of your reservation details, get a good night's sleep and go to bed early if you have that horrible morning flight. You should especially check arrangements if you haven't actually made them yourself. We have been caught out like that a few times with stupid flight times booked.
Tip 2 - What to Pack and Take on a Business Trip?
Don't forget the mobile, laptop or tablet or all three. Make sure they are all fully charged the night before as that takes off a lot of pressure. Bring one of those quick charging power banks with you as well. The Anker Power bank costs under £10 and is a very popular choice.
A pen and paper are always handy. We also like to have cash some change and about £50 - 100 in notes. Check the wallet has a driving license or some form of ID. For travel outside the UK don't forget the passport.
We also like to take a print out of directions to the meeting place and the hotel if you are staying over. We also like to have a packet of mints or some gum and a bar of chocolate and some water. (after you go through security of course)
Always make sure that you have some cash with you. It is also worth remembering if you need sterling or Euros. The Republic of Ireland for example also uses the Euro, whereas Northern Ireland uses sterling.
If you have a company credit card make sure it is up to date and valid. It is also worthwhile checking with the hotel that they take your type of company card. If using your personal credit card and then claiming back, then the same applies, check that it is generally acceptable.
Tip 3 - Getting Quickly Through Security at the Airport
Security checks at airports are getting slower than they used to be. We all know there are very good reasons for this. Nonetheless the last thing you want is to join a long queue of holiday makers that stretches back for quite a bit.
If you carry a lot of metal things on your body like keys, pens, coins, and phones then keep them all in your jacket. That way you can simply pop your jacket off and drop that into the tray.
Keep your laptop, tablet and phone out as they need to go through on their own. It is always easier to throw your belt on top of your jacket rather then have them ask you to take it off.
Many airports in the UK also offer a "priority security" option. You pay an additional charge and it means you can fast track through the airport security system. We have used this a lot and it saves you a lot of time, and also helps you avoid long queues of people going on holiday.
Tip 4 - The Precious Laptop
Most business people still use a laptop though some have moved to the iPad or a similar brand of tablet. That is where we keep almost anything business related so going without that would be a disaster.
Now even if you don’t plan to use it during the actual flight, you’ll have the peace of mind that it’s okay. It helps you relax knowing the baggage handlers can't toss around my expensive computer.
It is also useful when waiting on flights to depart and can also just be a simple companion in a heartless airport. A good quality laptop bag will help keep it safe and also stop it from getting damaged.
This Amazon Basics is a very popular and affordable choice for a good quality laptop bag.
The luggage that you bring will of course depend on the type of trip that you are taking. When using the car it is pretty easy to take just about anything you need. The train is similar although you may want to keep this as light as possible for convenience.
Flights are different and there are size restrictions with all airlines for hand luggage. Most business people will avoid placing luggage in the hold as it causes a considerable wait to recover at the end of a flight.
We would recommend carrying a large travel style wallet that can hold tickets, credit cards, passport and receipts all in one place. (Don't forget to get a receipt for all spend) Always have a pen and have a note book handy for making notes. As mentioned always carry some cash - including coins in case your mobile phone won’t work.
Tip 5 - Avoid the Booze
On a day trip, and especially if you drive to or from the airport just give the beer or wine a miss. You never want to risk your driving license for a couple of beers. If staying overnight then it is grand to have one or two, but just be aware of your travelling home arrangements the next day.
We don't want to sound like a kill joy, but we have seen enough people first thing in the morning on a business trip who wished they had gone to bed, instead of burning the midnight oil. That is especially true for those who though that at about midnight it was a good idea to give their boss some "honest feedback."
Although by definition a business trip is to get business done, it is also important to relax. Exercise is also important and if there is some way of doing this then you should. Avoid too much alcohol when travelling as although it may sound like a good idea at the time, it has many pitfalls.
Over the years we have seen these situations have long time repercussions. Going on a bender the night before and then driving at 8 o'clock the next morning is a very foolish thing to do. It is also a situation where disagreements can take place. Do some exercise, have a nice meal and a glass of wine, shower and get a good night's sleep.
People travel on business for many reasons They could be as simple as a meeting, for training, and for management conferences. These could last for different lengths of time from a few hours by car, to overnights and sometimes for a few days.
The modes of transport could also be different. Typically these could include the car, trains and flights to different destinations in the United Kingdom. For many people business trips can become very routine and simply form a part of working life.
We made a simple tick list for business day trips which we got laminated and kept it inside our laptop bags. We checked this off the night before and that is just a great idea. You can then have a supplemental shorter list if it is an overnight stay. that would include items like grooming accessories, underwear, socks etc.
When travelling on business, most of that type of travel will either be same day travel, or perhaps a single overnight stay. A good case that is light in weight with wheels that run easily is ideal for this type of travel.
It should be big enough to hold all your items, and yet fit easily within the airline allowance for cabin baggage. We would also recommend booking everything online and also checking in online. That way you can go straight to security and get off to your gate in plenty of time.