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Was your last business travel experience so hectic that it hurt your performance throughout the trip? Business travel experiences don't have to be this way; they can be fun and successful when you approach them with the right strategies.
When you travel for business, you're expected to exhibit a certain level of professionalism — which can be difficult to achieve when you're four hours late due to a missed flight and wearing sneakers because you forgot to pack your dress shoes! Mastering the art of the business trip is something that can take years of practice and experience, but there are a few simple things you can do now to prepare in a more effective manner.
Packing for Business Travel
Novice travelers should focus on packing efficiently, having access to basic resources through smartphone apps, and knowing how to check-in before a flight. Mobile apps are excellent tools for travelers of all experience levels, so be sure to download the best and most useful traveling apps before your next trip to be ready to apply them to any given situation. Frequent business traveler Chuck Gose additionally offers several helpful tips on packing efficiently, including only bringing one pair of shoes (the ones on your feet) and choosing versatile clothing items.
Common Misconceptions about Business Travel
Much of your intimidation about business travel may be nothing but an illusion, since there are several common misconceptions that surround the concept of business travel. As Sandra Eblevi of HCC Medical Insurance Services points out, business travelers don't necessarily have to fly business class, nor do they have to be greeted at the airport by a private limo driver.
These misconceptions aren't reflective of what traveling is actually like for most professionals. This association likely stems from the fact that business travel used to be reserved for especially successful companies; but today, companies of all sizes can travel virtually anywhere in the world for business. Since these companies often don't come from extravagant backgrounds, being economically-efficient with business travel is becoming more and more common. Read more about business travel myths.
Travel Tips for the Savvy Professional
In addition to the travel tips listed above, there are several additional tips that professionals should adhere to in order to foster a successful trip. These tips include the following:
- Purchase medical travel insurance to have proper coverage in the event of a health emergency
- Research common phrases, cultural customs, and potential offenses to enhance communication and prevent creating a negative image during your business meeting
- Use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals in your destination and post questions to the answer board to receive helpful advice from professionals who have been there before you
Although traveling for business is technically considered "work," it can still be pleasurable if you come prepared. In addition to experiencing a new land and culture, you can increase your outreach to professionals in your industry on a worldwide scale. Doing so not only expands your network, but also helps to enhance your resume and provides opportunities to learn from businesses that operate in entirely new environments.