Getting ready for your first business trip can be stressful. Whether it’s meeting a new client or giving a presentation, the idea of fulfilling all the expectations of your company once you reach your destination can make you feel nervous. And if you haven’t been traveling a lot lately, the very thought of packing your things and checking in for your flight might seem demanding too, so instead of feeling enthusiastic about the opportunity in front of you, you’re overwhelmed with pressure.
Here is how to take some of the stress off, and be focused on the relevant things instead.
Make a checklist
It’s always the best to write down items you need to bring so that you don’t forget anything important. Make sure the checklist includes:
- Personal items: passport, ID, flight tickets, cash, credit cards, driver’s license, medications, travel-sized toiletries, etc.
- Clothing items: put your top-notch professional clothes on your list, as well as other clothing essentials and some comfortable clothes too.
- Technical items: devices you regularly use and their chargers, a wireless charger, flash drives, headphones.
- Business items: your business cards and all the materials you need.
When speaking of credit cards and payment methods, preparation is key. You might want to get familiar with all the benefits of cashback programs, especially when traveling abroad. For example, if you travel to Singapore, there is an unlimited cash back credit card program that allows you to earn back a percentage of what you spend in cash.
Once you are prepared and ready to start packing, start putting all the items in one place, such as a clear flat surface, so you can check if everything is there. Make sure you’ve packed all the items you will need during your travel in your shoulder bag, including all your travel gadgets so that they are easy to access.
If you need more luggage than just a carry-on bag, get to know more about travel insurance as in the case of loss or theft of your luggage, you will be able to make a claim. It won't completely alleviate your inconvenience but it can provide you with some comfort.
Get a notepad
Even though it may seem a bit old-fashioned to carry a notepad and a pen, especially in the era of smartphones and laptops, make sure you have them ready for your business meetings, conferences, or all other occasions. Using a smartphone or laptop to write your notes when someone is talking to you can be considered rude while using a notepad never makes such an impression.
Keep important information by your side
Put all the important information you will need during your travel on a list, whether on a piece of paper you’ll keep in your pocket or in your notes app. If you’re especially cautious, you could use both.
Include your flight schedules, your hotel’s name and the address, and all other important information related to your business meetings too, such as the names of the people you're going to meet, the companies they represent, phone numbers you can use, etc.
Polish your small talk
When traveling for work, you’re bound to meet new people and interact with them. Business networking is essential for your company’s growth, and as its representative, you need to excel. While this is often not a big deal to those who are more on the extroverted side, for introverts, it may seem like a nightmare. Practice makes perfect though, so instead of worrying about it, work on improving your skills and get yourself ready for the talk.
When you arrive
Once you reach your destination, make sure you unpack as soon as you arrive. Hang your clothes and iron the items that are wrinkled. Organize whatever you need for business purposes so that you keep it all running smoothly.
You can use the rest of the day to get to know the business etiquette, especially if your trip is international, and make a good impression the next day.
If you’re having a meal on your own, look for a place where you can eat at a reasonable price. Show that you care for your company’s resources by not wasting them on dinners in fancy restaurants.
Even though your first business trip may seem daunting, you are most likely to enjoy it. Use your free time to explore and learn more about your destination, have fun and relax.