If you’re worried about everything you need to take care of on your next company trip, we get it. Follow the business travel tips below to understand expectations and make business travel a breeze.
- These business travel trips will help you plan ahead.
- Start by looking up the destination and understanding stakeholder goals.
- Sustainable travel and flexible bookings will set your mind at ease.
- Work hard, but take time for breaks too.
Know your company’s goals for travel
Business travel can serve many different purposes. Maybe your trip is clear cut, and you know which client you need to meet to discuss specific topics. But things can also be a little more vague. Is the point of that industry conference just learning and networking, or is your supervisor hoping for more?
Speak with your manager or team and make sure you understand what all stakeholders are hoping for from this event. You can ask, “What goals should I accomplish?” or “How should this trip impact me and the company?”
Make smart travel decisions
Learn what the T&E budget will look like for the trip as early as possible so you can plan ahead. Find out if you need to book your own flights and hotel stays or if someone else will handle those decisions. If you’re flying, find out if your company will pay for TSA Precheck—it makes going through security faster and easier.
Research your destination to get a better idea of what to expect. This means obvious things like what weather conditions to prepare for, but also whether you should rent a car (in Houston) or use public transportation (in New York City).
Create an itinerary
Your time will be limited, so make the most of it. Create an outline of your plans so you know the best way to get to and from everywhere you need to be. Find out how far your hotel will be from the airport and the location where you plan to do business. If you plan to go to a convention center, another company’s HQ, find out ahead of time the best way to get there.
And if you want to minimize your business expenses, learn how to save on business travel.
Choose flexible booking options
Just like personal travel, business trip plans can sometimes change at the last minute. Life can be unpredictable, so book flexible options or free cancellations whenever possible.
Alternatively, you can work through a travel system with built in flexibility.
Remember your health—mental and physical
Travel doesn’t have to upend your daily routine. If you like to start your mornings with a quiet cup of coffee while you collect yourself, don’t set that aside just because you’re away from home. Or if exercise is important to you, look for hotels with fitness centers. You could even do laps in the hotel pool.
Fitness takes time, so feel free to update your work calendar with the time you need for exercise or personal time.
Get the job done…but don’t work 24/7
This might be our most important business travel tip. Work-life balance still applies while on a trip for business travel, even if the balance is temporarily skewed more towards business for a while.
Don’t lose sleep because you’re staying up writing notes—not only will you feel lousy, but you won’t be able to be fully present if you’re tired. And if you hate pulling out your laptop on airplanes because you can’t focus, then don’t plan to work in the air. Your job will still be there when you land. And if you’re wondering how your family is doing while you’re out of town, give them a call. They’ll appreciate it as much as you do.
Expense tracking requirements for travel
Receipt tracking is often the most tedious part of business travel, but it may also be important for your company. Many organizations require you to keep track of all business expenses during your trip, including hanging on to every receipt. This allows them to reimburse you later. They may also need you to fill out an expense report when you return.
However, other companies use expense management systems that are more streamlined and don’t require any receipts or forms. Either way, be sure to learn what the requirements are before you head out.
The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice and is for general informational purposes only. The content is provided “as-is”; no representations are made that the content is error free.