Oct 29, 2018

Work Travel

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5 Ways To Prepare For Work Travel

 

For some, traveling for work is an exciting opportunity. You’re visiting places you may have never seen before, while networking with brand new people and (sometimes) experiencing whole new cultures. For others, it can be a hindrance—affecting work/life balance especially when it comes to family and friends. There may be pros and cons to work travel, but the one constant is to be prepared. Here are five ways to get ready for your work travel plans.

 

Be organized.

As entrepreneurs, you may or may not have an assistant providing you with your detailed itinerary to follow on your work trip. Whether you’re attending a conference or exploring a new territory for potential business opportunities, it’s important to have all of your details within reach. That includes your travel identification (driver’s license/ID, passport, etc.), flight/train details, hotel or Air BnB accommodations, local maps, and even a calendar of work events. If you have family back home, provide them with all of these materials including photocopies of your identification and phone numbers for every place you’ll be visiting. When traveling abroad, make sure you have enough converted currency to make purchases while you’re traveling, and carry a photocopy of your passport as some embassies can use a photocopy for verification in the event you misplace your ID or it’s stolen.

 

Don’t overpack.

Admittedly one of the most bothersome aspects of work travel (especially when it’s short-term) is how to efficiently pack. Flying out of town for a few days would not necessitate checking bags, so it’s a good idea to keep the luggage to a bare minimum. Your personal carry-on materials should include all of your technology (laptops, phones, etc.), identifications, and money along with one change of clothing in the event your luggage is lost. Your overhead bin carry-on should include one or two professional outfits that can be rotated with pieces. For example, if you’re bringing a suit, pack 2-3 collared shirts and two ties with one pair of dress shoes. Most hotels will allow your items to be pressed on site, however if that is not an option, it’s best to check a garment bag in the event a nearby cleaners isn’t present.

 

Get a lay of the land.

If you’re traveling and taking meetings, sometimes the networking will happen outside of an office or conference center. Find out some key local spots should the people you are networking be also out of towners. Make sure everything is in close proximity to where you’ll both be staying, as well as cost effective if you’re on a budget and the one taking meetings (read: paying). Additionally, make sure the atmosphere is conducive to having discussions. Selecting places where there is a lot of noise or music will prevent any real talk from happening. When meeting with those who are from the area you’re visiting, allow them to choose a place they might like, but be informed about the area, menu, atmosphere, etc. For those traveling abroad, learn any customs ahead of time as well as a few key phrases if English is not the primary language spoken.

 

Leave room for changes in plans.

When traveling for work, we often have a rigid schedule of back to back meetings and/or events, that lead to the overused phrase “I have a hard out at [insert time].” If your schedule permits it, leave some wiggle room. That includes travel time and potential traffic allowance, along with any delays if you’re taking an Uber or Lyft. If you’re finding that certain meetings are turning out better than expected, don’t make a schedule that’s so strict you have to cut it short to attend your next event. Prepare for some time leniency; you never know what can be accomplished in an extra few minutes. Bring some reading materials or work in case you are incredibly early (or they’re incredibly late) to accomplish some things while you’re waiting. It also gives you time to check in with family during breaks.

 

Fit in some fun.

If it’s your first time in a new city (and even if it isn’t), there is no harm in allowing for some down time during work trips. Many people feel it’s necessary to simply stay in their hotel rooms during breaks, but if your schedule allows for it, do some sightseeing. Be a tourist; get to know the area you’re visiting a bit. This will ease your stress during travel and offer a little bit of relaxation and comfort in the midst of work. While it’s great to experience new things, you also never know if you’ll be visiting that city again, so learning about it can make you an expert for the potential next time trip.

 

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R M Zalatimo
R M Zalatimo
Inspire. Empower. Transform. Those are the words that NYC Wealth Innovator, Russ Zalatimo, lives by. From tips on leadership, self-help, and growing entrepreneurship Zalatimo provides the trade secrets to leading a well-rounded life.