Video conferencing may continue to play a pivotal role in business communications, but you can’t beat the connection that face-to-face business trips offer. From helping you to interpret nonverbal cues to fostering deeper relationships, meeting people offline offers myriad business benefits.
Business trip numbers might be down compared with pre-pandemic figures, but there are still hundreds of both domestic and international business trips that are happening every month. If you’re planning your first business trip post-pandemic, you might be out of practice, but don’t worry, we’re here to help you have a successful business trip.
From reminding you about those all-important travel documents to downloading a binge-worthy series, here are our business trip essentials.
Business trip checklist
- Electronics – including portable chargers and adapters
- Change of clothes
- Contact details
Create an itinerary
If you’re wondering how to plan a business trip, creating an itinerary is the first thing you should do. It’ll provide you with a framework for you to plan everything around.
Helping you to make travel arrangements, an itinerary can help you plan how long it will take you to get to meetings, what time you need to be at your destination, and how much downtime you have. It can even highlight if you need to increase or decrease the duration of your business trip.
Make travel arrangements
Whether you’re travelling by public transport or you’re driving, you’ll want to ensure your travel arrangements will give you enough time to get to your destination, as well as give you enough time to prepare for your meetings.
Make sure your travel arrangements have enough of a ‘buffer’, so that should there be a delay with your journey, it won’t make you late to your meeting.
The average length of a business trip is 4.18 nights, so choosing the right accommodation is essential. If you’ll be spending time in your room working, you’ll need somewhere that has enough space, as well as good Wi-Fi to set up a mini-office.
On the other hand, if you’ll be spending most of your days out in meetings, you’ll want to choose somewhere that’s centrally located.
If you’re a light sleeper, you might want to see if your accommodation is in a noisy area, or if they regularly hold weddings or events that finish late at night. Checking the hotel’s amenities is just as important as checking its location.
Be prepared for your meetings
First and foremost a business trip is about business! Take the time before you leave to prepare for your meetings. Think about your objectives, research the company and the people you’re meeting, and make a note about what you want to achieve.
It could be to just make a connection, or to start a collaboration, sign a contract, or something else. If you’re presenting at your meeting, make sure you have documents to either email or hand out.
Don’t forget to clarify with the host how you can present as you might need an additional lead or adapter for example.
Research your destination
As more and more people look to combine business trips with leisure activities, the ‘bleisure’ market is increasing. Whether you’re thinking of extending your business trip and exploring your destination or you plan on making stop-offs on your way home, taking the time to research things to do and places to eat will help you maximise your time.
Unsurprisingly, London represents just over a quarter of all business trips and there’s no shortage of attractions. But no matter where your business trip takes you, having time away from your laptop is essential for your mental and physical health.
Prepare paperwork and documents
Before you go on a business trip, double-check you have all the necessary paperwork and documents. Whether that’s travel tickets, conference badges, key contact details, or accommodation confirmations, keeping digital and physical copies will provide peace of mind. You should also leave a copy of your itinerary and contact details with colleagues too.
If you regularly travel for business, especially abroad, then it’s a good idea to get business travel insurance cover. This special policy will help cover you in case your travel plans are scuppered because of missed or delayed connections, it can also cover your business equipment, like laptops and phones while you’re away.
Even if you’re travelling in your own car, you should consider getting business car insurance. The majority of car insurance policies only cover commuting to and from work, not the use of your vehicle for business trips, like seeing customers or going to work events.
Pack your electronics
In a world where connectivity is king, packing all your electronic devices and charging cables is essential. A multi-plug extension cable is a must-have for any business trip as it means you can charge all your devices at once.
An external battery pack is also a useful thing to take on a business trip. You won’t have to worry about finding sockets for keeping phones and laptops charged when you’re on the go, and they can easily be charged when you’re back at your accommodation.
Regardless of how long your business trip is, travel light and only take the essentials. If your business trip is only for the day, but you’ve got a long journey, consider travelling in comfortable clothing and then getting changed into more professional attire. That way, when you arrive, you’ll look and feel more refreshed and raring to go.
Take some entertainment
If this is your first business trip, you might make the mistake of only taking things for work, but you should take things that provide you with some entertainment. Books, podcasts and TV shows are all great distractions, and they can help you relax and unwind or kill time if you’re travelling by public transport.
Taking time out of your busy schedule can help provide you with that ‘me time’ everyone needs to protect their mental health.
Use Dayinsure for your business car insurance
If you’re planning your business trip, don’t forget to get a quote from Dayinsure to discover the benefits of business car insurance. Whether you need cover for a morning or you need to drive a work vehicle, we’ve got you covered.