12 First Business Trip Tips to Set You Up For Success
Traveling for work? It’s best to feel prepared for travel. Read our tips for planning your first business trip.
Traveling can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a bit anxiety-inducing. Coupled with the fact that it’s your first business trip, there are a lot of factors to consider. With no one else to rely on but yourself, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details and what-ifs. The best way to counter this—and for any type of travel—is to be adequately prepared.
Read our best first business trip tips to help you prepare for your travels. And congratulations, this is an exciting milestone!
From flights to accommodations, it’s better to book as early as possible. Booking ahead of time provides:
- Lower prices – Most hotels and airlines will offer better rates the earlier you book.
- Access sales – Airlines, accommodations, and auto rentals will often offer seasonal deals that can be booked months in advance.
- Peace of mind – While it’s possible to find last-minute deals, it’s risky and might not pan out. Secure everything early on to prevent unnecessary worries.
- Early planning – With the necessities taken care of, you can begin preparing your itinerary and assessing other important details.
There’s no need to spend on pricey airport products or to buy something you already have at home. If you make a packing list and check it twice, you’re less likely to forget any essentials at home. It can also help you accomplish any necessary pre-departure action items.
On a business trip, you’re probably going to need professional business attire. If you’re arriving just in time for an interview, meeting, etc., then this might mean you need to travel in your best garb. For those traveling by plane, that also means dressing for comfort. Bringing nice clothing in your baggage? Keep it clean and wrinkle-free as by putting it in a bag and hanging it up as soon as possible (sometimes you can even hang your dry cleaning at the front of the plane!).
Are you traveling to scout job offers? Discover How to Find a Job in Another State Before Moving There .
Managing to pack all your belongings in one carry-on suitcase can make your life a whole lot easier. There are countless advantages to traveling like a minimalist:
- You can bypass the luggage weight and check-in queue
- You avoid the possibility of lost luggage
- You reduce the stress of carting along a few too many items
- You can save on additional fees for checked baggage
Pro Tip: Use packing cubes or try rolling your clothes to maximize space in your luggage.
Especially if your boarding pass is on your mobile device, charge all of your electronic devices the night before your trip. This way, you can reduce the need to hunt for or fight over an outlet. Download all the necessary travel documents and material you need to review in advance, ensuring you can reference it without the need for WiFi.
Whatever the purpose of your first business trip, take the time during your travels to reflect on what you’re doing and visualize the desired outcome.
How can you minimize the possibility of delays or long waits? Try to implement the following strategies whenever possible:
- Check-in for your flights online beforehand, so you can go straight to security.
- Print out your boarding pass or have your digital ticket ready. Skip the in-person check-in process.
- Apply for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry to get through security and customs quicker.
- Book nonstop flights and shave off travel time and potential confusion from layovers and airline changes.
- Keep security checkpoints in mind when packing. You’ll clear the inspection quickly by separating your electronics and liquids prior to arriving in line.
- Pick reliable airlines that have a well-established record for operating on schedule.
This tip applies to many situations. Want an upgrade? Don’t be afraid to ask a flight attendant if it’s possible. Is the car rental rate too high? Try your hand at negotiating. Not sure if you’re heading towards the right terminal? Don’t risk being late or missing a flight because you’re unwilling to ask. Typically, someone is going to have some answers for you!
Missing a flight can throw a wrench in your plans and bank account. It’s better to overestimate the amount each variable will contribute to your travel time. You never know when you might encounter an unforeseen obstacle. It’s better to be safe than sorry—especially being that you’re traveling for business.
For a first-time business trip, consider Zeus Living, which offers fully-furnished studios, houses, and homes for trips of a month or longer. Although Zeus stays are used by all kinds of people, it’s popular with professionals and business travelers who want a cozy, work-wired place to stay that feels like home the moment they walk through the door.
Because you want housing that accommodates your lifestyle, offering everything you need to live comfortably and thrive during your business trip, right? You can have all that and more with Zeus, which offers:
- On-call support
- Easy cancellations
- Flexible scheduling
- Lower prices than hotels
- Self check-ins
- Homecare essentials for bed, bath, and kitchen
Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean it needs to feel that way. If you’re looking for comfortable, fully-furnished housing tailored to you and your lifestyle, then look no further. Additionally, check out our Tips for Finding Short Term Corporate Housing.
Will your job require you to travel often? Perhaps, once you’ve experienced corporate housing yourself, you’ll want to benefit from it as a provider and a customer. If your home is constantly vacant, left alone while you’re traveling for work, then you should look into How to Rent My House to Corporate Housing.
You could be benefiting from it while on the road, and generating supplemental income back home.
Travel can be costly. While this may be your first business trip, it likely won’t be your last. You should begin investing in resources that reward you for travel. For example, you can offset your expenses while traveling abroad with a travel rewards card. A few things to consider when choosing the perfect rewards card:
- Co-brand or general – If you plan to stay loyal to one hotel brand or airline, then a co-brand could offer you more rewards (e.g., discounted rates, free checked baggage, free seat selection). However, a general credit card would provide you with more flexibility if your choices are going to vary.
- Prioritize perks – Depending on what you need, you might want a card with excellent car-rental rates, that offer baggage protection, emergency services, and more.
- International or national – For globetrotters, it would be valuable to pick a card without foreign transaction fees.
- Compare, compare, compare – As with any financial decision, you should consider all options. Look into the reward rates, annual fees, and sign-up bonuses.
Also, sign up for airline frequent flyer programs to accumulate miles. Even if you don’t travel too often, the miles will retain their value for future usage. Don’t forget to keep your receipts if your company is planning to reimburse you!
This means you don’t always have to pick the cheaper option. Especially when it comes to luggage, selecting a high-quality piece can take a load off—literally. You might think it was worth shelling out a couple of extra bills when you’re forced to carry your luggage after the wheel breaks. Moreover, it may be worth purchasing an airport lounge membership.
When you need to get work done, lounges can provide you:
- WiFi (that works)
- Rest areas
Don’t waste time crammed in terminals or attempting to find a stable internet connection. Business travel becomes a lot easier with access to an airport lounge.
Traveling can have a serious effect on your body. If you find yourself with a headache during or after your flight, you may be dehydrated. To help keep your body on track, be sure to:
- Drink plenty of hydrating fluids
- Pack healthy snacks
- Get up and walk around on longer flights (it helps with blood flow)
- Bring sleep-aids if necessary
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer
While preparation is crucial when making travel plans, the unexpected is often inevitable. However, take a deep breath. You can handle this! When all else fails, trust your instincts and know that everything is manageable.
Prepare thoroughly, utilize corporate housing, and stay healthy so you can keep your head in the game during this exciting time!
Business Insider. Experienced Business Travelers Reveal Their Favorite Travel Tips.
Inc. Best Travel Tips: 21 Travel Hacks That Experienced Business Travelers Say to Use When You Hit the Road.
Nerd Wallet. How to Choose a Travel Credit Card.
The Travel Team. 14 Business Travel Tips for Frequent Corporate Travelers.