You’ve made new contacts, seen a little of the city, and are now looking forward to a stress-free flight home from your business trip. But before you go, try to take care of these seven small things – they’ll make your departure and arrival home that little bit easier, and will turn you into a true business travel pro.
Most business trips – whether to another city or the other side of the world, result in new business contacts and, ultimately, a wallet full of other people’s business cards. Make life easy and input this information into your tablet, laptop, or phone before leaving, with a note of where you met the person and what they do (there are some great business card scanning apps to make this easier). It’ll make things much easier the following Monday in the office when you’re trying to remember the name of the talented marketing guy from that company you visited on the third day of your trip.
This only takes a few moments the night before a flight, and allows you to walk right through the check-in area and straight to security. Even faster if you’ve only got carry-on luggage, and get to skip bag drop too.
Many expenses on your trip may be reimbursable or tax deductible, so hold onto all receipts – especially for transport and meals, and keep them in a safe place (check out these expense reporting tools). It pays to jot down details on the back, so that when your boss asks why dinner was so expensive, you can explain that three senior managers joined you and ordered wine.
If you’re travelling abroad, family might just expect a little token of your visit, even though you’ve explained that you won’t have time for shopping. The concierge desk at your hotel or furnished apartment can usually help with this – explain who you’re shopping for and they’ll point you in the right direction
This step is completely optional, but will make your life so much better when you land at home, especially if you live alone and don’t have a better half who can help with these things. If you’ve booked a fully serviced apartment to stay in for your accommodations, this will be a cinch considering how most rentals have their very own washer and dryer. Unpacking is often the most tedious part of a trip; but imagine if everything in your suitcase was already clean, folded, and pressed – welcome home!
Do not underestimate the ability of your phone to mysteriously run out of battery/be on silent/just not ring when you need it to. Ask for a wake up call if your flight is early in the morning, and arrange for airport transport the day before you leave (CorporateStays, for example, has an airport shuttle service). There’s nothing worse than waiting for a cab at 4 in the morning when you’re worried about making a flight.
Do this not for the accommodation company, or other travellers (though it’s helpful for them too), but for yourself. In eighteen months when you’re going back to the same place on business, you might not remember how the service was, or how much you liked the restaurant around the corner. Write a quick review online before you leave, while it’s still fresh, and you can use these a year from now as a travel guide.