How to Plan a Detailed Itinerary for Your Business Trip
Being one of the biggest perks of living a professional’s life, your company might take you on trips all over your city, country or the world. But even though it might seem like an exciting concept on the surface, business travel can be an incredibly challenging and stressful venture if you’re not adequately prepared for it. So, here are some of the best tips for putting together a thorough itinerary, which will help you make the most out of your business trip and turn it into a productive and positive experience:
Book a flight in advance
While searching for flights could be a very tedious task, the longer you wait to make reservations, the fewer deals you are going to find. Whether you are flying nationally or internationally, the best idea would always be to book a flight as soon as you know the date of your business trip. Not only will you be able to find a more affordable deal this way, but chances are you’ll also manage to book a direct flight, instead of having to rely on layovers. Another important thing to consider are local holidays, as they can easily affect the frequency and the availability of flights.
Find appropriate accommodation
For similar reasons, your accommodation should also be booked as soon as you find out the exact date of your business trip, to avoid any last minute unpleasantries. Whether you decide to search platforms such as Trivago to compare hotel prices across several different platforms or you opt to rent a homier apartment on AirBnb, there are many accommodation options to choose from in order to find the perfect choice that fulfills your needs and fits your budget.
Opt for a car rental service
Even though local public transportation might be a great idea when you’re going on a holiday, you might need something faster and more reliable during a business trip, as the last thing you want is to be late to an important meeting because a bus never actually showed up. That is why it’s a good idea to look into car hire services, such as the reliable Avis car rental, and hire a vehicle for the duration of the trip. Not only will hiring a car give you more freedom to commute at your own pace, or even explore your destination if you have the chance, but it will also save you a lot of time and unnecessary stress during the business trip.
Keep your documents in order
No matter where you travel to, the two most important documents you should bring with you are an ID card, as well as identification that allows you to drive, whether that is your existing license or an international driver’s license. When traveling abroad, apart from checking the expiration date of your passport and making sure everything is in order, you might also need to acquire a Visa for your trip, which is why it’s essential to examine the laws of the country you are flying to well in advance.
Construct a detailed schedule
Before you depart, it would be best to plan out your days and put together a detailed itinerary. This schedule should include everything from transportation and accommodation information to meeting times and addresses, all with names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers if possible, as well as any meal arrangements and scheduled downtime. It would also be a good idea to give a copy of your itinerary to your employee or personal assistant before you leave, in case of an emergency or an unexpected setback.
Pack like a professional
When going on a business trip, it’s best to pack smart and only bring what’s actually necessary with you in a carry-on bag, such as essential clothing items, toiletries, a laptop, a cell phone and any important paperwork you might need. This way, you won’t have to check your bags or wait for them to be unloaded, minimizing the time you spend at the airport. Carrying a smaller, lighter bag will also make you more nimble and less stressed, allowing you to focus on more important things, like preparing for the scheduled meetings.
Make some local connections
The worst thing you can do on a business trip is simply arrive, take care of business, and then return home. Instead, take advantage of your travels and plan ahead of time to reach out to certain contacts in the area, making time for building connections and relationships. Even though it takes a bit of work and planning beforehand, this additional effort will result in an expanded business network, and more productive and pleasant work trips.
While traveling for work might seem appealing at first, it can often turn out to be an incredibly demanding endeavor. Thankfully, with a bit of advanced planning and preparation, every business trip can end up being a positive, successful and enjoyable experience.