You’ve done it, well done. The promotion is yours; you’ve proved yourself worthy of the company and all the hard work is paying off, and your boss has asked you to go on a business trip.
It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to travel in any manner, but to have it paid for by someone else is a luxury and a privilege. Careful though, as it’s not your regular holiday with mates or family; this is also a test of your business acumen and how well you represent your company. Take some tips for first time business travellers to help you get through:
The company relies on its financial status and you are an intricate part of that. When booking your flights, do so as far in advance as possible and if you have to take a late-night flight or an early morning one to save the company money, then do it, especially if you want them to send you on future trips.
This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself when you are travelling for business. We are not ourselves when we are over tired. Take the time outside of meetings to rest in your room, even send some emails, but don’t think of it as a holiday. It’s not the best time to see the sights when you still have so much more to do.
Preparation, as you would before you travel for holidays, should also be done before a business trip. Pack your own bags, confirm all the details on tickets, and make sure you have the correct visas for the country you are traveling to. There is nothing worse than missing an important meeting because you did not have the right paperwork.
Check out as much as you can about your destination as possible before you travel. The more you know about the place, the easier the whole experience will be. You will be on a budget, so it is important to know where to eat, how you will get around, i.e., transport facilities and prices, etc.
Have a look for local places to eat that are not too flashy, find hotels with sites like hotels.com or Airbnb that will allow you to save again. Get the bearings of your place in relation to meetings that you have and alternative transport options.
5. Language and customs
Learn some of the most important survival phrases in your destination’s language, such as asking for directions, ordering food, and seeking basic information. Make sure you know about any local customs which are different from yours.
In some countries, the positions of your arms, hands, or feet send messages to other people that you might not be aware of. You don’t want to offend anybody, especially current or potential clients. It may be customary to bring a gift, eat with your right hand, enter a room after certain people (or perhaps before them).
The privilege of business travel should never be taken for granted.