If you’re going to be travelling for business, preparation is the key to success. The more groundwork you put in, the less stressed you should feel while you’re on the move and the likelier you’ll be to perform well once you arrive.
Here, we’ll take a look at a few of the steps you might take to get ready and suggest what you might do after you’ve arrived at your destination.
Before you leave
To ensure you pack everything you need, there’s nothing quite like a checklist. Write everything you need down and check it off as you pack. Make sure you’re not packing everything in a rush the night before you leave – that’s a sure-fire way to forget something.
For certain items like shoes, packing efficiency really matters. Make sure you only take as much as you need, and that you’re making the best possible use of the available space. Of course, it’s also essential that you have all of your travel documents to hand.
You’ll want to have some high-quality business cards to present to new potential contacts on your travels. In fact, there are some parts of the world where you won’t even be taken seriously if you’re unable to produce a business card.
Finally, don’t forget to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Two hours before departure is usually a sufficient cushion.
After you arrive
Once you’ve got to your destination, it’s time to relax and enjoy yourself, while also getting some work done. If you’re attending a conference, your job is to talk to people and make sure your face and name are remembered. For extroverts, this will be easy; for introverts, it might be less so. Contrary to what you might think, small talk is a skill you can pick up over time – but only if you practice it.
If you’re stressed or under time pressure, you might find it more difficult to network. You can reduce the chances of this problem affecting you by getting all your commitments fixed into a timetable. If you have meetings or lectures to attend, getting the timings down on paper will help you get there when you’re supposed to. By exploring your destination thoroughly when you arrive, you’ll be in a great position to get from one place to another quickly too.
Business trips don’t always go perfectly and if you’re going on multiple trips, it becomes a near-certainty that something will go wrong at some point. However, if you’re diligent and meticulous in your preparation, you’ll be able to react to any setbacks and get the most out of your travels – even if they don’t go entirely to plan.