Travel can be overwhelming nowadays, even if you are traveling for leisure. Business travel can be all the more stressful as you probably have meetings you know you will attend on the other side and things to prepare in advance. You will need to remember your business equipment as well as your personal belongings like clothes, toiletries and all your booking information. If you own a business or you are high up in a business, you can suggest some ways to make travel easier for everyone. Here is our guide to traveling for business…
Find a travel management company to help book everything
If you’d like to save time and focus on your job, you can outsource the travel organisation to corporate travel management services. This means they will book everything for you including transport, hotels and more if need be. This is a great option for those on a budget as they will find deals for groups and contact hotels they already have a strong relationship with. Some companies also give you smart insights and invoices that will help you plan for future trips abroad as a company.
Make sure you have a place to communicate business travel plans
Whether it’s a WhatsApp group or Slack channel, there should be somewhere all your employees can come with any questions relating to business. They will also need to keep in contact with each other if they are meeting on the day of travel and all coming from different locations. You can also get employees to confirm details in this chat, like their Covid-19 test results, if they’ve had the vaccine and any other health related enquiries. Having a group chat will eliminate any confusion and stress at the beginning of the journey and should be organised well in advance.
Make sure you tell everyone about the trip in advance
It’s crucial to let everyone know about the trip in advance so they can rearrange plans or keep the dates free if they must attend. If the business meetings are important, you will likely want the whole team there and especially the core team. It will also benefit you to know exact numbers when booking the trip, but you can never account for all cancellations or predict exactly who will be there for definite.
Write a list you can check off before leaving
Write a checklist for yourself and reminders to ask other employees the evening before you leave. This will help to ensure nothing is left behind. You can write this on your phone notes or post it straight into your business group chat as a reminder for everyone. Start your list a week before so you can gradually add to it. Double-check your list before leaving the house on the day of travel.
There is no skipping this part, with the spread of Covid-19 and the new variant flying around you will need to ensure all of your employees are vaccinated. This might be essential for the trip, but it will be you making the rules. Double-check the PCR and lateral test rules for the country you are flying into and make sure you know about the quarantine rules when flying back into the UK or your home country. Remember everyone traveling to pack hand sanitiser and a few masks to stick to restriction measures.
Make sure all your employees have secure laptops
It’s very likely you will all be traveling with your laptops if it’s a business trip and security should be one of your main priorities when you are aboard. Warn all your employees that cyberattacks are more common aboard and connecting to foreign WiFi networks should be limited at all costs. When you are working abroad, try and find a list of safe internet cafes or a coworking space everyone can use. Online will be a much safer place if cloud storage is being used and everyone has access to the same work area. Some hotels can cater for business trips and have spacious areas where everyone can use WiFi. Discuss this with your business travel agent if this is something you’d like to consider.
Prepare for your meetings abroad
It can be easy to get tied up planning your trip and answering everyone’s questions, but make sure you don’t forget about why you are traveling. If it’s for a business trip and not a leisure company trip, you should ensure everyone is prepared for meetings and presentations abroad. Get all your employees to check their laptops are working and any important documents are saved into the cloud or your business workspace. Schedule in a call the day before leaving to make those last final checks with colleagues.
Research the destination in depth
Even if you have a management company organising your travel, you should still research the location and make sure everyone going on the trip knows the currency and spoken language. If you know there will be lots of free time, you should research some of the best stops for dinner, drinks, entertainment, and activities. It’s also worth researching the spots you should avoid as you don’t want any problems on the trip. It will be disappointing if you get home and realise there were some amazing spots and tourist attractions you completely missed.
Set up an itinerary and send it out
Ahead of the trip you can set up an itinerary and send it out to your employees, this will help everyone know exactly where they should be and at what time. Either send these out via email or print them out for employees if you’re feeling extra organised.
If you follow some of our top tips from this travel guide you will be sure to have a smooth and safe business trip. The basic tips to remember are write a list before traveling, so you don’t forget any important business equipment or your passport, make sure everyone is connected in a group chat, download security software onto everyone's laptops and prepare documentation for Covid-19 related issues. Good luck for your business trip!