Over the last eleven years of traveling the globe I have learned many different lessons about business travel. Whether you are a seasoned travel expert or a recent college graduate getting ready for that first trip, I am sure that you will learn a few things from my dissertation below.
Business travel is weary on the family and can cause hardships that are difficult to put into words. When you are out of town, life around your house carries on in every sense. Your grass continues to grow, your power continues to flow, your kids have recitals and ball practices, and your spouse has meetings. Don't forget the small things and check in with your family members. Your not being around means that they have to do the things that you normally accomplish.
During your travel make sure to make time to take care of yourself as well. You will be eating at fine restaurants all over the world. You will get to sample local cuisines that you have never before had. Your body will suffer from the overload of food and beverages. Make time to go to your hotels gyms between work hours and dinner. Simply working out for 30 mins. each afternoon should keep you in fighting form for the meetings that you have coming up during the trip. It will also limit the perpetual expansion of the waste line from the foods that you are eating.
For meetings and arrival times, make sure to plan on showing up fifteen to twenty minutes before your meeting time. Showing up late to meetings is unacceptable for both your clients and for your company.
Always dress for success, never show up to your meetings in anything less than a Shirt, Tie, and Coat. Showing up in less than that attire for many companies is a sign of disrespect. While they may be sporting the latest in Golf apparel you need to sport something more along the lines of Donald Trump.
During the travel stages of your event plan on staying in mid-level accommodations. Never try to hit your company up for first class accommodations. The mid-level accommodation shows that you are willing to save the company money while not sacrificing your personal well-being. The mid-level accommodation will provide you with acceptable bedding and laundry services and a good night sleep.
As a final point keep in mind that you are representing your company. Conduct yourself at all times as if you were trying to win that coveted job spot. Because just as you interviewed for your current job. You are interviewing your company for future business with your clients.