Last year I went on 31 business trips…some domestic, some international, some in big cities, and some in small towns with people riding buggies. I learned a few lessons along the way, so here’s 7 girl boss tips for a smooth business trip:
1. Research Local Restaurants
A girl’s gotta eat and your hotel may not be in a prime area. Most companies will give you a strict food budget, so take some time to research the best restaurants in your budget. Sometimes I search for restaurants that deliver because I’m lazy. Yelp and companies like DoorDash can help you strategize your tummy plans.
2. Don’t Check A Bag
Flight delays and unexpected chaos can easily cause your luggage to go missing. Opt for a carry on so you don’t go to work in the same leggings you wore on the plane. If you insist on checking a bag, you can avoid a frantic trip to Target by packing beauty essentials and an outfit in your carry on.
3. Have Documents Readily Available
Not your passport; I mean the stuff you’ll actually need for work. Don’t assume you’ll have quality internet access, and don’t rely on your IT department for tech issues. Always save crucial documents directly on your desktop or bring a hard copy, this will save you from embarrassment if anything goes wrong.
4. Download Apps, Shows, and Podcasts
Some planes, not airlines, PLANES only have entertainment available via a personal device. Download the app for your airline ahead of time so you don’t miss out on the free movies. I also download a couple Netflix shows and some of my favorite podcasts for an extra cushion. Sidebar: make sure all your gadgets are charged before boarding.
5. Plan It Out
This isn’t a girl’s trip; you can get busy fairly quickly. Create a loose schedule to stay productive and plan for leisure time. Ask yourself some questions… Will you need to work in the hotel? How far is your hotel from the office? What are your work hours? Get a general structure of your day to see where you can fit in some happy hours.
6. Triple Count Your Gadgets
Phone Charger √, Computer Charger √, Mouse √, Headphones √. I’ve forgotten so many random gadgets on business trips… don’t be that girl. Use your last day in the office to pack your “must haves”. Trust me… you don’t even realize what you use in a typical work day till you’re frantically borrowing post-its; so create a checklist, pack it up, and triple check to be safe.
7. Avoid Jet Lag
Getting up for work in your own bed is hard enough, add jet lag on top and you’re basically a zombie. Adjust for the time difference by going to bed or waking up earlier a week or two before your trip. Add an additional hour everyday till you reach the new time zone. This is one of my favorite tips since I’m often on the east coast for work.
- Iron Your Clothes – most hotel irons suck
- Get Your Miles – join frequent flyer programs if you’ll be traveling often
- Bring Business Cards – don’t miss out on a networking opportunity
- TSA Precheck – a must have if you hate stripping down for security
- Bring Snacks – vital for international trips where the food is completely different
Gearing up for a business trip? Download my customizable Evernote travel checklist here.