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Tips for Hassle-Free Business Trips October 2, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee.
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People who have never been on a business trip before have this idea that it’s all fun and frolic.  Nothing could be further than the truth!  It’s work, plain and simple, that’s why it’s called a business trip.  So if you’re one of the ‘lucky’ few chosen to go out of town in the name of work, here are some things I’ve learned about making hassle-free business trips that you might find useful:

Pack your bags early.
If you go on regular business trips, it would help if you already have a pre-packed bag.  If you don’t, just pack your bags the night before the trip.  It would help if you have a list of stuff you’ll need, just so you won’t forget anything.  Keep to the bare minimum but pack the essentials.  Remember that there are certain stuff you can buy at your destination but there are certain things you should never forget to bring.

Pack stuff you can mix and match.
Stick to a color scheme.  Black, white and beige are easy colors to mix, so pack at least a pair of shoes that will go with these.

Bring handy items.
For short trips, pack only the minimum number of toiletries and keep them small.  Use small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, powder, deodorant, etc.  Travel-sized stuff will come in handy, particularly if you will be bringing work equipment along, such as a notebook computer, a handy projector, a large portfolio, documents for a presentation, binder files, etc.

Don’t bring a big roll of toilet paper.  I once made this mistake, not realizing that I’d be staying at a hotel anyway and they have plenty of that stuff.  My bag ended up looking like it had a lump on one side.  Go for the coreless toilet paper instead.  They don’t have that firm paper ring in the center so you can squeeze them into your bag.

Check your travel agent for details.
I have a slight phobia about being left behind by an airplane, so I develop an obsession about plane tickets and flight schedules just before every trip.  In most companies, there’s someone in charge of booking flights and very often, they do so with a travel agency, which helps lessen the stress.

If your flight has been managed for you, avoid talking to the travel agent yourself.  This might create some confusion.  If you need special arrangements, talk to the person in charge at your office and have your message conveyed to the travel agent.

Have your ticket with you at least a day before your flight so you can clearly see when you ought to go to the airport.  Surprises are fine if you can manage to squeeze into a flight at the last minute but don’t try to push your luck.  Making business trips is already stressful enough.  Believe me, you don’t want any more drama.

Label stuff.
This will come in handy once you’re at the airport and especially if you have a black bag.  I thought mine was distinctive enough for me so at the baggage carousel, I confidently picked up a bag that looked like the one I checked in.  Turned out it belonged to someone else, a guy who was already eyeing me suspiciously. 

Use a name tag, a sticker or a ribbon.  A brightly colored tag, one that will stand out in a crowd will help you identify your stuff more quickly.

Get to know your destination.
If you’re going on a business trip to an unfamiliar location, ask about the area.  Find out if you have a car waiting for you or if you’ll need to find a taxi.  In some cases, you’ll have someone waiting for you at your destination.  Sometimes, you’ll be on your own, so it pays to know where you’re going.

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