The stresses of travel are hard enough when it’s for vacation purposes. If you add on the additional pressure of traveling with your boss or co-workers, it gets even harder. There are steps you can take ahead of time to make the overall experience more tolerable and even enjoyable.
Be prepared for things to go wrong. The right frame of mind is to expect that everything that can go wrong, will. The key is to be as prepared as possible so you can have a contingency plan for when/if that happens. Get travel insurance no matter what. The worst-case scenario is that you don’t use it.
While it may not be up to you, try to get as much advance notice about a trip as you can. In addition to possibly needing extra time in order to obtain travel documents like a visa, you also want to make sure you book all of your hotels online by using a comparison discount site or app. They do the research for you and select the best rate. You always want to do this as soon as possible, otherwise it will be more expensive. The same rule applies to flights if you are being tasked with booking your own airfare. Even if you aren’t going to be traveling a lot, you should sign up for any relevant frequent flier and hotel points programs so you can earn miles and free hotel stays in the future. Sometimes you might even earn a free upgrade.
Planning ahead is the best way to prepare for any potential problems. Research routes to/from the hotel and the airport as well as any meeting spaces. Along with an itinerary, take note of important contact information you will need while traveling. Double-check hotel and rental car reservation dates and make sure you share all of this information with anybody who needs to reach out to you in case your plans change or in the event of an emergency.
In addition to bringing along a phone and notifying the hotel front desk, you should also bring along a back-up alarm so you don’t miss a meeting or a flight.
Keep in mind there will be downtime. Bring along a deck of cards to play alone or with someone. If you need to tune people out, there’s nothing better than a pair of earplugs if you need to nap on a plane or if you having a snoring roommate.
Before spending any money on things like meals, make sure you go over what your company’s reimbursement and travel expense policies are. Save every receipt as well.
During periods of downtime, there are many ways to research the local food scene online. Have fun but within reason. You want to always keep fun at a respectful level. While you are in another city, it’s also important to learn any cultural mannerisms and etiquette.
Make sure you have local currency, if necessary. Notify your bank that you will be using your credit card out-of-town so they don’t cancel it.
Pack light – use just a carry-on if possible. Find products that can keep you organized such as a suitcase with cubes to divide objects. Research connectivity options beforehand ex: sim card vs. wifi options. Power adapters are another thing to research if going to a foreign country. In addition to all of this, keep all your original travel documents in one place together and make copies or snap photos of all important travel documents and store them someplace safe.