How to Prepare for Business Travel
There are two words that strike fear in the hearts of many professionals: business travel. Of course, nobody wants to leave the comfort of their home office, but sometimes it's required. How can you be sure that you're fully prepared to embark on a business trip? We're here to help. Here are some tips that will help you prepare for business travel, whether it's your first trip or your fifty-first.
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1. Book in Advance
Sure, it's sometimes not possible to book your flight or your lodging weeks ahead of your trip, but if you can, do it. It will not only save money, but you'll know that you've got the flight that's most convenient for your schedule as well as the lodging that is most convenient to your business. If you need some help finding lodging, we're here for you; we've got furnished temporary apartments in most of the neighborhoods in the DC metro area. Our listings include the Walk Score for every building as well as a detailed list of the amenities available there.
2. Make a List
Before you start to pack, sit down and create a detailed list of everything you think you could need. In an ideal world, you'll only need to take a carry-on bag to prevent long lines at the airport luggage carousel, but if you're planning to be away for business travel for thirty days or more, then you'll probably need to branch out a bit more. Some people go so far as to overnight ship anything that won't fit in their carry-on to their lodgings to prevent them from having to pay the extra money to check their bags, not to mention the extra time. In order to prevent overpacking, it just makes good sense to write down everything you think you'll need prior to tossing it into your suitcase. Then, you can do some judicious editing. Consult your list, and you won't find yourself in a strange city with no socks. Or, worse, missing a vital power cord that you desperately need during your meeting.
3. Load Up Your Smartphone
Putting some helpful apps on your phone prior to leaving for your trip will save you time, money, and a whole lot of stress in the long run. For example, should your flight get canceled, don't join the mile-long queue at the service counter. Instead, use a travel app to help you find an alternative flight, and then call the airline's call center to rebook. It's faster, and you can do it from your seat near the outlet so you can continue to charge your laptop. Additionally, there are a ton of useful apps that will help you navigate the DC Metro area. Get them on your phone before you arrive, and you'll be ready to hit the ground running upon arrival.
4. Create an Itinerary
Of course, your days will be monopolized by business, but you're sure to have some free time while you're visiting our nation's capital. And if you're planning an extended stay, your weekends will probably be available for sightseeing. Take some time before your trip to decide what parts of the DC Metro area you'd like to see before your time is up. This will help you get to see everything you want to see without wasting time trying to decide what to do. Of course, there are tons of historic sites, monuments, and museums that you should visit, but don't forget to take some time to explore off the beaten path, too.
5. Be Prepared for Expense Reporting
If your company is like most, you'll be responsible for filling out an expense report at the end of your trip. Or, if you're there for an extended period of time, you might have to do it each month. Regardless, it's important to have a plan in place to keep everything neat and organized so that you'll be ready to present them when the time comes. If you really want to be ahead of the game, start your expense report as soon as you book the trip, and then set a calendar reminder to add expenses for meals, incidentals, car service, and client entertainment at the end of your trip. You'll be glad you did it.
With these tips in your arsenal, your upcoming business travel should be smooth sailing. Take a deep breath, relax, and set your plans into motion, and you'll be ready to travel anytime, anywhere.
If you're planning a trip to the DC Metro area for 30 days or more, check out our furnished temporary apartments to find the ideal place for your upcoming business travel.