A business trip can be a big move in your career. Even if you are only going to attend a seminar or meeting, this is your chance to get out and connect with new contacts. Networking is everything in the business world, and a trip to a new location is your chance to really get out and build that reference and contact list.
Pack For Business, Not Pleasure
An important part of any business trip is preparation, and it cannot be stressed highly enough. You will want to consider not only the length of the trip, but what is expected of you while you are there. What are your responsibilities, what type of attire is required, and what materials do you need to pack? You will certainly want to bring your computer, business suits, phone chargers, and resume.
Check the Local Weather
Check the weather with your travel agent and dress appropriately – but keep it to business casual even in hot climates. If you show up to your beach meeting in Hawaii in Bermuda shorts and flip flops, you will be dressed appropriately for the weather, but certainly not for any meetings you may have!
Don’t Forget Business Cards
Another important thing to bring on a trip is business cards. Again, networking is crucial on these trips, and every time you hand out your card, you are making another potential contact. This can be very important down the line.
Will your Cellphone Work Abroad?
Also (and I can’t stress this enough), make sure your cellphone will function out of state or out of the country. You may need to call your cellphone carrier to find this out. And don’t forget your charger! If you are relying purely on your cellphone to set up meetings and locate the people you’re dealing with, a dead cellphone can be a huge disaster for both companies and could potentially ruin the trip – and maybe even your career.
Hold Onto Receipts
Taxes are something else to consider during a business trip, especially for the self-employed. Keep a receipt for all business related expenses, including flights, car rentals, meals, and anything else during your trip. These can be deducted as business expenses for your taxes. If your employer is footing the bill for your trip, saving receipts can help prevent any disputes.