Undertaking a business trip can be a daunting experience, especially when you have not yet considered or finalised your travel arrangements. Whether the duration of the travel is simply over the weekend or extended to a couple of months, it is integral to make personal preparations. This is to ensure a successful business experience and to reduce any potential risks or concerns during the travel. Here are eight daily matters that will need to be dealt with prior to leaving for your business trip (or really, any trip!).
- Hold your mail:
Request to put your mail on hold. Don’t risk accumulating your important letters and parcels in your mail box or at the front of your doorstep, disposed to being stolen or damaged. Visit your local post office or go online and fill a form to request your mail to be held at the dates that you require. Your personal mail will be held at the delivery centre which then will be automatically sent back to your postal address following your return date. Alternatively, you can ask or hire someone to collect your mail for you in your absence.
- Reaccommodate your pets
One of the greatest concerns of leaving for business trips is the inability to find someone to care for your pets while you are away. Eliminate this stress by booking a secure local pet accommodation. In Australia, Mad Paws is a trusted pet boarding service that provides you with additional reassurance by sending regular texts and photo updates of your pets, manageable via their app.
- Pay your bills
Remember to pay your household bills before you leave for your business trip. Download your utility company apps onto your smartphone to manage and pay your utility bills whilst you are on travel. Alternatively, schedule automatic payments directly from your debit account to reduce concerns of remembering to pay before the due date.
- Recheck work calendar
Notify your colleagues and clients that you will not be personally available for the period that you are on your business trip. It is also important to directly inform them that you will not be as responsive to specific projects or tasks, to reduce emails to your inbox while you are away. Recheck your work calendar and reschedule or cancel any meetings that have been arranged during your leave and notify those that will be affected by the alteration. Modify your work and project schedules ahead of time to allow for your work teams to coordinate with your absence. You may also wish to create an automated email response or a personalised voicemail to let people know that you are not able to get in touch with them personally.
- Confirm your bookings
The last thing that you would wish to occur is booking your accommodation a few days before your flight and realising that there are no more availabilities. Schedule your travel accommodation well ahead of your travel date to prevent such situations from occurring. If hotel rooms are highly costly or unavailable near the area that your conference or meeting is situated, you may wish to look for alternative accommodations through Airbnb and Stayz. Book your restaurant reservations prior to your travel to ensure that you will be able to secure meeting dinners with colleagues and clients. If you plan to attend any specific events, reserve your attendance ahead of time. You may also wish to book a travel guide, translator or travel bus depending on your travel destination.
- Notify your bank
Alert your bank and credit providers by informing them of your travel dates and destinations. This is to prevent the cancellation of your credit cards from being unintentionally mistaken for conducting suspicious transactions. This is especially critical if your travel destination is overseas where you would be expected to pay international charges and fees.
- Research the culture
Researching the culture of your travel destination is highly required when you are travelling to another country. Learning the basic language can significantly reduce potential mishaps as well as enhancing client relationships. You will also be required to have a solid understanding of cultural etiquette and business formalities to avoid common mistakes made by foreigners. This can include greetings, communication patterns and dining conduct that are influenced by the culture of the country or area. There are cultural differences that must be acknowledged even upon entering a neighbouring state, where various slang, appropriations and contexts may differ and need to be considered and adjusted.
- Household cleaning
Retaining cleanliness within your house is crucial to prevent the development of odour or pests and unnecessary stresses when returning from your trip. Conduct a final dusting of your furniture and replace your bed sheets and pillows to reduce dust accumulation. This will also allow you to return from your trip with your home in a fresh state, remaining relatively the same as you had left it.