How to prepare a business trip
Preparing a business trip requires a real organization and does not really leave room for improvisation. In a few days, you will have to make a series of appointments, possibly changing countries, and you cannot afford to leave anything to chance. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a business trip.
It is advisable first of all to draw up a checklist of everything you need to do before the departure date. As soon as the dates of your stay are confirmed, you will be able to take care of the administrative part of the trip.
The very first thing to check is of course your passport! First of all, you must make sure that it is valid, as it will take you some time to establish a new one. Some destinations require that the passport be valid for 6 months after return, so take this into account in your search for information.
Once your passport is ready, you may need a visa to travel. Depending on your destination, the length of your stay and the type of travel (professional missions), some destinations require a visa. Free or not, immediate delivery on arrival or to be done beforehand at the embassy, each country follows its own rules. It is up to you to find out at least 2 months before departure, in order to be prepared for any eventuality.
If you are French, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide you with a wealth of information on passports, visas, vaccinations and other tips that can be very useful for your trip. Take advantage of your visit on this site to register for the Ariane portal, which lists French people abroad. A security measure that will only take a few minutes and allows you to leave with peace of mind.
Once your documents are in order, you can worry about another equally important point: your health when travelling on business. You may need one or more vaccines in order to travel with peace of mind. In addition, some vaccines require a first booster and must therefore be planned in advance. To find out if your destination requires a vaccine, visit the Air France vaccination centre website.
Also remember to prepare a complete and effective travel pharmacy kit that can take care of your little bumps during your stay. If you travel to a remote country, you will certainly be subject to jet lag, which can affect your productivity. Discover our tips for managing jet lag, even during a short stay.
If, despite all this preparation, you still encounter any problems abroad, your professional mission insurance will manage your travel risks. Indeed, taking out professional mission insurance will allow you to leave with peace of mind and focus on your business trip. Different insurances exist, depending on your needs.
Basic coverage will cover your health and repatriation costs in the event of illness or accident.
If you want a more efficient contract, the complete coverage includes in addition to the previous coverages cancellation, flight delay, excess purchase of a rental vehicle. Discover travel insurance from 0.80€ per day!
If it is up to you to organize your business travel reservations, there are several points to consider. If your professional mission takes place in different cities or even different countries, it may be interesting to book a multi-destination flight ticket, or to find out about available transport, such as trains or car rental.
If you need to change city/country during your stay, prefer a hotel located near the station or airport. But if your appointments are focused on the city centre, take a room there and ask that it be quiet, so that you can rest there at any time of the day.
Remember to keep on your smartphone or print all the bookings made, so that you have them on hand during your stay.
In the suitcase
Before you even fill your luggage, ask yourself what kind of suitcase to take with you! To save time at the airport and avoid the risk of loss, you can take only one cabin suitcase with you. Light travel will allow you to be much more mobile if you have to change your accommodation several times. Be careful, however, such luggage requires careful preparation of your belongings, so that no contents are confiscated during the security passage at the airport: sharp objects, too large liquid containers, etc.
In addition to your suitcase, your hand luggage must contain all the important documents needed to carry out your professional mission, as well as your valuables such as your computer or tablet.
Once you have chosen your luggage, take a look at the weather forecast for the city you are travelling to in order to bring clothes accordingly. If your schedule is already ready, grant your outfits according to the events in which you will participate: meetings, gala, trade fair….
Some essentials for a successful professional mission
It is highly recommended to take photocopies of your identity papers, credit cards, visas, etc., which you will keep in a safe place, or even better, to scan them by keeping the backup on your laptop’s hard disk or on a cloud platform. If you take a computer with you, it is better if it does not contain any personal information (strictly for professional use). In the event of theft, the loss of your data will be limited.
Remember to save your business documents on different storage media, such as your computer, an external hard drive and some USB sticks. It is best to be cautious in case of a battery failure, a problem when opening the file or any other technical problem. Multiply your chances of success by saving your data on different media! Always in the multimedia section, never separate yourself from your chargers and a power adapter, both of which are essential to be operational at all times.
In order to introduce yourself properly to your foreign counterparts, always carry business cards with you at all times. The ritual of exchanging business cards is particularly important in some parts of the world, such as Asia. You can even create business cards especially for the occasion, in the local language. You can also make an impact on your customers by bringing them “goodies” bearing your company’s logo, or brochures or other communication media that they can keep and study once your meeting is over.