Travelling for work may sound relatively straight forward, but for those who are new to the game there are some easy traps to fall into. Whether it’s working too much, not packing the right items or staying in the wrong place, these rookie mistakes can leave you feeling tired, unprepared or even unable to do your job well.
Luckily, knowing what these pitfalls are will help you to avoid them, so read on to be enlightened.
- Working all the time
Yes, you are on a business trip. No, that does not mean that you have to work every waking hour of the day. Compartmentalise your life and be sure to have some time for yourself. This includes eating proper meals and doing some exercise. You wouldn’t work 24/7 at home, so don’t do it while you are away.
- Booking the wrong type of accommodation
When you book a hotel room you get just that – a single space in which to do everything you need to do. A serviced apartment is great for a business trip, as you can have separate areas for work, rest and play, helping you to achieve the first point.
- Staying in the wrong place
If you are meeting clients in London Bridge then you want to be staying in one of the serviced apartments in London Bridge. There is no point in being in a very nice part of London that is miles away from where you need to be.
- Packing too much
Rookie business travellers tend to pack absolutely loads of stuff to try and prepare for every eventuality. Instead of making things easier, you end up lugging a huge bag around with you. Find out what items are provided by your serviced apartment before you set off and then be economical with the space you have left.
- Not collecting receipts
When you travel for work you need to expense many of your outgoings, even if your serviced apartment is already paid for. This means keeping your receipts safe and the best way to do this is to bring an envelope or sealable plastic bag to put them all in the same place. This will make things so much easier to sort out on your return.
- Taking too much tech
If you’re not used to taking your job on the road, then it can be a bit of an adjustment trying to complete your tasks without all the office equipment available. No matter how hard you try, you cannot bring multiple devices to perform different jobs on your business trip. You’ll need to compromise and find a small lightweight solution to do as much as possible.
- Failing to bring back-up files
The success of an entire business trip can rest on one presentation, which you have saved on your laptop. But what if it isn’t there when you try to find it? It’s amazing how often this happens and panic ensues. Get into the habit of also bringing a back-up on a USB drive.
- Not factoring in enough time
Yes, you have a full working day and it’s great to go to plenty of meetings, but it never looks good if you’re late. You should always factor in additional time if you are travelling to different locations between meetings, especially in a place you are not familiar with. Not only will this act as a contingency in case you get lost or encounter transport problems, but you can use the extra time to be fully prepared for the next meeting.
- Wearing your smart work clothes to travel in
Travelling in a suit or smart outfit is not only uncomfortable, but often means that you look rather crumpled when you get to your destination. Plan your schedule with enough time to check into your serviced apartment and change before your first appointment. You could even have a shower and arrive feeling totally fresh.
- Not staying on after your work is done
A common complaint from seasoned road warriors is that they travel all over the world and don’t get to see any of it because they are working all the time. For most people it is simple enough to add an extra few days onto a business trip to explore a destination once you’ve completed all your tasks. This could mean that if you’re in a serviced apartment in London Bridge you spend the weekend at Borough Market indulging in a few treats or heading down the embankment to see what’s on at Tate Modern.