Make sure you have everything you need for your business trip.
One of the many benefits of globalisation is that you can find plenty of overseas opportunities for business expansion. This means that you’d be travelling abroad more frequently to meet with business partners.
To help you have an easier time travelling for business and be well equipped to clinch that huge deal, we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist:
Getting ready for the trip
First off, you should check if there are already arrangements made for your plane tickets and accommodation. Otherwise, the necessary and suitable bookings have to be made following the set budget. Draw out a schedule for what you want to do or accomplish during your trip.
Download some of the many apps on the market that can simplify this process for you. For example, SkyScanner provides one-stop options for you to browse and book flights and hotels anywhere. TripIt helps consolidate all your booking confirmations into a master itinerary for easy access and reference.
You’ll be familiar with ride-sharing apps like Uber and Grab for getting around town. However, do check which app is preferred in your destination – not all of them operate in every area and some do so more reliably than others. In some countries, taxi drivers frown upon private-hire cars and might even get aggressive. So do some quick research beforehand to avoid unwanted situations.
It’s easy to get excited about travelling for the most parts, but typically not when it comes to packing. Finding the balance between being well covered and keeping your luggage light is a skill on its own.
Many business travellers would recommend that you downsize to just a carry-on, as this reduces the chance of loss or damage to your luggage and time spent at the airport. Make sure that your luggage doesn’t exceed the weight limit before you leave home, as it’ll weigh you down both physically and in extra costs.
But if you’re a new business traveller, don’t forget about the additions you’d need from your usual leisure trips, such as work documents, business cards and laptop. One easy way is to use PackPoint, a mobile app that generates a packing list based on destination, length of travel, weather and activities planned.
Word to the wise: always make it a point to pack for contingency. Keep your important documents (personal and business) backed up – whether through storage devices like thumb drives, cloud-based services like LastPass or making physical copies. This way, in the unfortunate event that anything is lost or stolen, you can still go about your business.
Meeting your mobile & data roaming needs
When travelling for business, it’s especially essential to remain connected and contactable. To acquire mobile data overseas, buying a local SIM card is one option. But a local SIM card comes with disadvantages such as the need for swapping cards and switching to a unknown local number, which may cause you to be unreachable via calls and messages.
Why not skip the hassle of sourcing for a local SIM card that might also not properly fit your data needs? Simply sign up for data roaming services such as StarHub’s DataTravel Unlimited, which provides unlimited data in over 120 countries and allows you to stay on your mobile number.
Keeping focus on your objective
Don’t get lost in the other considerations of your business trip – remember what you’re there for and have a singular focus on it.
To stay productive in preparation of your meeting, invest in travel-sized electronics like a power bank, portable WiFi router and foldable keyboard for tablets. Take the time to organise your materials for the meeting – including slide decks, notes and handouts – and anticipate the responses that the other party might have for your proposal.
When it’s showtime, don’t forget to dress presentably and appropriately. Some meetings or functions might require you to put on the most formal business attire.
Business or leisure – why not ‘bleisure’?
Tack a few more days on to your business trip and reward yourself! This way, you get to enjoy a short vacation without having to spend extra time and money on flights and travel preparations. You might even come across unexpected opportunities or ideas, inspired by how the local businesses operate.
If you travel frequently, you can earn heaps of points and miles from loyalty programs like Starwood Preferred Guest and Citi PremierMiles Visa Card to be redeemed for attractive promotions or privileges. It’s a win-win to take advantage of these to maximise the experience of your stay while minimising expenditures.
As you accumulate experience in travelling for business, it will become second nature to you when you book your next flight to have overseas meetings. The plethora of tools and solutions available can maximise what you gain out of your business trip in this digital age of connectivity.
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