This is a collaborative post.
At some point in your professional life, you may need to travel somewhere outside of your city for business. Travelling is always exciting, but when it’s a business trip, you need to remember that you’re not travelling for pleasure. Work trips aren’t the same as holidays, no matter where in the world your job takes you! As such, it takes a whole lot more planning, preparation, and scheduling. If you often struggle with the whole process of travelling, you’re not alone. To help you enjoy a smoother travelling experience every time you get on a plane, train or any other form of transport, here are 5 tips for the regularly travelling professional.
5 tips for the regularly travelling professional
Bear in mind that these tips are useful for freelancers as well as those who travel regularly as part of their careers. You may find that as you progress through your professional life, you’ll be offered opportunities to travel. These tips will ensure you don’t fall foul of any problems along the way, especially if you’re new to work-based trips and professional overseas travel.
1. Always carry a hard and soft copy of your documents
One of the best things you can do while travelling is to carry both a hard and soft copy of your important travel documents. Carrying just a soft copy is convenient, but what if your phone or tablet dies and you can’t find an outlet? On the other hand, if you just carry a hard copy and you lose it and it gets ripped or stained, that will also pose a problem for you. That’s why carrying both ensures that you always have a backup no matter what the situation is.
2. Set up a virtual mailbox
Setting up a virtual mailbox works to your benefit in many ways. For people who don’t know what a virtual mailbox is, this service allows you to access all your physical mail from an online platform. It delivers high-quality scans of your business or personal postal mail for you to read from anywhere in the world.
This service is great because it ensures that no matter where you are in the world, you’ll still be able to keep track of all your important emails so that you never miss anything. For more information on setting up a virtual mailbox, visit https://physicaladdress.com/.
3. Pack the right clothes
Although it might sound like an obvious point, you’d be surprised how easy it is to get this wrong! Always remember to pack the right kind of clothes. To start with, consider the weather in the country or city you’re visiting. You can do some research prior to travelling to see what the weather is like at that time of the year, especially if it’s an unfamiliar place.
If it’s cold, make sure you pack lots of layers. This will also be helpful for you on the plane, as planes tend to get cold. If the weather is hot, pack appropriately for that as well. Next, as you will be travelling for business, make sure you always have a professional outfit to wear to meetings and conferences and such.
4. Don’t forget the currency
Here’s a travel tip that you might not hear too often; have a small stash of the local currency before you travel. You can change currency before your trip at the bank, and sometimes even at the post office. The reason you need to do this is so that when you land at your destination, you don’t have to waste any extra time trying to get the local currency, and you can easily just get a taxi to your hotel immediately after you’re done with security. Also, the exchange rates at airports never work in your favour, so it’s best to avoid them.
5. Plan for delays
Sometimes, delays happen when you least expect them. Instead of getting frustrated when they happen, you could just plan in advance for if they were to happen. One of the most annoying things about being delayed is that you’re stuck at the airport with a whole lot of free time and nothing to do.
One way you to solve this is by bringing along a book you’ve always wanted to read or downloading that show you’ve been meaning to catch up with, before heading to the airport. That way, if you experience a delay, you’ll have something to do while you wait. Also, ensure you have all your client and colleagues’ contact details stored so that in the event of delays you can keep them updated on your situation. Don’t be that person who arrives late without letting your contact know why. It’s incredibly unprofessional.
Another important thing to consider is who to inform of your travel plans and status for safety reasons. Ensure that at least one other person knows your plans and planned itinerary so that if anything goes wrong during your trip or if something happens to you, they will immediately alert your employer or the necessary emergency services.
Travel tips for professionals
Travelling for work purposes can seem daunting, but by planning ahead you can save yourself a lot of potential stress. Even if your career isn’t yet at the point of needing to make international trips, you can still think proactively about it so that you’re prepared as and when the chance arises.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Have you done a lot of travelling for professional purposes? If you have any tips or advice for freelancers or other travelling professionals please do leave them in the comments below.