Monday, January 16, 2012

Tips for Business Travel

To be honest, I've only traveled for work once in the last 5 years. Which I'm quite okay with, since at my last job, I was traveling pretty often. Trips to Chicago were entertaining and filled with sightseeing on the side, but other road trips to nearby small towns were filled with evenings of me watching things like the college football Fiesta Bowl or some other game named after a citrus fruit and suddenly caring about who was winning. Here are my top 5 training travel tips, from someone's who's been there and done that.

1) If possible, mail your materials to your training location ahead of time and call to verify that everything arrived. It's no fun checking in a giant box of supplies and if your box gets lost in transit... uh oh! you're off and running to the nearest Kinko's to get new materials printed.

2) Become familiar with your company's rules about expensing items, keep track of your mileage and file receipts in a logical manner. I like to keep a list of my expenses for each day and attach the receipts in order, so that when I go to submit my expense report, I don't need to try to remember where I went for dinner last Tuesday evening.

3) Join your airline's frequent flyer program and hotel's rewards club. Might as well get something out of it. I used to receive personalized welcome treats of cheese and soda in my room upon check-in and access to the hotel's Wi-Fi for free.

4) Keep separate travel toiletries. It's so much easier that way. Go to Target and buy yourself little travel-sized shampoo, toothpaste and lotion and designate a travel toothbrush. Keep those packed, so that when you are preparing for your nexttrip, you'll be ready to go. That way, you won't forget your contact lens case because you didn't pack it that morning (like I did once).

5) Have fun! If you have some time to spare, look up some local attractions. Find highly rated restaurants to dine at, instead of always eating in the hotel lobby restaurant. Enjoy the area and act like a tourist if you have a free evening or if you are traveling over a weekend. Going to Kansas City? Try some tasty BBQ. Chicago? Spend an evening at Navy Pier. Middle-of-nowhere North Dakota? Watch a college football game on TV :)

Safe travels to you!

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