Business Travel Made Easy By Christi Youd

Cancelled flights…lost luggage…presentation programs that won’t run…the list of potential business trip challenges is virtually endless. In fact, when it comes to business travel, it seems that problems and delays are the norm, not the exception. The key is to be prepared for anything that comes your way. Only then will arriving at your destination be as simple as your morning drive into the office.Unfortunately, most business travelers are unprepared for even the smallest of travel glitches. And although they may have made numerous business trips in the past, each with its own problem or two, people still don’t plan for setbacks when the next trip rolls around. As a result, they get frustrated when traveling and view business trips as a hassle they wish they could avoid.

If you have to travel for business, take the approach that everything will go wrong. That way you’re prepared to handle whatever comes your way and no challenge will derail your business plans. Following are the key steps to take before, during, and after a trip to make business travel as stress-free as possible.

 Your Pre-Flight Preparations

·         Create your travel binder. This is a small binder (5” x 11”) that will hold all your travel document essentials. In your binder include your airline ticket (or electronic ticket confirmation), photo identification, passport (if needed), expense log, receipt envelope or pocket, cash, passes or membership cards, and your frequent flyer or frequent stay identification numbers. To minimize the number of frequent guest cards you need to carry, laminate a single card that has all your frequent flyer and frequent stay identification numbers and information. Keep your travel binder with you at all times, in an outside pocket of your carry-on bag.

·         When you choose your flight, never reserve the last flight scheduled before you need to be at your destination, even if that means arriving at your destination a day early. Why? Because you need to plan that something will go wrong with your flight and you’ll need to catch the next flight out. If the meeting or event you’re attending is critical, then make sure you have two flight times you can fall back on. Remember, flights get cancelled, grounded, and delayed every day. You need a backup so you can still make it to your destination on time.

To read the rest of this article, check out the Winter 2008 Issue of WE Magazine for Women.