If you’ve been chosen to go on your first business trip, congratulations! Being selected to go on a trip means your supervisors trust you. Some of the people you meet may have never heard of your company before meeting you; your bosses know you will give these people as well as old friends a positive impression of your business.
If you’ve never been on a business trip before, it can be intimidating. Depending on the nature of your trip, you may be expected to make a speech or presentation. Whether you’ll be in front of a crowd or not, it’s easy to get nervous about representing your company in a new place.
Preparing for your business trip properly can calm your nerves, and can ensure you do a well on your journey. The following tips can help you prepare properly for this exciting first trip:
Learn your company’s financial policies. If you’re away on a business trip, your company will likely cover some or all of your basic expenses. It’s important to understand before you take off what your company will pay for, and how they’ll pay for it. You may receive a company credit card, or you may have to save your receipts and submit them for reimbursement after the trip. Figure this out early on to avoid excessive charges to yourself or your company.
Prepare your travel documents. If you’re business trip won’t be taking you too far away from home, you likely only need a state ID card or driver’s license to travel. On the other hand, if you’re being sent on an international business trip, special preparations are required — including a valid passport. You may need vaccinations depending on your travel destination. Your company should be able to tell you everything you’ll need.
Pack properly. Overpacking is a common response to being stressed about traveling. If you pack too much, you’ll be burdened with unnecessarily heavy baggage, and may even be charged more by the airline. Consider how many days you’ll be away for and pack appropriately. If you’re going to be making a presentation during your trip, make sure your presentation materials can withstand travel and aren’t too heavy for you to manage.
Relax. Don’t let yourself get too worked up about your first business trip. While a business trip is work, it’s exciting to be travel, particularly if it’s a place you’ve never been before. It also reflects well on you that your supervisors trusted you to manage this trip. Remember that you’ve earned this trust, and you wouldn’t be going if they thought you couldn’t handle it. Enjoy the change of scene, and be sure to book some relaxation time during your trip — even if it’s only watching tv in your hotel room after a long day at work.
Your first business trip is a chance to prove what an important asset you are for your company. Prepare for it properly, and you’ll find it to be an enjoyable and educational experience.