Preparing For Business Trips
Preparing For Business Trips
Joel Widzer (Travel Strategist) gives expert video advice on: How should I plan for my business trip?; What special items should I bring on a business trip?; What's the best luggage to bring on a business trip? and more...
What special items should I bring on a business trip?
If you're meeting with executives, you want to have a nice power watch, because that makes you look like you care about time, that you're punctual. Also women can wear a nice pearl necklace, that makes them look very elegant and powerful in a boardroom. Also they can think about the type of earrings they have. They want something nice and tasteful. Also, for men you can wear nice cufflinks, nothing too fancy, but something that fits right in with the type of executives that you're meeting with. And one thing you want to think about with jewelry is, you typically want to carry it on board with you. You don't want to put it in to your checked luggage because you don't want it to get lost. So put it into a nice little bag, put it into your briefcase or your purse so you have it with you.
What's the best luggage to bring on a business trip?
What most business travelers are looking for is speed and convenience. Very often you can get away with a 22-inch rollerboard for a shorter trip. Most business trips are about three to four days. For that you can get two suits into a 22-inch rollerboard. You can get your socks and two pairs of shoes into it. You can get enough dress shirts or blouses or skirts into it. That usually is very good for business travelers because it makes sure that they can get through the airport, get through security very easily, and they can also fit it into the overhead bin space. A lot of times I know when I am traveling for business, I like to get off that plane and get on my way.
Should I bring my briefcase when I travel for work?
A lot of business travelers are going to travel with their briefcase and what they're typically looking for is something that is going to be able to hold their papers, but also hold their computer. Many business travelers are traveling with a notebook computer. So what I like is, I have a soft Tumi travel bag and I'm able to fit my computer in there. I also have dividers in there where I can have different files for my papers. Then in another pocket I'm able to put my electrical charger for my computer, my wallet and some other items. Some of the others types of briefcases are the hard covered briefcases that you see and those don't travel as well because they could be a little more difficult to get under an airline seat, particularly in the coach section of airplanes, they can be a little difficult to fit under those small seats. And even in the overhead bin space a lot of times they'll get all scratched up. So I think that a good type of universal briefcase for business travelers are some of the soft ones that are going to provide protection for their computer.
Are the rules for dressing different if I work in an international business?
You know one of the most difficult things about business travel is fitting your clothing to the culture that you're traveling to. For instance, women if they're going to some Middle Eastern country, they have to be careful not to expose too much. Maybe a pantsuit would work better because they're not supposed to expose their legs and also they don't want to expose too much skin. If your going to some Asian countries you could get away with maybe some jeans and a polo shirt in some places, but if you go to Japan you need to wear a suit. And for instance in Europe if I go to Switzerland I'm probably going to wear a suit, maybe even a tie, maybe even cufflinks. Rather if I go to Italy though, I can get away with nice slacks with a nice button down shirt and a nice pair of shoes. So what I do is, I always contact my hotel and I write an email to the concierge and I ask them what type is the typical customary business attire for your city, for your country. And that way I kind of have an idea of what's appropriate, because a lot of times you can lose a business deal by having the wrong clothing.
What's the secret to successful business travel?
The secret to a successful business trip is proper planning. You want to make sure that you have the right clothes that are going to be appropriate for the environment that you're going to be conducting business in. You also want to make sure that you have the right tools. You want to have your business cards. You want to make sure that you have your computer with you. Also you want to have your contact list so you can contact people back home in case you need to and if you have a cellular phone maybe you can get a GSM card so that you can use it internationally if you are traveling overseas. The other thing I think that is very helpful is to contact your hotel. Use your hotel as a resource. They can provide you with all sorts of information such as transportation needs. They can take care of any special requirements you might have...dietary requirements. So use your hotel as a resource and help them in helping you plan your trip.
What's the best way to get upgrades on my business trips?
One of the nice things about being a business traveller is that you travel frequently and the good thing about that is it that you get upgrades. Because travel providers they want your business and the key there is to be a loyal customer. For example I travel about 200,000 miles a year on the airline that I prefer and I get upgraded on every flight I take even international flights so what you want to do is you want to consolidate your business to a few select travel providers and by doing so you'll get all sorts of upgrades. You'll get upgraded to executive floors at hotels which can save you a lot of money on breakfast and food. You'll get nice suites which can make your hotel stay much more comfortable and you'll just get a whole realm of upgrades that really could make your travel much nicer.