Business Travel Checklist: How to Prepare for a Business Trip

Business travel is an important part of the job for many professionals. To have a successful trip, it’s important to do some planning before you start your jet-setting. The following  business travel checklist will help you enjoy a more seamless trip with less stress.

Get your ducks in a row

The most important details to have squared away in advance of a business trip are your transportation and accommodation arrangements. Think through how you will get from Point A to Point B at each step along your journey. Your pre-travel plans should include setting up cab rides, rideshares or a car rental to get you to and from the airport, as well as transportation back and forth to business meetings. Research whether your hotel offers shuttle service to and from the airport. Consider temporary furnished apartments or corporate housing instead of a hotel stay when traveling on business for a fuller range of amenities, reduced cost and more spacious accommodations.

Plan your itinerary

When on the road, having a digital or paper document that contains all of the details on your travel logistics can prove to be invaluable. Make sure to add it to your business travel checklist. Before you leave, write or type out an itinerary for each day on the road, starting with when you leave home or the office and ending on the day that you return to your original destination. Be sure to include flight information, details on rental cars and other ground transportation, addresses and phone numbers of your furnished housing provider or other lodging choice, times and locations of business meetings and contact information for people you’ll be meeting with during your visit.

Prepare your documentation

You should always travel with proper personal identification and paperwork, particularly for airport travel—so be sure to check that you’ve packed the ID that you’ll need. Double-check that your driver’s license is up-to-date, as well as your passport if you’re traveling internationally. Remember that you’ll need to show your driver’s license if you’re renting a car as well.

Pack with a checklist

This might seem like last-minute details, but packing should definitely be part of your business travel checklist. In the rush of preparing to leave, packing can sometimes be left for the last minute. In such cases, it’s particularly important to make a list of everything you’ll need to pack for your business trip, rather than leaving it to memory. A few days before you disembark, start brainstorming items that you’ll need for your job while away, such as electronic files, cell phone charger, meeting agendas and project notes. Write them down as soon as you think of them. You should also list specific personal items you can’t do without, like travel-sized toiletries and business attire.

In short, preparation is key to any type of travel, but it’s especially important when you’re getting ready for a business trip. Doing the right things before you go can help ensure not only a smoother experience en route to your destination, but more successful business outcomes as well.