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Ultimate Guide to Surviving Your First Business Trip

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

So, you’re new to a company and heading on first business trip? This guide will help you navigate your first time traveling for business like a pro.

What to Pack? Clothing & Tech

Here on our site, we have plenty of information about what to pack for a business trip. However

long the length, the essentials are still the same. Below, we have included some of the items that

you should no t forget. For a longer list of items, check out our articles on Packing For a Short

Business Trip and what you should know about preparing for a two- week business trip.

Here are some essentials items to consider:

  • Laptop or tablet

  • Blue or Black Pens or writing utensils

  • Extra Business Cards (If you think you have enough, pack more)

  • A hard drive to back up content

  • A Planner or Legal Pad

  • Book bag or Brief case

  • Spare Cash

  • Several Copies of your Presentation

Here are some clothing essentials to consider:

  • 3 Tops (2 Dress and 1 Casual) Remember that these can be dressed up by outer wear

  • Men: (2) Bottoms: 1 Dress Pant and 1 Casual | Women: (3) Bottoms: 1 Dress Pant, 1

  • Skirt, 1 Casual

  • 1 Blazer in a Neutral Color

  • Women: 1 Dress

  • 3 to 4 Pairs of Underwear

  • 3 Pairs of Socks

  • 1 or 2 Set of Pjs

  • 2 Pairs of Shoes (1 Dress/ 1 Casual)

  • Optional Athleisure attire

  • 1 Outing Outfit

  • 2 Casual Outfits

What to Know Before You Go

Traveling for business is a much different experience than traveling for leisure. Chances

are, your schedule is planned- ahead of time and you will need to know where to be and

at what time. Do these things prior to leaving for your trip.

  • Check Your Itinerary: Your itinerary is subject to change during your work trip and you’ll want to know if any changes have been made. Keep an updated copy in your personal luggage and a digital copy on your phone so that you stay in the know.

  • Get a point of contact: You’ll want to have contact with someone on the other end in case any changes occur such as: delay in flight, issues with accommodations or transportation or emergencies. Make sure you include their information on both your digital and printed copy of your itinerary.

  • Plan to arrive the day before if possible: Because this is your first work trip, you’ll want to take some time to familiarize yourself with the area or conference center. Consider leaving the day before so that you’re settled and well rested the day of. It is also nice to take advantage of the travel experience and explore your local area.

  • Don’t Check Luggage if Possible: It can be tempting to let the airline take your luggage so you can move smoothly through TSA but we recommend carrying on for each business trip if possible. That way, you can avoid airline luggage loss and have quick access to your work and personal materials especially on a time crunch.

Tips for During the Trip

  • Unpack Immediately: The best way to settle in is to unpack your suitcase and make yourself at home. Additionally, you want to give your clothing a chance to cut wrinkles. Bonus Pro Tip: Hang your iron free clothing in the bathroom and turn the steam shower on to reduce wrinkles.

  • Don’t forget to mingle: Work trips are only boring when you stay to yourself. Take an opportunity outside of the meetings to chat with co- workers. It builds camaraderie back at the office.

  • Know when to network and when to turn off the clock: Business talk and networking is great during business trips but it’s important to strike a balance between work and “off the clock”. Read the room and take the time of the event (day or night) into your consideration.

  • Keep ALL of your receipts: You’ll want to get reimbursed for the expenses of the trip as quickly as possible. Be sure to keep a copy of all your receipts in one place to present at a later date. Smart phones often have scanners built in and this is a great time to use them.

  • Take advantage of Free time: One of the great benefits of work travel is that you can explore a new place for free. Take advantage of your off time by exploring the town, eating and/or shopping local.

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