Four key tips for a successful business trip

The coronavirus pandemic had a stranglehold on business travel in 2020 and 2021, but 2022 saw professional business trips and delegations begin to make a steady return.

2023 is undoubtedly going to be a busy year for many businesses in the UK, especially those hoping to build new partnerships after the UK’s departure from the EU. But for the professional new to business travel, what are some key tips for more effective preparation?

1) Review your budget

Business trips can be expensive endeavours even at the best of times, so it is important to understand exactly what budget you have available for your trip.

If you are heading up a delegation to an international conference, the trip is a more complicated one that requires direct input on travel arrangements and staff stipends; smaller trips undertaken by one or two members of staff might be managed entirely by HR and Accounting staff, with a small “per-diem” budget given to fund food and drink.

2) Research your destination

If the destination for your trip is one you have never visited before, it would be a shrewd decision to undertake some proper research of the destination.

Arriving in an unfamiliar city can be a daunting thing, and all the more so if you find yourself struggling to locate your hosts or accommodation. Getting lost is a poor excuse for missing important meetings or briefings, so knowing the lay of the land is key.

3) Plan your travel carefully

Not only is it important that you know as much as possible about the geography of your destination, but it is also vital that you pay proper attention to your means and route of travel. If you are not intimately familiar with your route, you run the risk of making mistakes and encountering delays – delays which could negatively impact your ambitions on arrival.

Whether your trip is a domestic one to the capital, or an international journey, you will likely need to interact with the UK’s rail network. Knowing the train times to London from your area will be instrumental in guaranteeing you make your connection on time, or arrive promptly for your business arrangements and meetings.

4) Plan your accommodation wisely

Most business trips are overnight affairs, whether for a single night in order to make a morning meeting or a week’s stay in a foreign country. Either way, your choice of accommodation will have its own impacts on the outcomes of your trip.

If you book according to price, without taking geography into account, you might find yourself staying miles away from your business destinations – adding an unnecessary layer of difficulty to proceedings.

Where possible, your accommodation should be as close to the venue for your business arrangements as possible. This might mean a more expensive hotel, if for example the purpose of your visit is to attend an international conference. However, this is a worthwhile cost for minimising delays and keeping things professional.

Photo by Briana Tozour