How to travel for business like George Clooney

Remember George Clooney’s ‘Up in the air’ movie? His job was a tough one but he always travelled with aplomb.

Climbing up the corporate ladder has its own perks and perils. With great power comes great responsibilities; so much that when you are preparing for a candlelight dinner, you may be asked to drop all the plans and travel at the drop of a hat. While frequent travellers are aware of what needs to be done, novices may have little understanding on what to expect on a short travel notice.

Irrespective of whether the travel is within the homeland or abroad, it has its own set of challenges. Being self-reliant and having a well-chalked out plan can be of great help as travelling for business requires a focus around which the trip needs to be planned. Or else, fear of travel and a business trip with a target in mind can turn into a pain, even though you have earned a degree and a swanky job with great perks.

So, before travelling to another city or country, it is important to speak to your seniors, or even consult your travel desk to understand what is expected from you and what you should expect on the trip. Time away from home, better turn fruitful when you return!

We have prepared a list that can be helpful when you pack your bags and leave.

Prepare a checklist
Obviously, if it’s business, you are travelling to make a pitch or meet a client who deserves your time and effort. Make a list of all the things you would need. Is the presentation working? Do you have a backup for it on your mailbox, in case the pen drive doesn’t work? Have you memorised most of the business points in case every gadget gives up on technology? Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Dress comfortably well
That new pair of shoes you bought may turn into a nightmare if you haven’t tried walking in it. Or the new shirt may be a total mismatch if you have not paired it with proper trousers. Having said that, make sure you pack at least two extra set of clothes, just in case you spill coffee before you leave the hotel room!

Itinerary is a must
Sometimes business travelling leaves you with a lot of time. Be it between meetings or after meetings, you may find time for yourself too. Plan efficiently and give yourself a margin to socialise and also learn a bit extra about the place you are visiting so that when you return again, you know what to do with the extra time. A local tour may be an advisable thing to do.

Prepare for the unexpected
Your smartphone may be smart and you could be very tech-savvy person. But, in case those gadgets don’t work in a foreign country, the humble notepad and mental notes of the meeting will work very well. Keywords: Don’t panic. Make the best of a given situation.

Carry enough cash
Make sure you have adequate amount of local currency and some cards that can come handy during the time of crisis. Being stranded in a different country or place is not as worse as being cashless on a foreign land. If you have money in your pocket, you can be sure of sailing through any situation.

Don’t leave your passport in hotel
It wasn’t too long ago when Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and people were stuck outside. Their lives were saved, but some of them got into serious trouble because their passports couldn’t be collected. Apart from the natural calamity, this was an international crisis because people didn’t have their travel documents with them, and arranging for that turned into a major challenge during those difficult moments. Lessons were learnt.
Carry your travel documents with you in your laptop bag. Always remember to carry fully charged phones and laptops, especially when you are on the go.

Stay in touch with home/friends
Back home, your kith and kin get anxious about your trip too. In the era of globalisation, travelling is easy but to assume that it would be error-free is an absolute no-no. Do share your itinerary and some basic contact number of hotel with your family back home Your family needs to know you are safe and sound.

(Images: Thinkstock)

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