CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 04, 2014
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How to Prepare to Travel for Work

Preparing for a work trip entails several different factors than preparing for a personal getaway. You need to follow certain steps to prepare for traveling. This article will address those steps ranging from preparing for your absence at the office to knowing how to pack.

1. Understand the Assignment

When you are first tasked to travel for work, whether by a supervisor or as part of an entrepreneurial venture, you need to completely understand the assignment or purpose of your trip. If you don’t understand why you need to travel and what the purpose is, you won’t be successful in completing your assignment. Discuss the trip itinerary with your supervisor. Get a clear understanding of your tasks at scheduled meetings and presentations.

2. Prepare for Your Absence

Preparing for your absence at the office is also important. Prior to leaving for the business trip, meet with your supervisor, fellow team members or colleagues to discuss who will be handling your usual tasks. It is important that specific parameters are put into place for those team members who will be handling your daily tasks. Schedule a specific update time for a status phone call or video chat with your supervisor and also the colleague handling your tasks while you are on the trip.

3. Confirm Your Travel Arrangements

Your travel arrangements may be handled by different people depending upon your current work situation. For example, administrative assistants would take care of such arrangements for an executive or individual in management. For lower level employees, travel arrangements may be handled personally, by someone in HR or by a manager. However the arrangements are made, they need to be confirmed. Take the initiative and follow up with the person who made the arrangements to ensure that everything is on target.

4. Pack in an Efficient Manner

Knowing how to pack in an efficient and effective manner will make your traveling experience better. Some efficient packing techniques are listed below.

  • Heavy Versus Light – All of your clothing should always be placed at the top and heavier items like shoes, books, electronics etc. underneath so they don’t crush or wrinkle your clothes.
  • Rolling Verses Folding – You should roll shirts, skirts and pants rather than fold them so you decrease the chance of wrinkles forming. Anything with a liner should be turned inside out before rolled.
  • Utilize Garment Bags – If possible, you should use garment bags to carry your suit jackets or gowns. However, if you need to pack these items in the suitcase, place them in the garment bags, zip it closed and neatly fold the bag in half then place it in the suitcase. 

5. Pack in a Smart Manner

You should always pack a carryon bag in a smart manner. Pack your toiletries in the carryon and utilize plastic bags or cosmetics cases when necessary to protect the contents from any spills. Be sure to pack a change of clothes as well as night clothes in case your suitcase is lost. It also helps to bring some items that will make you feel at home, such as comfy slippers or flip flops and a lightweight robe.

6. Keep Your Receipts

Additionally, it is important to keep all of your receipts to turn in to the financial department or your manager for reimbursement. For those who are travelling as an entrepreneur and sole business owner, receipts still need to be kept and organized for tax purposes.

Preparing to travel for work takes some diligence to follow the specific steps as outlined in this article. It is important to fully understand your assignment, prepare for being absent from work and be smart in your packing techniques. Also remember to keep all of your receipts.

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