We are pleased to bring you The Travel
Column, written fortnightly for "The Trinidad Guardian"
SUCCESS ON BUSINESS TRIPS
This could possibly be the most important day of your
professional career. Today’s presentation will win or lose the account
that will bring millions of dollars to your company and launch you into
After reviewing your checklist everything seems to be in
order. The presentation is saved on your laptop and backed up on disk.
Your suit is neatly pressed. Your demonstration materials are printed on
top-quality paper and neatly bound. Nothing has been left to chance. As
you begin your million-dollar presentation, the unthinkable happens. Your
“state-of-the-art” laptop shuts down, leaving nothing but a blank screen
on the overhead projector.
As your potential clients look on, you see this new
account, your partnership opportunity and your career go down in flames.
Even though forgetting the charger to your laptop may
not really result in the loss of a multi-million dollar account, similar
oversights when packing for a business trip can result in major personal
or professional setbacks.
Following a few simple guidelines will prevent
oversights that can become major problems when traveling on business. The
key to preparing for a business trip is proper organization.
Whether your trip is a last minute decision or something
you’ve been planning for more than two weeks, you should have a packing
check list. Keep a basic checklist on your computer or close at hand,
which can be referenced each time you begin to plan your trip.
Your basic checklist should include a breakdown of
toiletries, electronic equipment and chargers, clothing, airline ticket,
car rental confirmation, hotel information and emergency information.
Before packing for any business trip, add items to your
list that are specific to the upcoming trip. This would include specific
paperwork, contracts or other materials.
Making a list prior to packing your suitcase is crucial.
Anytime you’re rushed some kind of oversight is inevitable. Create a
checklist before packing your things and check them off the list as each
one is included.
It’s important to be a carry-on luggage passenger when
traveling on business. It saves valuable time and prevents loss or
damages. Most airlines allow one piece of carry-on luggage and one
secondary bag the size of a briefcase or purse, that will fit below the
seat in front. Utilize both pieces wisely.
When packing your main piece of carry-on luggage, use
every available space. Rolling shirts, slacks and ties saves space and
also prevents wrinkles.
If you’re carrying mostly hanging garments, we suggest
using a garment bag as one of your carry-on items. This helps prevent
wrinkled clothing and also provides space for the toiletry items needed
during a business trip.
Leave your second piece of carry-on luggage for your
cell phone, personal display assistant, laptop and chargers. This
secondary piece of luggage, commonly a large purse, briefcase or office
bag, often has room to carry personal items as well.
It’s best to keep your tickets, hotel and car rental
reservations and any other information related to your trip together in an
envelope labeled with the city and date of your trip. Any receipts you
receive or additional information you collect during your travels can be
included in the same envelope for future expense reports and references.
It is wise to keep this envelope along with two pieces
of identification on your person or in an easily accessible place.
A kink in your travel plans can destroy an important
business meeting, whether it may be a problem at your hotel, forgetting
your lucky tie or losing a piece of luggage. Understand that planning is
the key to your success, and follow these few basic guidelines to be
January 30, 2003
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