Plan Like a Boss: What to Include in Your Business Travel Checklist

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Take off without a hitch
Credit – Jordan Sanchez

While travelling at your own company’s expense may be a perk, it does require some meticulous planning on your part if you want it to go well. A travel checklist will see you through and ensure that your business trip goes as smoothly as possible. If you have an upcoming trip, you can take advantage of these tips to help you prepare:

Don’t forget the essentials
Credit – Jaimie Harmsen

Plan the trip

  • Determine who’s in charge of travel arrangements. Your company may expect you to do all the planning and shoulder the costs, with the promise of reimbursing you after the trip (provided you submit the necessary receipts, of course). If you’re lucky, your company will handle the details of your trip themselves from drop-off and pick-up to booking accommodations. 

If you’re making your own arrangements and want to save money, you should know that it is entirely possible. This is easier, however, with groups. You can find a variety of cheap flights online and some airlines offer group discounts. For accommodations, you can settle for a good Airbnb in place of a hotel – especially if you’re travelling to an expensive city like New York, Paris, Tokyo, or Toronto. Get a bus tours in Toronto for airport pick-up and drop-off if you’re travelling with a group. Though a taxi may suffice if you’re travelling alone, it can be expensive if you have to take several to accommodate your entire group.

  • Produce an itinerary. Going to an unfamiliar place can be disorienting, even for a frequent traveller. This is especially so when you are on a tight schedule while dealing with work-related activities. Having an itinerary in place can help you make your experience as incident-free as possible.

Take note of details including:

  • Travel times (e.g. plane and train schedules)
  • Hotel location (somewhere close to work is ideal)
  • Hotel check-in and check-out times
  • Transportation (e.g. to and from the airport and to and from work)
  • Contact person and their contact details
  • Schedules and locations of conferences, meetings, and other appointments
  • Restaurants near the hotel
  • Weather forecast (for this, keep an eye on the news channel or use a weather meter from to get your own reading)
  • Organize documents, including:
  • Booking confirmations
  • Travel documents (e.g. boarding pass, passport, and/or visa)
  • Handouts for presentations (both printed and digitized) 
  • Make other preparations, including:
  • Get travel insurance (so that you are covered in case you get sick or injured during your trip)
  • Convert cash to the local currency (especially if you are travelling to a primarily cash-only country or location)
  • Get vaccinated (if you are going to an area or country where certain preventable diseases are prevalent)
  • Research local customs and practices (specifically business culture to help you communicate better during meetings, presentations, and conferences)
  • Charge all your devices and bring your chargers and power banks
Wrap it up
Credit: Christina Morillo

Tie up loose ends at work

Taking this step will help you focus on your trip without having to deal with the stresses you left behind in the office. It will also be easier for you to return to work when the trip is over.

  • Complete projects before you leave. 
  • Inform co-workers, clients, and or business partners of your plans (e.g. departure and return dates) and how to reach you in case of emergencies.
  • Automate responses to incoming emails informing recipients that you are out of the office and will get back to them when you return.

Pack for your trip

  • Travel light. If possible, bring only a carry-on since check-in baggage can get delayed or lost in transit.
  • Place important items in the carry-on. If you cannot avoid bringing a check-in luggage, do not pack any of the essentials in it. The following items should stay with you at all times:
  • Travel documents
  • Devices (e.g. laptop and mobile phone/s)
  • Chargers and adapters
  • Cash
  • Cards
  • Work documents
  • Prescription medicine (pack these well)
  • Toiletries (liquids should be no more than 100 ml or 3 oz)

Travelling may be stressful, but with the right amount of preparation, you can minimize the stress and maybe even have some fun while you’re at it!