Business Trip Essentials - How to Make Your Trip Perfect

Long delays, cramped hotel rooms, wondering just how much those airport body scanners really reveal. Traveling for your business trips usually have their flaws: the inconveniences of travel are mixed with the potential awkwardness of spending 24/7 with your co-workers. Like it or not, though, you’re bound to have conferences, client trips, or company events on the calendar at one point or another. So before you pack your bags, here are a few tips on making it tolerable and even—dare we say it—fun (and trust us, the Custom Pool Floats knows how to have fun).

1. Preparation is key

It’s extremely important to be overly prepared when you have the eyes of your boss and co-workers on you. So map out the route to the hotel and double-check the dates on your rental car reservation. Why not just make sure you know exactly how long it’ll take you from point A to point B! Better safe than late, right? Also, make sure to set an extra alarm (or two) so that you don’t miss your flight or show up 20 minutes late to your meeting. BONUS TIP: why risk losing your luggage? Pack lightly and stick with a carry on. Plan ahead and this way, you can guarantee avoiding being pegged as the one co-worker who couldn't get their stuff together.

2. Have your essentials handy

Don't forget to bring a few essential items to help save your sanity while traveling with co-workers. A pair of earplugs can be a lifesaver if you need to catch some zzz's on a flight or block out the sound of your snoring roommate at night. Headphones are a universal “I don't feel like chatting” sign and are great for when you just need five minutes of quiet time. And a pack of cards are easy to fit in the pocket of your purse and can keep you and your officemates occupied during a layover or a lunch break. (Also can be an opportunity to show off your skills.)

3. Dress how you want to be addressed

While we're on the subject of packing, remember to fill your carry-on with attire appropriate to the occasion. Most importantly—if you're going to be flying with co-workers,  put a LITTLE more thought in your get-up. Ditch the Uggs or slip ons, and go for something standard: sneakers, per se. And, if you know you are sharing a room with a co-worker, don't count on the hotel providing you with a robe. Pack a pair of soft yet respectable pajamas, even if you normally prefer your birthday suit.

4. A little party never hurt nobody

Work trips don’t have to be total snooze-fests. Every destination, no matter how small, has something to keep you and your co-workers entertained. We personally find pool floats to be the optimum source of entertainment when these trips are in warm weather locations. But, if you’re not so lucky to be poolside for part of your trip, check out some Yelp reviews and discover what your destination has to offer you! Maybe a cool restaurant or really fun comedy shows… ya never know!

5. But not too much party

That said, please do yourself a HUGE favor and keep in mind that you are still on a work trip, not spring break. Even if you’re technically off the clock, after-hours events with your co-workers are not the time to ride the mechanical bull, challenge a local to a drinking contest, or get really drunk at the local karoke bar. What happens at the regional sales conference doesn't necessarily stay at the regional sales conference — and you really don't want to run the risk of your bad behavior making it back to your boss.

6. Smiles, smiles, and more smiles

Anticipate that there might be a few delays or uncomfortable moments during your journey, and constantly remind yourself not to let them get to you. Smiles are infectious, and by continuously smiling, you can set the tone for everyone on your trip. Plus, not only will your positive attitude impress your co-workers, it’ll increase your chances of getting an upgrade. And hey, that’s the real key to business travel! Have fun!

Gabby Kono