March 8 is International Women’s Day, so we’re obviously all about that. What better way to celebrate it than by discussing how we can better plan our own travels the world over?
That’s why we asked some of our mentors for their best advice on how to plan a work trip. They’re all women who travel regularly for their jobs, so they know their stuff. The best part? The fact that we’d never have thought of most of these on our own.
But first, a giveaway to celebrate our girls around the world! We’re treating three (3) ladies to a little career empowerment (think a one-on-one career counseling session) and a gorgeous Lo and Sons bag that will make you look like the polished professional that you are. Enter below!
1. HAVE A PLAN FOR THE WEEK
Whether it’s a 2-day trip or three back-to-back week-long trips, mapping out my time away is key for me. I think through what I need to get done during the days while I’m traveling, and what I need to do for myself to feel good and maintain my sanity.
—Jane Scudder, Marketing Consultant and Career Coach
2. ASK FOR RECS ON FACEBOOK
“Make the most of your travel by asking friends and family on Facebook for recommendations of places to eat, drink, and hang. You may get tipped off to an amazing coffee shop or a one of kind boutique. Business travel doesn’t always have to feel like work, make time to replenish yourself when you can.”
—Josilin Torrano, Recruiter at Facebook
3. ALWAYS HAVE BACKUP CLOTHES IN YOUR CARRY-ON
“A couple years ago, I landed in Florida for a conference, and my checked luggage didn’t arrive with me. I am a stickler about looking presentable when I travel (no PJs, no sweats), but the outfit I had on me wasn’t full-blown professional attire. The airline couldn’t deliver my luggage until noon, and I was scheduled to present at 9:00am the next day—so I had to take a cab to a random mall to get undergarments, a suit dress, and heels.”
—Dorian Wanzer, Advocacy Manager of Outreach & Communications at National Association of Community Health Centers
4. KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE
“Whenever I travel for work I try to fit in at least one networking meeting. To be efficient, I make sure these take no longer than one hour from start-to-finish by suggesting a morning coffee or late afternoon drink. A few days before you meet with a new person, research them and their company so you’ve got a few key points or questions you can discuss, and make sure to send a thank you note after.”
—Lauren McGoodwin, Founder of Career Contessa
5. …BUT ALSO DON’T FEEL PRESSURE TO NETWORK WITH STRANGERS
“But if I’m really short on time, I’ll schedule a coffee date with someone I already know as a ‘catch-up’ meeting, which takes a bit of the pressure off of an already tight schedule.”
6. JUST SHIP IT
“Rather than schlep supplies through the airport, I will send swag, conference supplies, workshop materials, etc a week before my trip. Don’t forget to package a return label for if you do not exhaust your items.”
7. MAKE SURE THE HOTEL APPLIANCES ACTUALLY WORK
“Check the iron, hair dryer, alarm clock—anything you plan on using during your stay. The only thing worse than finding out that the hotel hair dryer is broken while standing in a towel with wet hair, is realizing that the iron also doesn’t work after the concierge has already come up to your room and left. Trust me on this one.”
8. SET UP A WORK ACCOUNT ON UBER
“Add your corporate card/frequent flier/fave rewards card to your Uber or Lyft app ahead of time. It makes expense reports soo much easier once you’re home.”
9. ARRIVE A DAY EARLY
“Organizational budgets and schedules dictate the timing of business travel, but generally I try to arrive to off-site meeting destinations at least 24 hours in advance. If I’m scheduled to meet with someone in New Orleans on Wednesday at 11 am, but I booked my flight to arrive at 7 am, I could risk being late if a travel snafu occurs. Arriving early also gives you time to get the lay of the land in terms of planning for your meeting or presentation.”
10. ALWAYS PACK A LARGE SCARF
Planes and airports are notoriously freezing and it’s never clear how long you’ll be stuck or delayed in one. Scarfs can double as blankets, pillows, eye masks, and of course their original purpose as an accessory. This is a no-lose situation.
11. MAKE THE HOTEL ROOM YOUR SPACE
“Unpack and hang your clothes. Organize your toiletries on the counter. Pull an old lady Rose from Titanic and bring pictures or something small from home that makes you happy. If you’re staying somewhere for more than one night you need make it your own. For me, this means bringing my personal devices and the chamomile tea I like at night.”
What are some of your favorite work travel tips?
This post originate on, www.careercontessa.com.