3 Tips to Prepare for a Work Trip
This past week I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia for a work conference. The conference is called MAPACA, a pop culture conference where I presented with a professor from my college about social networking site research.
In my free time, I was able to walk around and explore the area around my hotel. Before leaving for my trip though, I needed to factor in all the activities I planned on doing. The following list includes tips to keep in mind when preparing for a work trip.
1. Know how you need to dress for an event beforehand
Are you going to an informal social meeting or will you be attending a nice cocktail hour? These are things you need to keep in mind when you are packing for your work trip away.
I checked in with the professor a few days before the trip to see what the standard dress code was and I was able to dress more informal. If you need to dress up in business casual or for a formal evening, make sure you pack the appropriate footwear and accessories to pair with your outfits.
If you're only going away for a few days, I highly recommend bringing a carry-on only. There's no reason to add the stress of worrying about your checked baggage arriving with you. When you just bring carry-on luggage, you get to breeze through the airport on your way out, which gives you more time to prepare for your event or explore the city.
2. Check how much free time you'll have to explore
It's good to understand if you'll have some time for sight-seeing the city you're visiting. If you have a tight schedule, you won't have to worry so much about packing comfortable walking shoes and casual clothing.
If you do get the opportunity to explore, it would be helpful to have an idea of some places you'd like to see beforehand. Create a list of sites to see so you don't spend your free time trying to plan out your days, unless you prefer to wander spontaneously because that can be a lot of fun too.
I knew that I'd only have the chance to spend two evenings exploring around, so I made sure to stop by Love Park so I could snap a shot of the cool sign and walked down to the Liberty Bell. I also wandered around Market Street, where my hotel was located so I could check out some of the amazing architecture the city of Philadelphia has to offer.
3. Prepare and pack your notes, schedule and itinerary in a folder
Being extremely organized is important for me on a daily basis, but even more so for travelling. If you have a folder that you can keep all of your documents in, then grab it and pack it full of your important documents before you head out on your trip.
You don't want to arrive at your destination, only to realize you've lost your notes or your schedule. Keeping your documents together will keep you more organized upon arrival and it will help minimize your stress.
It's also handy to have a folder if you have a travel itinerary with your return flights or alternate transportation just in case you arrive at a hotel with no printers available. It's always a good idea to have a printed copy on you so you know when to leave and stay on track with your travel schedule.
Travelling is always an exciting adventure, but it can be stressful if things aren't going well due to poor planning. By preparing for your trip in advance, you can stay organized and enjoy your entire time at your destination, whether you're in a work meeting or exploring the streets, trying different food and taking pictures.
On the work trips I’ve taken within and outside of Canada, I have found these three tips worked the best for me and allowed me to feel prepared and relaxed on my trip. If you're a more seasoned work traveller, I'd love to hear what you do to prepare for your work trips and any packing tips you have.