Sometimes mixing business with pleasure can be a very good thing. I had a great time when I was recently in south Florida enjoying a family vacation and also getting the chance to tour the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort—the perfect way of mixing the best of both worlds!
My business trip check-list
Going away on a business trip can be different from other kinds of travelling. That doesn't mean that it can't be enjoyable, but it does involve a little more than simply throwing some clothes into a bag and setting off for some sun, sea, and sand.
When you have a family, even a normal holiday means that you have responsibilities to other people but when it is a work-related getaway, things are a little different.
Making sure that you have a business trip check-list is essential—here are some tips to help you:
Depending on whether you work for yourself or for a company, the level of research and preparation you have to do can vary a great deal. I like to keep a detailed itinerary of the events I have to cover, and I make sure I have all the information I need printed out. Excel spreadsheets help a lot, too, and help keep me organized if I have a lot of meetings and events going on at different locations. You certainly want to be at the right place at the right time!
We live in an interconnected world and that's great for both business and family. Being able to phone home from anywhere in the world on our own phone means our loved ones are always there with us. FaceTime is a wonderful thing! Remember the time differences, though, if you're in a different time zone, and plan your calls accordingly!
Making sure that you have access to email is pretty much essential for any modern business traveller and sometimes a laptop of tablet will make things easier than a smartphone if you have a lot of writing to do. I don't leave home without my MacBook Air!
Looking after your finances on a business trip can be confusing, as it may be necessary to keep official and personal expenditure totally separate. The best way to do this is by using business cards such as an Amex credit card. As well as making it easy to keep business outlay separate from your own purchases such as gifts for the family to take home, a business card will offer you protection against fraud and other business related travel benefits, giving you that peace of mind you need. Having one less thing to worry about is always a good thing.
Packing for a business trip means making sure you have a range of clothes suitable for each occasion. Even if you are going somewhere nice and hot, you most likely won't be able to get away with meeting work clients dressed in your beachwear, so always choose appropriate outfits. A couple of years ago I was on a conference in Miami, and believe it or not, I never once had the chance to put on a bikini and enjoy the ocean that was right there in front of me. I did, of course, pack my bikini in my suitcase, though, because you just never know... and I believe it's always better to over-pack rather than under-pack!