Top 10 Business Travel Tips from the Pros

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The horse and buggy gave way to the motorized vehicle, and the CDC 6400 computer, which occupied an entire, thermostatically-controlled floor of a building, has morphed into a handheld device as thin as corrugated cardboard. Yet, in the midst of all the technological advances and shifting cultural paradigms, one thing has not changed ~  the superiority of personal contact. Despite the plethora of digital connections, conference call capabilities and Skype, there’s no replacement for eye-to-eye and person-to-person conversation.

Solid relationships are the foundation of every business, and the advantages of meeting in person transcend tone of voice, syntax and what someone looks like. Just traveling to meet a potential or real customer or to evaluate a business illustrates genuine interest and commitment to the relationship. A person’s body language can speak volumes about them, their attitudes, motives, willingness and professional style. Their work and office environment can project success or struggle in size, furnishings and atmosphere. You can learn much more over a latte than ever over a phone line or air waves.

So, you are going to take a business trip somewhere, and you want to travel smart and savvy right out of the starting gate.

1) Plan Well.

Location, location, location is key to value in real estate, and planning, planning, planning can assure an enjoyable travel experience. Use the agenda principle for travel and meetings. Make a list of every travel step and stay focused and on point as you move about the world, as well as maneuver your way through a meeting. Charge all your gadgets in advance, and confirm date, time and location for every meeting. Copy your personal documents like driver’s license, passport and travel identification cards and e-mail them to yourself. Place or tape your business card in or on every bag, briefcase, glasses case or gadget.

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