Business travel can be exciting, but if you’re just starting to travel for business purposes it can feel complicated and a little overwhelming. We have some tips that will help you stay on track and focus on the business you’re there to handle.
Before You Leave:
Well before you even take off on your business adventure, there are a few things you’ll need to get in order.
Get your expectations straight
Talk to your employer to make sure you’re on the same page. This includes:
- Finding out how long it will take to be reimbursed for your expenses once you’ve submitted your expense report.
- Getting details on your meal budget. Does the covered amount vary for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Do alcoholic drinks count? Do you have a per-diem?
- Are incidentals covered? This could be something as inexpensive as breath mints, but you want to know what’s covered before you start spending.
Two things to always pack
You’ve likely traveled before so you know how to pack a suitcase, but there are two things you never want to forget on a business trip:
- Business cards to hand out during networking opportunities.
- A power outfit – even if it’s a casual trip you should have a suit in case the trip takes you in a direction you weren’t expecting.
When you arrive in Orlando
We consider tipping mandatory for everyone who helps make your hotel stay comfortable. This includes:
- Bell hops and valet: $5-10
- Front desk managers if they offer restaurant recommendations, directions, or other assistance above and beyond checking you in: $5-10
- Housekeeping: $20 for every two nights
- Miscellaneous: $2-3. This includes anyone who delivers packages to your room, room service attendants, and more.
When you return from your trip
On your return, you’ll want to make a recap presentation. This is a good idea even if your employer doesn’t explicitly ask for it. Just create a simple PowerPoint presentation that summarizes what you did, what you learned, and what made the trip worth it for your employer to reimburse you. For example, you may create a 5 slide presentation that simply outlines your objectives, the outcomes, and what your next steps will be.
Submit your expense report as soon as you can. Some companies require you to wait until the next expense report date, which may be quarterly, while others require that all reports be filed within 30 days. Communicate with your HR or payroll department to find out what the specific requirements are at your new job.
This article hopefully helped you cover the business aspect of your trip. Remember that any trip to Orlando is bound to be a fun, magical experience – even if it is for business purposes!