Business travel can quickly turn into a disaster if you’re not properly prepared for your trip. Proper preparation starts with optimum organization, and these five tools for business travel make organizing your trip a breeze.
Expense Tracking Template
Stuffing your receipts in a pocket or bag can lead to big headaches when it comes time to turn in your business trip expense report. Make life easier with an expense tracking sheet template, which can be a straightforward spreadsheet that lists pertinent information on each purchase or expense. Each entry should have fields for details that include:
- Date of purchase
- Item purchased
- Method of payment
- Payment recipient
- Expense Category
Bonus tool: Smart Receipts will track all your employee’s receipts so they’re easier to turn in and process.
Another one of the must-have tools for business travel is a streamlined itinerary. Choices include manually creating a list of all your trip info or going high-tech with an app that does all the heavy lifting for you.
Manually creating an itinerary involves listing all essential details of your trip, such as:
- Times and dates of travel
- Flight and ground transportation info
- Hotel contact info and reservation number
- Meeting times, locations and contact info
- Scheduled meals and entertainment
Travel planning apps, such as TripIt, lets you forward your confirmation emails and input other trip information so it can build your itinerary for you. While you’ll still need to gather and input contact information and details for meetings and other scheduled events, the apps let you keep all the info in a single place, accessible on mobile device. Combine the manual sheet with the online app for the most comprehensive results.
Corporate Passport and Visa Services
Getting all your travel documents in order is another task you can make easier with the right tool, and in this case the tool is Swift business visa and passport services. Instead of scrambling to complete, submit and track the progress on your passport and required visas, your company can partner with Swift to handle all the corporate passport and visa services for you.
Swift services include:
- Completing all required paperwork as per latest regulations
- Working directly with applicable foreign consulates
- Keeping you updated on visa and passport progress
- Expediting processing when needed
Comprehensive Packing List
Throwing a pile of business attire into a suitcase at the last minute is about as bad as stuffing all those receipts into your pocket or bag. Create a comprehensive packing list and you can systematically check off each necessary item as it makes its way into your suitcase. Your packing list should include several categories:
- Clothing, which should include both business attire and casual wear based on the events you’re attending, the trip’s dress code, the length of your stay and the weather at your destination
- Work-related items, such as business cards, laptop and charger, printed brochures or handouts, pens and a handy notebook
- Entertainment and electronics, with books, crossword puzzles and devices (with their chargers!) you’ll want to use during the flight or your stay at the hotel when you’re winding down at night
- Other essentials, which covers toiletries, vitamins and medications, headphones, flight pillow and anything else to make your trip as comfortable as possible
These five tools for business travel are essential not only for ensuring you have everything you need for your upcoming trip, but also for setting a calm, cool and collected tone for your entire journey.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.