If you already think business travel is a thrill, just wait until you’re tasked with taking a last-minute, international business trip. The thrill factor here goes sky-high, with piles of planning, packing, and prep that need to be done pronto.
Instead of letting your thoughts frantically bounce from airlines to hotels to packing, you want to slow down and stay organized. Your travel preparations can essentially be boiled down to two main areas: plans and packing.
Read on to discover Swift’s guide to preparing for last-minute business travel without letting stress overwhelm you.
Last-Minute Business Travel Tips: Plans
Your pre-trip planning includes ensuring you have the required documents to go through customs, a flight to your destination, and a hotel room when you land.
Visa and Passport
The most important step is ensuring your passport and any required visa are up to date and valid. If they aren’t, don’t fret – expedited visa and passport services can get you a new passport or the necessary visa fast.
Airline and Hotel
As a frequent business traveler, you may have a go-to airline where you rack up points as you travel. If so, book your flight directly on their site, and enjoy those additional air miles. If your preferred airline doesn’t head to your destination, use online booking tools like Kiwi or Kayak to find the best deals on flights. Most airline booking tools let you sort by airline, preferred departure/arrival times, and number of stops, so you can plan your flight around your busy schedule.
You may also have a preferred hotel chain where you can spend the hotel points you’ve saved up. If not, head to a site like Booking.com or download the Hotel Tonight app for a fast and easy way to find a hotel at your destination. Balance budget with convenience, and make sure your accommodations are near where you’ll be doing business.
Last-Minute Business Travel Tips: Packing
The super-prepared business traveler will already have a carry-on packed with essentials ready to go at a moment’s notice. The rest of us will want to fill our carry-on with the following items:
- Prescription medications
- Pain reliever
- Basic toiletries, with liquids in 3.4-ounce containers placed in quart-sized, zip-closure bag
- Extra zip-closure bags
- Quality headphones
- Chargers and universal adapter plug
- Eye cover or sleep mask
- Antibacterial wipes
- Business cards
- Essential electronics
- Empty water bottle to refill after airport security
- Protein bars and/or other snacks
If you can fit your required clothing into the carry-on, it’s worth it to avoid waiting to check luggage at the airport. Make a checklist of both the corporate and casual clothing you’ll need for your trip. Pack smart and small, choosing items that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. Try to take along no more than three pairs of shoes, as those tend to quickly fill up your suitcase.
When planning last-minute business trips especially, it’s important to remain as calm as possible to ensure you don’t forget any essentials in your haste. With the tips above, even a last-minute business trip can be a stress-free and fun experience.
Remember that Swift has your last-minute expedited visa and passport needs covered – Contact us with any requests or questions.
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.