A Woman’s Guide to Your First Business Trip

A Woman’s Guide to Your First Business Trip

You’re a female business traveler, and you’ve mastered the art of being a woman in the business world. You know exactly what clothes to wear to every meeting so that you’ll be taken seriously by male colleagues while still looking fashionable, and you know which purse brands are best for carrying around all the documents you need back home at the end of the workday. But when it comes to traveling for business, you aren’t exactly sure where to start. You’re looking hopelessly into your closet and trying to figure out how to fit everything you need into just one bag. And you’re stressed about remembering what you need to bring, too, and making it on time to all your meetings in a new city.

Luckily, there are some great strategies you can use so that your first business is successful in every way. By using these tips, you’ll look and feel great despite the stress of travel, make new connections your industry, and mix business and pleasure with the perfect balance.

1 Pack light–and make a list

When traveling for business for the first time, the most stressful thing you have to deal with is choosing what to pack. Especially as a woman, there’s pressure on you to look polished and professional–way more pressure than there is on the men in the office. Once you’ve had a gel manicure that will last the whole week you’re away and your hair cut so that it’ll look good no matter how low-quality the hair dryer is at the hotel, it’s time to look in your closet and choose what to pack. And it’s going to be a challenge because you need to pack light.

The fact is, in 2016, six bags per 1,000 passengers were lost–and the last thing you want is for that to happen to you. So instead of checking a bag (and paying a fee for it), bring a carry-on and bag with you. Plan every outfit for every day, and be smart about your shoes, which take up more room than they’re worth. Make a list of what you need with you, such as your laptop, and carry that in your purse in case you have to gate-check later. Don’t forget to wear some flats to change out of the day you’re flying–the last thing you want is to chase your flight you’re running late for in heels.

2 Plan ahead, and give yourself extra time

Running late for a flight is already stressful. Add that to the pressure you’re under as a businesswoman, and the stress is even worse. That’s why, if you can, it’s smart to book your flight the day before you have a presentation. In addition to making your trip less stressful, you’ll also have time to settle in, prepare on your own time for your meetings, and get the sleep you need to represent your company as best you can. Based on research from 2018, adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

If your company is paying for you to fly out, though, they may not want to spend money on an extra night at the hotel. In this case, book a flight that leaves in the afternoon. You’ll get more sleep this way, and you’ll have time to catch it, too. Plan to arrive at the airport early, so that you can wait outside your gate with a drink or a book. And if you’re headed straight to a meeting when you land, pre-book a taxi or Uber so that you won’t end up in a line waiting to get a ride.

3 Be professional, but friendly

Some people, you know from your time in the business world, are gifted with the ability to make connections. If this isn’t you, then you need to get some practice before your business trip. Whether you’re in the ecommerce industry or working for a blockchain startup, you need to master the skill of being both professional and friendly at the same time. Especially when it comes to after-work events like drinks or dinner, you should be able to discuss business while also having a bit of fun. Talk to your boss and colleagues about practicing this in the office, so that your pitch about yourself can be rehearsed by the time the trip comes along.

Additionally, consider using technology to make the process of getting to know people–and connecting with them later–easier. Wavework, for example, is an app that, according to the Chicago Tribune, “makes the days of scribbling email addresses onto napkins — and then promptly losing them — seem quaint and distant. And if you didn’t have the chance or chutzpah to communicate on the night of the event, fear not: You can still see who checked in at a particular event afterward and message them later to reminisce over that buzzer beater or to set up lunch.”

And don’t forget to connect on LinkedIn–with 500 million users, it’s a great place to reconnect after a meeting.

These are some of the best tips for being successful on your first business trip. What other strategies do you use to be successful in the business world?

Categories: Fashion

About Author

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*