3 Key Elements to Make Your Business Trip Run Smoothly

No matter what field of work you specialize in, business meetings abroad or somewhere new always seem to be stressful. Whether you’re pitching to a potential buyer in Spain or liaising with clients in Leeds, the need to achieve and to impress superiors is a pressure that never escapes the mind.

Perhaps you’re in line for a new promotion, or need this deal to take your business to the next level? Whatever the case, instances such as these can often cause employees to forget the little things which are crucial to making a business trip run more smoothly. From laptop trolley bags to finding the right suit, here is our top tips for a successful business trip.


Organization is central to ensuring that your business trip goes well. You need to be aware of every last detail and have a ‘plan B’ on standby for any situation that could go wrong. First of all, know where you need to be. Might seem obvious, but to only provide yourself with a rough idea of the meeting’s location is a recipe for disaster. Get exact directions and make sure you have transportation ready to take you there. Also, give yourself plenty of time. Nothing gives a worse impression than being late, so have your punctuality in check and instil confidence in those you’re meeting with.

The organizational aspect of preparing your business trip can be lengthy, but make sure you’re ready for airport security, confirm your hotel reservations a few days before you leave and again the day prior to arrival, and consider making a checklist of items pack a week prior to leaving.


Your appearance is also key to the success of a business trip. From top to toe, every aspect of your appearance comes under the scrutinizing eye of those you’re meeting with as they search for any possible indicators of what you’re really like as a business person. That’s why it’s important to try and make an impact, in a good way.

Put some thought into what you’re going to wear; if you’re opting for the professional look, then it’s essential to have a decent suit (for both men and women). However it doesn’t just end with the clothes. The last thing you need on your trip is a briefcase which falls apart the minute you touch it. Look to buying a high quality laptop bag and travel case to save yourself from any unnecessary stress.


With this, we mean in terms of your meeting. Hopefully by this point, the date, time and location will be permanently etched into your mind, your attire will be sorted, and all travel arrangements went as planned. Now all that’s left to do is to be sure that your meeting preparation is in perfect order.

Don’t make corrections to a presentation at the last minute, or do all your research on the journey there. Doing this is asking for trouble, and could make you confused at a time when you need to appear self-assured and in full belief of what you’re saying. Our advice is to prepare well in advance and make sure you have any important materials ready to take with you. Follow these steps and your business trip is bound to run smoothly!

WSL Editor’s Note: I can personally attest to the last part about changing a presentation at the last minute. After days and hours of preparation for some of my large speeches, I’d make rookie mistakes and modify things 10 minutes before my presentation. Well, when you’re a seasoned vet, you may be able to get away with that but not when public speaking isn’t natural to you. In regards to the trip: it really comes down to how big of a trip it is. If you’re traveling overseas then it’ll be really important to plan well in advance and make sure all of your ducks are in a row. However, a small trip across the state won’t need much attention other than making sure you’ve packed your luggage correctly.


  1. Richard Perfect says:

    I’ve given a number of technical presentations over the years, and I learnt early on to always have the presentation or screenshots of the app I was demoing in a PDF on a USB stick. That way if anything truly bad happened I had a quick backup of at least something to present.

  2. Planning and being flexible, simultaneously, are good things to do when traveling. It’s important to be prepared, and do your preparation ahead of time. If presenting, know your material inside and out. That being said, there are often changes to an agenda, or simply travel delays and other factors that might impact your time/venue/content that you’re presenting or discussing. This is where it’s important to be flexible. I learned this by being up until 2am one business trip after travel delays and agenda changes!

  3. A good suit not only makes you look good, but also makes you feel good. On days when I’m feeling less than motivated I try to dress a little nicer to keep my spirits up. Great tips.

  4. Pauline says:

    There is a cool app called tripit, you can have in one place all the plane, train, hotel reservations, schedules, etc… it makes business trips much easier.

  5. Organization and appearance are key. When I work with someone for the first time this is what I look for right off the bat.

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