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What you need to know about – Business travel

Business trips or official trips are those that take you away from your place of work for a significant duration of time. In terms of IRS you travel away from your ‘tax home’ (the place where you are currently working) to a different place for a specific interval of time.
A business trip is different from an ordinary one in some respects. In the latter you decide which place to go to have maximum entertainment, spend your own savings, generally your family goes along with you etc. but in the case of a business trip the most often your company decides which place to go, the company pays for your trip (the food allowance etc.) and most often your family does not hang around with you. If you are the owner of a company the decision of which place to go is centered round the bright business prospects i.e. the best place you think would be to enhance and promote your business.

So business trips are to be planned in a slightly different fashion than the usual. Usually the company does the bookings for you but if it is at your discretion then think a little. You can save some good amount here. Search online the various business sites like Expedia, Hotwire, Kayak, Travelocity, Priceline and the like. These sites will educate you about the various things. For instance you can know about the hotels and their charges, airfares, the cost to take a rented vehicle etc. at the destination you are heading for. It is better to search online and get your reservations and bookings done a little before than the dates to leave for a thought of last minute reservations can be troublesome.

While you making a business trip, try and save as much as you can but without compromising on your basic amenities. Like avoid spending your entire food allowance by eating lavishly, be

fuel economic i.e. if you take your own car (which is not a very good idea) think about saving fuel expenses. Don’t move into casinos and bars to part away with the annual bonus that you are sure to get. If you are visiting a place for the first time, one night to see the nightlife of that place is enough. Don’t carry too many clothes with you. Some elegant official wear shirts and trousers should be preferred than a multitude dresses. Pack your suitcase nicely. Take that bag or suitcase which has several compartments. It will keep your official papers and other things segregated from the rest of the stuff (your toiletries etc.). Don’t forget your credit as well as business cards to a camera. Remember official trips mean more work and comparatively less enjoyment. So make a note of all the essential official documents that you need to carry for your meeting there and if possible either leave a photocopy of them at your place or avoid carrying the originals for there is always a threat to lose or misplace them. Inform your family about your complete itinerary, the place and the numbers of the hotel in which you will stay etc. this will save them from worrying and will keep them in touch with you. Make it a point to speak to your boss before you leave, ask him any crucial work left undone. Also think about payments of your bills if you are going for more than a month or so. Keep an alarm clock with you for that will help you in waking up on time and reach your workplace without delays.

Lastly, reach the airport or station on time to avoid missing your flight or train. Go with a little planning and make your business trip a huge success.

About the Author

Mansi gupta writes about business travel topics.