You may have read my post from February Business Travel 310. Today is the next course in the ciriculum. Today is about preparation.
We have all heard the term “Hope for the best, expect the worst.” That is most true in spirituality and secondly most true in business travel. Yesterday, I had to be at work in Manhattan by 2:00 PM. I caught a 7:40 AM flight because, though most of my morning flights aren’t delayed, I’ve had a couple and, being that this was my first trip representing the company, I’d rather play it close. Thankfully, I got there on time but now I’m sitting in the airport unable to get on my return flight until 3 hours after it was scheduled to take off. So, here are a few takeaways from this situation (luckily I already knew them going in):
- Always pack extra underwear. Gentlemen, that means socks, boxers AND an undershirt. Ladies, panties and a bra (if necessary; I don’t really know the rules on recycling bras). On this trip, I only brought one suit and two shirts. I will have to recycle the suit and one shirt. But I always have boxers because, situations like this where I have had to stay an extra night at a hotel made me wary of running out of boxers.
- Always budget to spend an extra two days on food. The first extra allows you to overspend a bit on the planned trip. The second extra lets you live on that day you may be stranded in the airport. And, in a city like NYC, you need to plan because one meal can easily cost you $40.
- Communicate with your team back at the office. Shoot them an e-mail or text and let them know your flight has been grossly delayed (if that’s the case) and that you may be in the office a bit late tomorrow. Being that I won’t touch down in NC until 1:00 AM and I’m on business, the owners of my firm have already suggested I begin work later tomorrow.
- Stay awake at the airport. When I was in Europe (not a business trip but still applicable), my flight back to the States was delayed and so I took a nap. Thankfully Desirée was awake to hear the gate change or we would have been stuck in Paris.
Unexpected things happen while traveling every time I travel, either on the trip there or back. I prepare mentally by knowing that very little is in my control when I’m out of town and, if I must spend more time, I do my best to enjoy it. So, I’m off to dinner… in the terminal. Safe travels!
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