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Photo: iStock.com/MichaelJung

You’ve been looking forward to this
since your first day on the job and now it’s here: your first business trip.

Business travel can be exciting,
especially when the destination is city that you’ve wanted to visit. And who
doesn’t like the idea of someone paying
you to travel?

Traveling for work also can be
frustrating thanks to flight delays, technology breakdowns, and
hard-to-navigate conference centers. These mishaps can make things stressful
and make you feel as though you aren’t being paid enough to handle it.

But fear not, Homie – you can do this! Before
you take to the friendly skies, read the advice below to make your first
business trip less overwhelming and more enjoyable.

1. Know the agenda.
As soon as the trip is announced, get as much information about it as you can.
Where are you going? Who’s traveling with you? What’s expected of you? What’s
the overall objective of the trip? Be sure to obtain a copy of the itinerary and
read through it carefully.

2. Get ready.
Now that you’re armed with an agenda, you know dates, times, and places for
events. If you’re giving a presentation, minimize the effects of a possible
technical breakdown and print it out, save it to a removable disk, or email it
to yourself. Take your suits to the cleaners. Write an out-of-office message
that includes information on when you’re leaving, when you’ll return, and the
best way to reach you while on the road.

3. Pack light.
Use the agenda to help you create a plan for what you absolutely must take with
you and what you can leave behind. When packing clothes, consider bringing
items that are in the same color family to make for easy mixing and matching. Skip
the six pairs of shoes and opt for just one or two pairs. Consider bringing one
or two suits and pair them with multiple shirts and accessories for a fresh
look.

4. Bring lots of business cards. You’ll be meeting new people wherever you go – the
airport, the taxi stand, the hotel, the business dinner. Be sure to have plenty
of cards on hand to give out to everyone you meet.

5. Keep track of your receipts. Whether you are using a company card or paying out
of pocket to be reimbursed, it’s important that you store your receipts in a
safe place either on your carry-on or personal bag. And be sure to ask
restaurants for an itemized receipt so that it’s clear you followed company
policy regarding the use of the card or what purchases can be reimbursed.

Getting through your first business trip
can be easier than you think with a little preparation and foresight. The real
secret to a successful business trip? Remember to have fun!

Hustle hard homies!