Min menu



How to Prepare for Business Travel on Short Notice

Business Travel on Short Notice

In any travel situation, the more you can plan your trip in advance, the better it will be in all your accommodations. But in the business world, it often happens that you have to reach a destination immediately and the ability to move quickly is critical to the success of the business goal. The good news is that you can make some early preparations for short-term business trips so that you are not completely caught without a plan.

You don't want to have to get bogged down about how to book a trip and where to stay if a business trip suddenly and immediately looms. Short-notice business trips seem to be endemic to some industries and job descriptions, so if you know you're going to go through this exercise more often, you can make some arrangements in advance so you have a checklist of what to do when you discover that you should be at your destination almost immediately.

First of all, in case of travel at short notice, the economy takes a second priority. An employer knows that if you have to book a full fare on an airline to get to your destination at a specific time, higher expenses are inevitable. Make sure your company's travel policy contains some items to set aside travel budget limits in such a scenario.

The part of the flight where you will have the least "oscillation room" will be accommodation in the airlines. Of course, you can use large online search tools like Travelocity or Orbitz. In general, these are good places to start finding airlines that have flights on time. But once you choose an airline, working through the airline's website directly will show you most of the options it can offer and sometimes provide you with better prices, even at short notice. Be sure to watch the travel details closely so that you don't find yourself enduring long downtime periods that will jeopardize the tight schedule of business meetings you need to attend. If necessary, spend money on nonstop flights to make sure that the commercial goal of the flight is the top priority.

Do your homework about staying at the hotel ahead of time. If there are potential destinations where you could be asked to go quickly, you can do your search on the hotels closest to the job site so as to reduce commutes once you get there. By bookmarking the target hotels and phone numbers in the file, you can quickly call and set up your accommodations within minutes. But if you find that your best hotel options are booked on the days you'll be at your location, contact them anyway. A good hotel will contact other hotels in the area and provide you with a room as close to your destination as possible. It can save you hours of frustration in the search for an alternative room.

Car rental is usually not a big deal. It's a good idea to call in advance and get a reservation but in case there is no big conference or sporting event in the city, there are many car rental agencies that should be able to find a car to rent even if you don't start your search until you're on the ground in your destination city.

You can make other preparations for the possibility of a short business trip such as getting your toiletries and personal effects that you are traveling with are always packed and ready to go out the door. By getting your travel clothes ready to go, you can walk home and get out in a matter of minutes on a short business trip because you're well prepared.