Let’s be real – I never imagined I would get the opportunity to go on work trips within my first year of being a full-time employee. When I was invited to Austin, TX to attend a conference I was beyond pumped for a change of pace. Goodbye millennial-inspired shared office space, hello private hotel room!
Was I nervous? Yes. Excited? Hell yes. Unprepared? Absolutely hell yes. But the good news is you won’t have to worry. Here are the things you should know before your boss slips a flight itinerary into your inbox.
Yes, it’s work. But it’s also (a lot of) play
Gone are the days of frat house power hours and going shot for shot with whoever’s closest to you at the bar. On my work trips I’ve indulged in some tasty meals that were paired with even tastier cocktails. Yes, it’s a business trip, but you’re there doing business with people and people love to wind (or wine) down after a long work day with good company.
You’ll need to get your schmooze on
It doesn’t matter who you are on a work trip – if you’re there you’re schmoozin’. As I said with the last point, I was under the impression that after the work was done I would get to crawl back into the king-size bed in my hotel room and play Candy Crush for the rest of the night. Wrong. Nothing goes better with a boujee dinner than schmoozy conversations, so be ready to hold attentive and sophisticated conversations after the work day is done.
Be prepared for long days
Full work days + long nights of schmoozin’ = less sleep than you’re probably used to on a weeknight. Business trips are like a break from work, except instead of taking an actual vacation you’re putting in overtime. I’m not trying to kill your excitement, just know that you’ve been warned.
Overpacking (to an extent) is Key
Don’t fret about baggage fees – it’s an expensed trip after all. All jokes aside, it’s good to have options. Bring clothes that transition well between the work days and dinner nights. There may not be a lot of time between the two to switch looks, so try not to overcomplicate things. Simply pack how you would for a vacation, but replace the swimsuits and sassy graphic tees with your favorite dress or fun slacks.
Are you a business trip pro? Share your work-travel tips in the comments below!