Top 7 Helpful Corporate Travel Tips

Travel for business is back in a big way. Post-pandemic business travel (and personal travel) has become more common and is expected to continue increasing as the year progresses. Whether you’re a seasoned business traveler or about to embark on your first work trip, there are some excellent strategies and best practices to have in place to improve your journey. 

Frequent business travelers often resort to solving quick problems by using the company credit card for one-off items that may be unnecessary. Unless you work for a very small company with a tight budget, who cares, right? Large companies can cover those costs, no problem. Unfortunately, this kind of quick-fix mentality doesn’t just waste money—it’s not terribly sustainable, either. Business travel is already a huge contributor to global emissions, and every way we can actively reduce that impact is a good thing. 

We’re not saying you should share a hotel room with your coworker who snores. (There are some things that should not be skimped on.) However, we are saying that intentional choices and well-planned travel habits can help improve your travel for both business and pleasure. 

These are a few of our favorite corporate travel tips to make your next business trip more sustainable and more stress-free. And hey, you may get so used to traveling this way that you start saving more money and time on your personal vacations!

Top 7 Helpful Corporate Travel Tips


Business Travel Tip #1: Take extra time to plan your attire.

Why are some people great at packing and others always overpack? They could travel so much that they have packing down to a science. Or they could just be excellent planners. 

What does a good packing planner do? They take extra time to accurately plan out their clothing. This practice includes considering which shoes, jackets, accessories, and bags will be the most widely used and the most appropriate for all aspects of the trip. Helpful tips when packing clothes for business travel: 

  • Check the weather.
    How cold or warm will it be? Is rain expected? Knowing the predicted forecast will help plan what jacket to bring, if you’ll need extra layers or lighter fabrics, if you’ll need shoes with good traction or waterproofing, etc. 

  • Will you be mostly inside or outside?
    Depending on the trip, you might be able to walk from your hotel to the convention center—or you might be inside chilly meeting rooms all day long. Understanding where the majority of your time will be spent will help you plan your clothing accordingly. 

  • Will you be standing or sitting?
    If attending a trade show, you’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing—high heels or brand-new shoes will not be comfortable all day. If you sit most of the day, are your pants comfortable, or will they pinch? Could anything ride up or wrinkle easily? 

  • Choose muted / neutral colors.
    Neutrals like black, white, grey, and beige are more likely to coordinate easily with various clothing combinations and match just about any shoes or outerwear, allowing you to pack light. With that said…

  • Don’t be afraid of statement pieces.
    A bright neck scarf or tie, fun earrings, a unique, high-quality bag, or a well-tailored jacket are all excellent accents to neutral pieces that don’t take up much additional space in a bag. Statement pieces also provide the opportunity to start conversations (more on this later).

A great way to ensure you’re bringing everything you need is to try on everything you’re bringing ahead of time. Make sure different pieces go together and fit correctly, and decide on shoes. Can you transition a daytime outfit to a nighttime one easily? If you're bringing a backpack, can you bring a smaller matching bag or laptop tote to match your outfit for a post-conference happy hour? 

Obviously, this strategy will differ between women and men. Still, the same concept applies: plan well, and you’ll be more comfortable overall, look more professional, and feel more confident when attending meetings or making new connections. 

Business Travel Tip #2: Don’t buy - borrow!

Unexpected thunderstorm dampening your trip? Rather than buying a cheap umbrella that you’ll just end up throwing away later on, ask the front desk at your hotel, the convention center, or a tourist stop if there are any in the lost & found. Often, they’ll be happy to unload one! 

Forgot your phone power cord? Considering this is one of the top items left behind at hotels, it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they have some lying around that will match your device. Traveling internationally and forgot a power converter? There’s likely a stock of these in the hotel lost & found, too. 

Rather than immediately purchasing a new item to save time, consider the long-term impact these decisions make on the planet. Start defaulting to more sustainable borrowing practices on the road, and these habits can help you save money on personal trips, too!


Business Travel Tip #3: Split expenses & make connections.

Sharing a car ride is not only an excellent way to save money but also an opportunity to make a business connection. Are you attending a conference or trade show? Many people will be heading to and from the same areas each day. Sharing a trip allows you the chance to talk one-on-one—who knows where it could lead? 

This tip also works well for ride-sharing to and from the airport. Splitting the ride not only saves money on costs, but you could also connect with a future client or customer—and it reduces carbon emissions. That’s a win-win-win!

Business Travel Tip #4: Stay healthy & FLY-drate.

Frequent travel can wreck your immune system, so bring a refillable water bottle (preferably a bottle with a good filtration system) and keep sipping throughout your flight. Stash a few Emergen-C packets in your carry-on bag and add to your water to boost immunity. Adding some flavor to your water can actually increase your urge to drink, and ensuring you stay hydrated on travel days is an excellent way to support health throughout your trip. 

Bringing along an insulated mug for tea or coffee is another sustainable travel hack to save waste from single-use cups on the flight or at your destination. Bring your own tea bags or dehydrated coffee, and just have the flight attendant fill your mug with hot water. Starbucks now makes pretty decent coffee packets, and smaller roasteries like Huckleberry are beginning to follow suit with their fancier versions of instant coffee.

Business Travel Tip #5: Make commuting more fun.

Sure, you can take a car to or from your destination. But what about a bike instead? Many cities now have bike shares as an easy, cheap, green option for getting from point A to B. Exploring a new city by bike is more enjoyable, more sustainable, and great for getting some movement into your day. 

We heard one story about someone who found an inexpensive used road bike on Craigslist and bought it upon arrival in a new city, along with a cheap combination bike lock. They rode it all week during their trip as their primary form of transportation. At the end of their trip, they locked it up to a bike rack, reposted it to sell on Craigslist, and then told the next buyer where the bike was located along with the combination to the lock. Now that’s a truly creative (and sustainable) travel hack!


Business Travel Tip #6: Pack smarter.

Even the newest travelers know about the woes of the dreaded TSA checkpoint. Experienced travelers know to keep their quart-sized liquids bag and laptop in easy-to-access places (or they forgo the hassle altogether with a TSA PreCheck or Clear membership). Whether you choose to carry-on or check a bag, there are some more clever ways to pack up daily essentials for professional travel to make your life easy: 

  • Utilize custom tiny travel containers.
    Sometimes, the pre-packaged travel containers don’t work for exactly what you personally need on a daily basis. An excellent hack is to go to an art supply store and find the section where they keep tiny storage containers for paint or crafts. Mix & match precisely what you need! (These travel capsules are a great company gift for frequent travelers, by the way.)

  • Don’t bring what your hotel can provide.
    You can guarantee that your hotel or vacation rental will provide shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and maybe even lotion wherever you stay. Don’t waste space in your bag. If you like fancier products, choose one or two that really make a difference (such as high-quality conditioner), and prioritize bringing that product instead of all of them. 

  • Get creative with cases.
    Need vitamins or medications for just a couple of days? A great makeshift (and compact) pill case is using an old contacts case! 

Business Travel Tip #7: Stand out.

Remember when we said earlier to pack a few statement pieces? Adding a few intentional accents to your outfit is a fantastic way to stand out amongst a sea of Patagonia vests. Something as simple as a bright-patterned neck scarf, a lapel pin branded with a funny or clever statement, or a high-quality hat or bag is enough to start a conversation with someone new. Give people something to comment on, and they’ll do the hard work for you! 

Implementing these simple tips can make expert business travel easier, more enjoyable, and more sustainable. These ideas will increase your confidence on any business trip, help you save money, make less of an impact on the planet, and be more efficient and organized wherever you’re going. 

Looking for the perfect travel gifts for your frequent flyers? Check out our latest corporate gifts for travel.

Planning an onsite corporate event? Check out our onsite gifting offer

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