Business Travel Guidelines – Preparing for Your First Business Trip
Your first business trip – a little bit of excitement and a little bit of anxiety. Sometimes it is hard to get beyond the “firsts” of something. In this case, once you do, you will be conducting business travel like a pro. There are many similarities between travel for pleasure and corporate travel. But it is the differences you will want to focus on. Most companies have business travel policies that must be adhered to, covering everything from a dining allowance, to which hotels you can book with, tipping and so on. Each company’s policies will be designed to fit that business, so it will be important to check with human resources for a copy of this policy so you don’t come up short when you turn in your expense report.
Know Your Ps & Qs – Basic Hotel Etiquette
Starting off with an old idiom, your Ps & Qs are your manners. Here are a few business travel tips you need to know:
- Keep your room tidy and be considerate of hotel staff.
- Be eco-friendly. We all can do our part to be conservative with our resources. Keep your towels more than one day, turn off the lights and television if they are not in use.
- Keep the noise level down and respect the guests in neighboring rooms.
- Always be neighborly, polite, honest and tactful – you are representing your company.
Know Where You Are Going
Whether you are travelling within Canada or going overseas, it is a nice sentiment if you learn some of the customs and a few phrases in the local language, especially greetings and courtesy statements such as please and thank you. One of the best perks of business travel is exploring new cities and you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience if you’re able to interact with the locals.
Know Your Business Travel Tipping Guidelines
Tipping is a widely accepted practice. Always carry some cash in small denominations for tips. It may be awkward if you only have large denominations and want to give a tip.
- Always tip the bellman. This is often your first point-of-contact at the hotel.
- Room attendants are often tipped a few dollars per day or a lump sum at the end of your stay.
- For room service, sometimes a tip is already included in the cost of a meal delivered to your room, other times it is not, check the receipt.
- For room deliveries, such as an extra pillow or blanket, it is customary to tip a few dollars – another reason to carry small denominations.
- It is routine to tip between $5-$10 when picking up your valet parked car – more in cases of bad weather or at a high-end property.
- An acceptable tip is 10% of the total fare for transportation, such as taxis.
- Restaurant tipping is typically 15% of the bill before tax.
A little pre-planning can go a long way toward a successful business travel experience. Finally, do not forget to save your receipts and keep a log of personal miles and tip amounts so you can accurately reflect these expenses on your business travel expense report.
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