Hi My fabulous peeps,
I’m going to talk about my preparation for the recent 5 day business trip to Houston, Texas to visit my client.
Before the trip
Be sure to start preparing as soon as you find out you’re going. It’s never too early, I started 2 months before I found out.
- Budget – Be sure to make a budget so that you don’t over spend. Be sure to add some buffer as well, just in case.
- Make a list – I made a list of all the items I needed to buy (portable charger, travel pillow, formal wear, sweaters, mints, socks, sample size skin care, lipsticks, dry fruits, Maggie, bhel, cookies, toothbrush, mini toothpaste etc.)
- Clothes – Be sure to take your best clothes. They have to be comfortable and they must make you feel confident. Even if you have a single doubt, don’t carry that piece of clothing. Only take the best.
- Packing – Make sure you read the airline rules to stay in align with their baggage allowance policies. For international travel, Emirates allows 2 check in bags of 23kgs each and a cabin bag along with your handbag.
- Be sure to carry a roller cabin bag – Pack your laptop and extra pair of clothes. I only packed my blazer in my cabin bag. I was wearing a pair of dark denims and a shirt underneath my sweater. I would have worn my blazer to work on top in case my bags would have gotten misplaced.
- Think about where you can fail, and make backup plans – Although having lived in Canada and UAE, USA was still new. Look for blog posts, look at YouTube videos, look for reviews on the area that you will be living at and possible pitfalls.
- Make sure you know the area and the surrounding areas – Is it safe to walk around? Are the malls safe near the area? Is cash acceptable? How much cash should you carry and in what denominations? How should you travel if you can’t drive? What identity proofs should you be carrying?
- Talking to your client – Make sure to talk about the area that you will be living in with your client. Ask them about the culture and just general do’s and don’ts.
During the Trip
- Travel Comfy – I wore a tee shirt, my thick sweater, a scarf and some wedges that look uncomfortable, but they really are comfortable. They have a high platform, that’s all.
- Always carry your hotel check in card with you. I always kept it inside my cles which had my business cards and was attached to my handbag. I’d always carry my handbag to work. For breakfast, I’d detach the cles, put it in my pocket and take it with me. Even if I were to forget, it would still be in my pocket.
- Once you reach your hotel, unpack all your important things like your shirts, pants, suits etc. Fortunately, I unpacked and I locked my bag. I was trying to unlock, and it wouldn’t. Thank goodness I unpacked my bag! I didn’t have to break the lock thankfully. I packed my cabin bag and expanded it to it’s fullest, and checked that bag in while returning.
- Ironing – Iron everything you need once you reach, this gets you prepared for the week. In case there is no iron, hang your clothes and put them inside your washroom, when taking a bath, the steam will remove most of the wrinkles, I got this useful tip from YouTube as well.
- Jet Lag – There was a YouTube video on getting rid of your jet lag, the tip was – for every hour of difference, add 5 mins of warm bath time. The time difference between Mumbai and Houston is 12.5 hours, that is approx an hour of warm water bath time. I took a hot shower for an hour, slept like a baby and woke up fresh for work. It works!
- Don’t eat out on the first day – Familiarize yourself with your hotel, your room. Talk to your client about the places to eat/visit and only then go. There was a mall just 5 mins away from my hotel.
- Eat healthy – I stuck to healthy salads, sandwiches etc.
- Aligning yourself to your client’s culture – Ask questions, make small talk, try and form a connection with them. Inform them that you’ve reached safely once you get to the destination. My client told me Fridays are a jeans kind of a day, so that’s what I wore. Let me show you the whole outfit –
Returning back from your trip
- Be sure to pack your bags as soon as you can. I packed my bags on Friday night. This gave me time on Saturday to look around my room and pack the remaining items. Before leaving, inspect your room so that you don’t forget anything.
- I bought an ‘On the go Cesar Chicken Salad’ to eat before going to the airport.
- Be sure to carry the details of an extra credit card. You never know when you might need it.
- Be aware, be careful of your surroundings. You are new to a country and people will know. People may try to cheat and take advantage, be careful not to go out alone, or wander into an un safe area.
- Definitely check out videos on how to pack your blazer without any wrinkles. It works.
- Store the hotel’s number in your cell phone. You never know when you might need it.
- Always take your cell phone everywhere with you – even to the washroom. My colleague gave me this tip because his washroom door locked when he closed the door after coming out of the washroom – fortunately. Imagine if he would have locked himself in!
- Always click photos of your boarding pass, luggage tag and any important documents. While filling out any form, you can refer your phone rather than having to pull out your documents. On my last trip, we lost our baggage. I tweeted the report that was filed and got my baggage delivered on time. Thank you twitter!
Please let me know in case you have any tips that you would like to share. Check out my other post on travelling in an airplane as well!
Thanks for reading!
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