August 17, 2023
By Hope Salvatori

Business travel is essential for many companies. In a survey by Deloitte, 53% of US companies said they expect their travel spend to exceed three-quarters of 2019 levels by the end of 2023, and these numbers are only getting better. 71% of US companies expect a full recovery in travel spend by the end of 2024.

In another study by Morgan Stanley Research, corporate travel budgets showed dramatic improvement, with 2023 budgets reaching 98% of 2019 levels, on average.

Need some business travel tips to help you navigate corporate travel management? You’re in the right place!

Best Business Travel Tips

27 Best Business Travel Tips

Whether you’re new to business travel or it’s been a while since you’ve traveled for work, you’re likely asking yourself, “What are the most important things to consider when planning a business trip?”

When traveling for business, you’ll need to consider things like the weather at your destination, accommodations, how to save money during your trip, how you can balance your daily work with your travel schedule, and so much more.

We’ve put together 27 tips for business travelers to help you on your journey, including some tips specific to international travel.

Whether you have a corporate travel management team to help streamline the process and venue sourcing on your behalf or you’re working alone on your travel plans, these business travel tips are for you!

1. Know Your Corporate Travel Policies

Every company has its policies, and you should know yours. This can include daily expense limits, means of travel allowed, expected etiquette and dress code, and more.

2. Familiarize Yourself with Your Destination

Whether you’re traveling domestically or abroad, you’ll want to know what to expect when you get there. Research things like expected weather, public transportation cost and availability, bliesure opportunities, and most importantly, cultural differences and customs.

3. Plan Your Essential Itinerary First

To avoid overbooking yourself, plan out your itinerary with essential meetings and activities first, then add in opportunities for fun activities and sightseeing. Everyone wants to enjoy their work trips, but if you plan too much for yourself, your work, sleep, and health can all suffer.

4. Budget for Unexpected Delays

When booking flights, rental cars, and appointments, make sure you budget for delays. If you plan a meeting too close to your arrival time and your flight is delayed, your entire schedule could be affected.

5. Explore Travel Membership Programs

Want a bit more bang for your buck? Find out whether your company already participates in airline rewards or hotel rewards programs. If not, sign up for them yourself! The more points you rack up, the more perks you get while traveling.

6. Choose Your Hotel Accommodations Wisely

When searching for hotel accommodations, you’re looking for more than the right price. In addition to pricing and member rewards, consider:

7. Consider Travel at Your Destination

When you touch down, how will you be getting around? Rental car? Public transport? Rideshare apps? If you’re planning on a rental car, be sure you book early to lock in better prices and ensure there are cars available for your selected dates.

Business Travel

8. Ensure Your Travel Documents Are in Order

If you’re traveling domestically in the US, ensure you have an unexpired ID with you, including either a license or passport. For now, any state license will suffice, but by May 7, 2025, all domestic travelers will require a REAL ID to travel.

*Note: The deadline for obtaining a REAL ID was previously 2023, but that deadline has been pushed back. Still, if you need to renew your license any time soon, it’s a good idea to switch to a REAL ID so you’re prepared for the change.

9. Print Files in Advance

If you have presentation files, meeting files, or other documents you’ll need printed, don’t assume you’ll have access to a printer when you get to your destination – print it in advance.

10. Back Up Your Technology and Documents

Losing a phone, laptop, credit card, or ID can make things exceptionally difficult. Make photocopies of your IDs and bank cards, and back up your technology using the cloud or an external hard drive.

11. Charge Your Devices

An obvious yet forgettable one – make sure your tech is charged before your trip!

12. Download Useful Apps

Your phone can be your best friend when traveling. Before you leave, download your event app, local maps in case of poor service, translation apps, and travel apps like Uber and Lyft.

13. Pack Light – Don’t Check a Bag

For your own sake, only bring the essentials in your carry-on and personal item. Skip the extra pair of shoes (and the long checked baggage line), and consider what you really need for your trip.

Check out the packing list at the end of this post to help!

14. Check In at Home

If you’re not checking a bag, there’s no reason to wait in line at the airport to check in. You can do it all online, including choosing your seat and downloading a digital boarding pass to your phone.

15. Confirm Your Reservations

To ensure you’re all set for your trip and have no surprises waiting for you, confirm everything in advance. We’re talking flight status, transportation to the airport, hotel reservation, rental car, meetings, etc.

16. Pack with Airport Security in Mind

Travel safety and TSA are no joke. Even if you skip the check-in lines, security can take forever – especially if you’re unprepared. Here are a few airport security tips for business travelers:

  • Budget about 45 minutes to get through security.
  • Check the size of your liquids! Any liquids you pack in your carry-on or personal item must be 3.4 ounces or less and fit into one clear, quart-sized bag.
  • Organize your bags so everything you need to remove for security is in the same place. Be sure you only have to open one bag and that you can easily remove what you need to and get it back in your bag once you’re through security.
  • Read the signs! Depending on the airport and security line, you may not need to remove your shoes or anything from your bags. In others, you’ll need to remove everything – shoes, belts, tech, food, liquids, etc. Know what’s expected so you can move through the line quickly.

17. Follow Business Travel Etiquette

Beginning with your travel attire, you’ll want to be sure you’re following business travel etiquette. You reflect your company, so if you should be dressed up – especially if you’re flying business class – make sure you are, and follow all corporate travel policies.

18. Prioritize Expense Management

Whether you’re swiping your own credit card or a corporate card, make sure every expense is documented. Expense management is critical at every stage, from booking flights and rental cars to paying for meals during your stay.

Track your expenses and save all your receipts so you can account for all expenses and the reason for each purchase. Consider taking pictures of all receipts or uploading them to a third-party app so you don’t have to worry about losing them and missing out on being reimbursed.

19. Focus on Boosting Your Productivity

Maximizing productivity during travel should be a huge priority for corporate travelers. To boost your productivity, try these time management strategies for business trips:

  • Use your hotel business center to improve focus.
  • Book meetings in advance so you can plan your working time around them.
  • Schedule breaks in your itinerary to avoid burnout.
  • If you have time to work while traveling, do it – you never know when your on-site activities will get in the way of work.
  • Stay connected with your team – the more you keep in touch, the more accountable you’ll be.
  • Identify quiet areas on site where you can work during your downtime without having to return to your hotel or room.
Business Travel Productivity

20. Plan Networking Opportunities in Advance

Networking can take up a big chunk of time, whether it’s a networking meet and greet or a one-on-one meeting. Plan these networking opportunities in advance so they’re built into your schedule and you can plan around them.

21. Try Stress Reduction Techniques

Stress takes many forms, but especially for business travelers, there’s a lot to stress over. To make things easier on yourself, try these stress reduction techniques:

  • Plan ahead – the more details you’ve planned in advance, the less you’ll have to worry about while you travel.
  • Practice meditation and deep breathing to keep calm during stressful situations.
  • Stay hydrated! Dehydration can lead to fatigue and stress – not to mention headaches and illness – so keep the water flowing.
  • Stretch, exercise, and get your blood pumping. Exercise is a great stress reliever!
  • Sleep, and take breaks. Your body and mind will thank you.

22. Leave Room for Swag!

If you’re attending an event where you can expect to pick up some swag, or you plan to do a little shopping in your downtime, make sure you have room in your luggage to take it all back with you!

Business Travel Swag Cvent CONNECT 2023

Additional Tips for International Business Travel

Traveling to a foreign country? Here are a few tips specific to international business travel.

23. Research International Travel Requirements

When traveling abroad, make sure you know the requirements for entry and visiting. Research visas, laws and regulations, valid identification, and requirements for renting a vehicle (some countries require international driving permits).

24. Learn Some Key Phrases

If you’re traveling to a country where English is not the primary language, make sure you have a few basic phrases down so you can make your way around.

  • Hello / Goodbye
  • Do you speak English?
  • Please / Thank you
  • Excuse me
  • Where is the bathroom / train station / airport?
  • Where is “name of your venue?”
  • Can I have the check, please?

25. Ensure You Have Phone and Internet Access

Need phone and internet access abroad? If this isn’t supplied by your company, you’ll need to research your own phone/internet plan to make sure you have service while traveling.

26. Study the Cultural Customs

Don’t be a fish out of water. Before you pack for your trip, research acceptable attire, cultural activities and events happening during your stay, customs to participate in, polite behaviors, greetings, hand gestures to avoid, and more.

27. Bring a Credit Card with No International Fees

Converting currency or withdrawing funds at the airport aren’t always the cheapest options. To avoid fees and the hassle of withdrawing cash (if you’re in an area where cash isn’t preferred), consider getting a credit card with no international transaction fees.

Essential Items to Pack for Business Travel

What are the essential items every business traveler should pack? That can depend on the nature of your business, where you’re headed, how long you’re staying, and many other factors.

That said, there are a few packing essentials for business trips that just about everyone needs when traveling for work. Here’s a general packing list to help you get started:


The real challenge of packing the right clothing for your business trip isn’t in choosing what you’ll wear – it’s in making sure you’re not under or overpacking. Here’s what you should consider when packing your business clothing:

  • Pack items that are versatile: Bring clothing you can wear both during the day and in the evening for more formal dinners and events. That way, you’re only wearing one outfit per day.
  • Bring more tops than bottoms: Pants and skirts can easily be worn more than once, but you’ll need a clean shirt or dress for every day of your trip. Try to mix and match multiple tops with one pair of bottoms to help save space in your suitcase.
  • Be prepared to dress up: If there’s a fancy banquet or networking event on the agenda, make sure you have something dressier to wear for this event. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need an entirely different outfit – it could mean bringing jewelry or a dinner jacket to spiff up your daywear.
  • Pack 1-2 pairs of shoes: Weather permitting, you only need one comfortable pair of dress shoes and one pair of casual shoes for your downtime. Of course, if you’re traveling somewhere with rain or snow, you’ll need weatherproof shoes. Perhaps those could double as your casual pair!
  • Don’t forget the basics: Pack one pair of socks and underwear for each day of your trip, and don’t forget pajamas!
  • Company clothing: If you have company swag or a uniform you’re meant to be showing off during your trip, make sure it’s in the bag!
  • Specialty clothing items: Consider whether you’ll need workout clothing, swimwear, a special outfit for an event, etc. Check out your itinerary and see what kind of downtime you’ll have and whether any events or activities you’ll be attending require specific attire.
Business Travel Packing Tips Clothing

*Hot Packing Tip: If you haven’t heard, rolling your clothes is all the rage – and for good reason! Fold your clothes along the seams, then roll them. This will save you space in your suitcase and cut down on iron/steaming time once you get to your destination.

Business Essentials

  • Laptop or tablet and charger
  • Phones and chargers (including personal and business)
  • Headphones or earbuds
  • Adapters/converters (for international travel)
  • Notepad and pen (even in the digital age, these still come in handy!)
  • Business cards (or have your digital business card link ready to share)
  • Printed business files (see tip #9)
  • Comfortable business bag (laptop bag, purse)


  • Passport or ID for legal travel to/from your destination
  • Copy of itinerary, including car rental and hotel reservation details, in case your technology is lost or loses battery
  • Boarding pass (this can be digital)
  • Photocopies of critical documents and resources (see tip #10)

Personal Items

  • Purse and/or wallet (limit yourself to one functional purse)
  • Glasses/contacts
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Jewelry and watch
  • All-weather items (hat, sunglasses, umbrella, waterproof shoes)
  • Entertainment (download podcasts, books, TV shows, and movies to your devices so you can enjoy them when you don’t have internet access)
  • Sleep essentials (ear plugs, eye mask, neck pillow)

Personal Hygiene Items

  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Razor
  • Brush or comb
  • Lotion, skincare products, and sunscreen
  • Makeup and styling products
  • Hand steamer
  • Hair dryer
  • Essential medications
  • Emergency kit (include band-aids, pain relievers, cold and sinus medication, etc.)

*Note: While you might find some of these items at your hotel, they aren’t guaranteed. Check with your hotel before packing to see which of these items you should bring yourself.

Need a bit more help planning your trip? Check out more great business travel tips here!

Hope Swedeen

Hope Salvatori

Hope is a Senior Content Marketing Associate who has been with Cvent for more than two years. She has 8 years of experience producing content for corporations, small businesses, associations, nonprofits, and universities. As a content professional, she has created content for a wide range of industries, including meetings and events, government and defense, education, health, and more.

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