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Business Travel Tips

While non-essential travel is still discouraged, some business trips are indeed necessary. Being prepared for the travel portion of your trip can help you keep your stress levels in check so you can devote more time and energy to the business portion. Follow these practical travel tips and you’ll find yourself navigating your next business trip with confidence and ease.

Understand your company’s travel policies before you leave.

Your company’s travel policy outlines how your business trip should be approved, booked and expensed so that you are reimbursed fully and in a timely manner. Knowing the rules ahead of time will help ensure that you’re not on the hook for expenses that your company doesn’t allow. For example, can you expense alcohol? What is your per diem for food? Do you need insurance if you’re renting a car? What’s considered an acceptable amount to tip? Will the company accept photos and/or electronic receipts, or do you need a printed copy? Ask these questions up front so you don’t have any surprises later.

Pack lightly and make things simple.

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating: If you’re flying, don’t check a bag. Using carry-on only may seem limiting, but just think of the benefits. You’ll eliminate the chance that your luggage will be lost or delayed and you’ll get out of the airport quicker – meaning you won’t be the one holding up your group. How can you possibly squeeze everything into a carry-on bag? Start by laying out everything you think you’ll need, then put half of it away. Remember, you can wear basic wardrobe elements like black pants on multiple days and refresh your look with different tops, ties or accessories. Keep your toiletries bag small. If you’re staying at a hotel, they’ll have the basics for you. Roll your clothes so they take up less room and don’t get wrinkled. And consider using packing cubes to keep things organized.

You’ll also want to ensure that your laptop, tickets and travel documents are easily accessible so you can get through security faster.

“Wear wardrobe elements like black pants on multiple days and refresh your look with different tops, ties or accessories.”

Use electronic devices to your advantage.

These days, going somewhere without an electronic device is unheard of. And for good reason. Our phones and tablets contain a wealth of information and apps that make our lives easier. When you travel – especially for business – make sure you take full advantage of their capabilities. Download an app to keep track of your expenses. Pre-load maps of your destination. Use e-tickets and e-bookings for flights and hotels. Take pictures of your passport and other ID, just in case they get lost or misplaced. And don’t forget to preload entertainment options such as movies, music, games and ebooks.

Keep in mind that your devices are only useful if they’re charged. Make sure they’re ready to go before your trip. And bring a power bank or portable charger and an extra charging cable with you just in case.

Take the right precautions.

It’s always a good idea to consider safety and cleanliness when you travel, and now more so than ever. After all, an unplanned illness is never pleasant. Before you leave, check for travel advisories and restrictions at your destination. If possible, avoid flights altogether and travel by car instead. Pack masks and hand sanitizers or disinfectant wipes. Take the stairs instead of elevators. Wash your hands and then sanitize common surfaces on the plane and in your hotel – think arm rests, light switches, door knobs and remote controls.

As a business traveller, you may find that you can’t avoid being around other people. While you may not be able to escape meetings, try to limit your attendance at social events as much as possible. If you’re inside, wear a mask and stay 2 metres away from others. Rely on public health guidelines and common sense to help keep yourself healthy and stay on top of your business game.

Make time for yourself.

Business trips almost always have a very specific purpose, whether it’s a meeting, a conference, or finalizing a deal. But at the end of the day, you can – and should – take some time for yourself, too. If you’re in a place you’ve never been to before, you may want to see an attraction. Or maybe you’d like to check out the local culture and cuisine. A stroll around the block, a hot bath or a quick workout at the hotel gym are other great ways to decompress and relax. Making time for these types of personal activities will help to return to work rejuvenated.

Before you leave for a business trip, check your company benefits to see if they cover medical expenses while travelling. If so, you should take the time to have a clear understanding of what’s covered and what’s not. If you don’t have company benefits, or you want to add supplemental coverage, you can be protected by purchasing one of our AMEX® Travel Insurance†1 plans to set your mind at ease.

 

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1. AMEX® Travel Insurance is optional group travel insurance underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. You may contact the insurer at 1-888-877-1710 in Canada and the U.S. or visit www.rsagroup.ca. In this outline, we have given a brief description of just some of the benefits available under AMEX® Travel Insurance. All insurance coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of the Group Policy issued to Amex Bank of Canada and the applicable limitations and exclusions described in the Certificate of Insurance issued upon enrollment. Please read the Certificate of Insurance carefully.

AMEX® Travel Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. You may contact the insurer at 1-888-877-1710 in Canada and the U.S. or visit www.rsagroup.ca. Amex Bank of Canada identifies insurance providers and products that may be of interest to some of its customers. In this role we do not act as an agent or fiduciary for you, and we may act on behalf of the insurance provider, as permitted by law. We want you to be aware that we receive compensation from insurance providers and our compensation may vary by provider and product. We do not require you to purchase any insurance product, and you may choose to cover your insurance needs from other sources on terms they may make available to you.