Top 3 tips for women business travelers

Traveling for your job is a lot of work, but it’s also a bit of an honor. Your company has enough faith and trust in you to spend 7-14-14-2thousands of dollars sending you somewhere to represent them. That being said, there are some traps that women fall into during business travel. Here are the top 3 things to avoid if you’re a woman (especially a young woman) traveling for business (Pictured: Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office).

Being afraid to spend money. It may be tempting to save your company money by scrimping. Not that saving money is a bad thing! There are circumstances, however, where your time or safety is worth more than saving a few dollars. For example, yesterday I wrote that when you’re in a foreign company it is a good idea to take the hotel car service from the airport. Yes, it costs more than a local cab, but your safety is more important than saving a few dollars. Another example I saw on Corporette: parking in the cheapest airport lot. I would bet your company would rather have you working that extra time rather than commuting to the terminal to save a couple of dollars. Sometimes it may help to ask if a man would spend money on something–if you think the answer is yes, then you probably should too.

Acting high maintenance. If you are traveling with a group, you do not want to be the one person who checked their bag that everyone has to wait for. At the same time it’s important to be able to lift your bag into the overhead bin. This is even more true when traveling with your boss. Put your best, most competent foot forward!

If you need extra time due to a legitimate medical need, that’s a different story. In that case you can set expectations ahead of the trip, which people should respect.

Wearing uncomfortable shoes. Because I do a lot of presentations and vendor expos, I always wear flats. If you tend to wear heels to the office, remember that shoes that are comfortable for a normal 8-hour day may not cut it on during a marathon 18-hour travel day. Wear a chunkier or lower heel, add a gel insert, or take the leap and wear flats. True story: during one of my first travel days I wore what I had always considered comfortable heels. By the end of the day I could barely walk, and literally had bruises on the soles of my feet. Needless to say I switched to flats for travel soon after. There are plenty of cute, comfortable flats available at every price point.

Business travel can be hard, stressful, and tiring, but there is satisfaction in knowing you are doing a good job and your company values you. Watch out for these few things, and you will be on your way to success!

 Readers, what are your best travel tips for women?

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Comments

  1. This post can pretty much be applied to men as well.

    Car service from the airport (either the hotel’s or a private car service) is normally included in the company travel budget. I agree safety is the most important thing but I would also ask colleagues what they’ve done in the past. For example, I wouldn’t take the hotel taxi from Narita airport to Tokyo city center where it will cost $300 when I could have taken a limo bus for $30 or N’ex (Narita Express) for $20.

  2. Agree with all of this! Early in my career, I was lucky to have opportunities to travel, so I thought I’d “save the company money” by booking a hotel in a questionable neighborhood and the cheap train fare. Luckily, an older woman who had been with the company longer set me straight and changed my reservations to what others (namely, older men) would book!

    I also think general competence is key, no matter what level you are in the organization. If you’re traveling with colleagues, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have any addresses, agendas, confirmation numbers, terminals, etc. easily accessible and save the day when everyone else doesn’t know where to go.

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