Going on a business trip is a twofold challenge for many of us, partly because planning for it is not like preparing for a family trip and partly because you need to get into shape for business meetings and conferences. In both cases, it is important to carefully plan your business travel and there are several things you should keep in mind if you want a steady business trip plan.
1. Prepare your trip arrangements well in advance
Using mind maps to put together all business-related to-dos will allow you to focus on the priorities of your journey. Start from the core which is your business trip, and list all the main points that you need to cover before and during the trip. Since the purpose is to keep the mind map as easy to follow as possible, you can divide the main points into different branches, giving different colors to personal and work-related items.
2. Choose your accommodation based on cost and practicality.
Regardless of whether you are a travel manager or your name is on the travel documents, selecting an accommodation must be practical and cost-wise. If you have only one meeting place to reach, make sure you book a hotel located nearby. Use maps on your smartphone to measure distances from the station or airport to your hotel and save them into your mind map. This way, you will have them at hand and open anytime you need them.
3. Create a journey plan
Your itinerary is the outline for a smart business trip. You need to keep track of every detail – from transportation times to the names of those you encounter, to travel bookings and hotel addresses. Create a special branch for your itinerary and record all these details then sync it with your work calendar. This comes handy in case you want to share them with your colleagues. It will also ensure communication and efficiency, as a safety measure for when you’re traveling to an unknown destination.
4. Research your target destination
This is one of the most important steps. Even if it is a known destination or an unfamiliar territory, it’s best to avoid any unnecessary risks. Make a thorough research in behavior and manners before going to business meetings, for example, if you plan to take prospective customers for dinner, do you know the tipping etiquette, or when to give your business cards to people?
Details make the difference so add them to your mind and make separate subtopics for everything you researched for. Insert images or little notes to ensure nothing skipped.
5. Mind your travel documents, gadgets and accessories
In subtopics, add details such as packing clothes, tickets, passports and money. You can also connect related topics and label the connections to make everything more straightforward. Ultimately, you will have all the information on the same page, schedules and to-dos, but clearly arranged. It’s as fast and effective as that.
6. Get ready for your meeting
You have taken all the right steps to prepare for a business trip, but what about your business goals and the meeting itself? Writing down what you hope to accomplish on the trip can help improve your focus-even if you simply want to reach out to new contacts or gain an overview of potential new clients. And what better way to do this if not with mind maps?
Find a simple way to keep track of all your to-dos, up to the smallest detail. For example, turn your mind map into a structured to-do list, that you can share with your colleagues/employees/personal assistant. Each task from the list is assignable and setting a deadline for it will help you monitor the progress. You can also give detailed instructions per each task in the comments section. This way you and your team will know, at any given point, the status of your preparations, what’s left to be done, who needs to do it, and if you have to speed things up.
7. Squeeze some me-time
After all the business fuss, maybe you want to take some time out for yourself, even if it’s a few hours, and mark some of the objectives of your destination. Attach to your mind map a list of touristic points or an ‘inventory’ of best places to eat and check them out.
Planning with the aid of mind maps or turn them into tasks is very simple, and it helps you keep everything in one place in an organized fashion: from objectives and due dates, schedules and locations. So, if you aim for stress-free, yet accurate business travel planning, Mindomo is a real helper.
Keep it smart, simple and creative!
The Mindomo Team