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Young Money: Traveling for work

blog by Caitlin Campbell McNulty  • 

Last week, I experienced another first in my professional life – I took a trip for work.

For many of you this might seem like old hat, but as someone who’s previously only worked jobs that have been focused locally, it was uncharted territory for me.

I travel a lot personally, so I figured I had this in the bag. While at the end of the day, travel is travel, there is definitely a difference between doing it for fun and for work.

I was reminded of this while putting in 12-hour days on my feet in a city that would be a lot more fun to visit as a tourist.

If you’ve never traveled for work before, or need a refresher before your next trip with the boss, here are a few things to keep in mind for anyone embarking on work-related travel:

**Bring more work than you think you need or will be able to do. It’s better to have it with you and not have time to do it, than have unexpected downtime and be wishing you had brought that one last file with you.

**On that note, bring the right equipment with you. I brought our office iPad knowing that I would be able to live tweet from the events we were at, answer emails and check anything online.

What I should have brought was the office laptop. With the laptop, I could do all of that, plus plug in a USB and work on files in Microsoft Word and Excel. That would have been much more productive than playing Candy Crush.

**Remember you’re there for work, not pleasure. While it’d be great to get out and explore the city you find yourself in or visit friends who live there, you still have a job to do.

It’s okay to let your friends know you’ll be in town, or have a list of places you’d like to see, but don’t count on having the free time to be able to really visit.

If you do find yourself with a few hours to kill, not only will you be pleasantly surprised, but you’ll also have a plan for what you want to do with that free time.

**Beware the expense account. It can be tempting to go out and have the best dinner ever or treat your friends to drinks all night. Just remember you still have to turn those receipts in.

Do you really want to have to explain to payroll why you racked up an insane booze bill or had to order the most expensive steak on the menu?

You definitely don’t want to be stuck footing the bill personally when they refuse your reimbursement request either.

Since this was my first time traveling for work, I’m sure there are some more experienced travelers out there that we can all learn from.

What are your best practices for traveling for work? Is there a travel gadget that you just can’t live without when working on the road? Or, do you have a tip for having fun while getting the job done in a new city?

Let us all know in the comments below!

(Header image courtesy of Flickr / epsos.de. First interior photo is from Flickr / HerryLawford. Second interior photo is via Flickr / Ray Sawhill).

TAGGED: caitlin campbell mcnulty, young money, young professionals

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