Corporate Travel Tips: Safety, Packing, Save Money

December 10, 2022

Traveling for any reason, whether it is for work or play, can be stressful. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning your first business trip or an experienced pro; taking a business trip adds layers of preparation and planning compared to leisure travel. From booking flights and overnight accommodations, to preparing for meetings and events, there can be a travel to-do list as long as your arm. Whether you are traveling alone or with a group of colleagues, planning is key. Your friends at The Parking Spot have a menu of convenient services to help you simplify your business travel, and we have also prepared a list of tips to make your next trip an enjoyable experience.

A woman with a roller bag walks in an airport next to a man wearing a suit.

Get to Know Your Company’s Travel Policy: Business Trip Approval

Planning a business trip begins with totally understanding your company’s travel policies. More than likely, there is a requisition process that you are required to follow,  which will include all details of your trip. For example, you will provide information including the reason and goals for the trip, anticipated outcomes, dates you will be out of the office, airfare, parking and mileage expenses, meals, tips, budget, and other information. Consult your manager or human resources department to assist you with this paperwork and approval process.

Determine Your Travel Needs And Answer These Questions

An itinerary is more than a schedule; it's a road map of your business trip. Include all pertinent details, from flights to meetings, and allow flexibility for unexpected changes. Think of it as a helpful tool to manage your time and commitments effectively. It is also useful for your colleagues and managers to have for their records. Thorough planning sets the foundation for a successful trip. Before you can make any travel arrangements, make a list of everything you’ll need to do and answer the following questions.

  • What dates are you traveling?
  • What airport makes the most sense?
  • Will you drive your car and need to park at the airport?
  • Will you take a cab, an Uber, or other transportation?
  • At which hotel will you be staying?
  • When you arrive at your destination, how will you get to your hotel or meeting and what time?
  • What is your business schedule?
  • How many days will you be away for overnight accommodations?
  • How many meals will you need?

When you are clear about what your needs are before, during, and after your business trip, you can start making detailed and clear arrangements.

Establish a Budget And Understand Company Policy

The sky is usually not the limit when it comes to business travel. Understand your organization’s policies when it comes to how much expenses they will cover and what they won’t. Understand meal allowances, hotel accommodations, airfare, car rental, and other travel-related expenses. Familiarize yourself with your company's expense report and how to fill it out properly. Clearly understand your company's policy on reporting all expenses and the reimbursement policy. You may be eligible for a company credit card to use for business travel. You may be eligible for a cash advance or may be required to use your personal credit card and money that will get reimbursed after your expense report and receipt are submitted. Knowing exactly how much is covered and how to record expenses will help you plan appropriately.

Book Flights and Accommodations

Now that you know what your travel needs are, established a viable budget, and know how you are to keep appropriate expense records, it’s time to book airfare and overnight accommodations. It is always a good idea to book flights as early as possible to get the best rates and seat selections. Last-minute airfare is usually more expensive. The rule of thumb, according to a study by Expedia, is to book your airfare between 28 and 35 days before a domestic departure. Take connecting flights into consideration and compare them with nonstop flights that take you directly to your destination. Use online booking sites like Expedia or Kayak to compare prices and secure the best deals.

Vincent Adultman books his flight and parking.

Compare Amenities, Airfare Schedules, and Accommodations

When looking for overnight accommodations, take factors like locations to your meeting sites, price, and amenities like complimentary breakfast, on-site gym, wi-fi, and shuttle service. Look into third-party websites and travel agencies that offer bundles on flights, hotel stays, and car rentals. These deals often provide deep discounts and can save money when compared to booking each need separately. Expedia, and Airbnb are sites that can assist with securing the best rates for overnight bookings. Use caution when comparing airfare and overnight accommodations. The lowest prices may come with time-consuming risks and frustrating headaches. For example, a ticket for a direct flight may cost more than one with a connecting flight, but you take the risk that the connecting flight could run late or canceled, leading to missed meetings and scheduled events.

Take Advantage of Travel Rewards Programs

If you are a frequent traveler, you might consider using your travel rewards and points to make your journey more enjoyable. Most airlines, hotels, and car rental companies offer loyalty programs with perks and benefits like discounted rates, free upgrades, priority boarding, and free services. Similar to credit card rewards, these extras make a business trip less stressful and give you additional incentives. For example, if you drive to the airport, you'll need short or long-term parking and shuttle service to the gate. The Parking Spot's Spot Club offers members special benefits, including discounts, promos, and deals throughout the year.

Mixing Business With Pleasure for "Bleisure Travel" Extended Stays

In today's connected world, many business travelers add personal time to their business trips, often referred to as "bleisure" travel. More flexible work environments like working remotely and hybrid models create the perfect combination for this leisure travel trend. According to an online article on, 89% of people plan to add personal vacation time to their business trip. If you plan to extend your stay for leisure or take a family member with you, make sure you are transparent and clearly communicate this with your manager. This includes expenses that are personal and not business trip approved. It's important not to blur the personal and business lines. Then you can take this valuable time to unwind after your business is complete, explore a new city, and add value to your time away from the office.

What To Pack: Less Is More For Business Travel

Planning in advance instead of packing the day you’re leaving can save you time, money, and anxiety. Keep in mind that checking luggage is more expensive than ever. If you need to take products or samples with you, consider shipping them to the hotel or convention center in advance. Regarding clothing, pack light. Pack separates that mix and match together. Comfortable shoes are important for long days on your feet and walking long distances. Take a look at a few packing tips that are appropriate for a multiple-day business trip. Consider investing in luggage and carry-on bags that feature innovative organizational pockets, zippered compartments, and dedicated places for laundry.

Packing List Items and Packing Tips

Think light, wrinkle-free clothing that mixes, matches, and is easily layered. Not only is the weather unpredictable, conference room temperatures vary from very hot to very cold. Layering and taking a cardigan, blazer or sweater that you can take on and off will be helpful for comfort.

  • Major airlines approved carry-on bag
  • Laptop bag with laptop and power cord
  • Backpack or briefcase
  • Garment Bag
  • Two suits and jackets
  • Coordinating shirts, blouses
  • Coordinating pants or skirts
  • Two Paris of comfortable shoes
  • Five Pairs of Socks & Undergarments
  • Cardigan or sweater
  • Belts, jewelry, watch
  • Sleepwear
  • Casual jeans and casual shirts
  • Workout wear and shoes
  • Coat based on weather conditions
  • Passport for international trips
  • Business cards

Fold or roll each clothing item as tightly as you can. You want to take advantage of every inch of space so fold, roll, and pack smaller items into every corner. Here's a shoe packing tip: Fold smaller clothing and accessories and tuck into your shoes. Save space and place your rolled garments at the bottom of the suitcase, can place your folded garments in the middle. Take your folded items and start laying down the long ones, like a full-length skirt, pants, or dress. Save space and place them across your suitcase while alternating the waists. This way, the hems won't crease and wrinkle or take up large amounts of space. For more tips, refer to The Parking Spot blog, "How to Pack Clothes in A Suitcase for Your Next Trip."

Airport Parking: Plan In Advance At The Parking Spot

Airport parking is an often overlooked but important detail of your business trip. Make sure you add it to your to-do list and itinerary. Similar to securing the best airfare and accommodations, explore parking options based on your needs and schedule. Whether you need short-term or long-term parking, many airports offer reserved parking places that you can book in advance. These reservations offer you peace of mind and potential savings compared to finding parking available on the same day as your departure. Many airports also have nearby parking services with shuttle service to and from your gate. The Parking Spot is a 24-hour seven days a week near airport parking service, making getting from point A to point B stress-free, convenient, and enjoyable. Our services focus on you, and your hospitality, and our goal is to make your experience comfortable, informative, and affordable. A Parking Spot membership also offers special benefits for business travelers, including the following and more:

  • Continuous 24-hour airport shuttle service
  • Fast and convenient reservation process, including check-in and check-out
  • Covered, open-air, and valet parking at select locations
  • Safe, secure, fully fenced, and lighted location
  • Car care services including car washes and oil changes at select locations
  • The Spot Club membership with free parking and special benefits

Get More Helpful Business Travel Tips From The Parking Spot

Vincent Adultman takes a trip to the business factory.

The Parking Spot is your destination for all your airport parking needs, but our friendly team of travel pros is always available to share helpful information and tips in our Travel Tips Blog. This includes a variety of topics about ways to save money, the best airports for business travelers, the best time to fly, and business travel discount plans. Let’s work together to make your time away from the office and home a breeze. We're your parking solution that hits the spot. Contact us today.

Get More Helpful Business Travel Tips From The Parking Spot

The Parking Spot is your destination for all your airport parking needs, but our friendly team of travel pros is always available to share helpful information and tips in our Travel Tips Blog. This includes a variety of topics about ways to save money, the best airports for business travelers, the best time to fly, and business travel discount plans. Let’s work together to make your time away from the office and home a breeze. We're your parking solution that hits the spot. Contact us today.

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