If you are preparing for business travel, you may be in a quandary about exactly what you need to do and why. After all, preparing for a business trip isn’t quite like preparing for a pleasure trip. A business trip could be just the same as going to work with the added complication of being out of your office! Here are a few ideas to help you plan for your business trip in a way that reduces stress, supports productivity, and leaves a little room for fun!

If you are traveling to another country brush up on that country’s laws. Some foreign countries have laws that you might view as a little strange or not expect. As a precaution, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws specific to the place you are visiting.

When traveling outside North America, it is best to bring your own alarm clock. Most hotel rooms in less-developed areas will not supply a clock, and without one, you run the risk of missing the connection to your next destination. Sometimes these can be useful in train or bus stations as well.

Package tours are a way to get the most out of a limited travel budget. Investigate the opportunities available at a particular destination. It may be possible to do more, see more and have more fun, by investing in a package deal that includes extra services and amenities. These packages frequently offer savings that are impossible to replicate through buying individual services.

Don’t forget to look up the time zones for where you will be traveling to and staying. Many people don’t realize that there is a significant time difference that will not only play a role in your sleep schedule, but also in your communication efforts to those still at home.

Scan your passport and email a copy to yourself. It rarely happens, but in the chance that you lose your passport during your travels, this will be a lifesaver. Getting a replacement passport can be a headache and having a copy can make the process much faster and less traumatic.

A laptop or an Internet capable smart phone is one of the best travel tools you can take with you. By having the ability to go online you have all the maps and other resources you need right at your fingertips. You can research destinations, motels, and attractions while you are on the road.

When making travel hotel accommodations make sure you call ahead and actually speak to someone at the hotel. Ask about their pet policy to find out if they allow pets and if they charge extra fees for pets. This enables you to choose a hotel that fits well for you whether you are traveling with pets or allergic to pets.

Know the rules for your airline’s baggage check policy. Some airlines will make you go and claim your baggage and recheck it for connecting flights. Be aware of this so you can schedule flights accordingly. You do not want to get caught running across an airport to catch a flight because of baggage!

When packing toiletries for your carry-on, make sure to follow the 3-1-1 rule (3 oz bottles, 1 quart-sized Ziploc per passenger). Having your toiletries ready to go in a designated bag will make getting through security a breeze and have you on your way to your destination in no time.

If you are interested in traveling comfortably on your vacation, don’t be afraid to upgrade your seat. Most airlines are combining traditional business class and coach seats by offering “premium economy” options. They have larger seats and better legroom, but they often do not cost as much. You can also try to upgrade your seat just before boarding, but you won’t know about the availability of the upgrades if you check in to your flight online.

When taking a cruise, your health should be your number one priority. Before you depart, speak with your doctor about the trip you are planning on taking and any extra medication you may need. Let your doctor know the ports your cruise ship will visit and all modes of transportation you may encounter. Your doctor can offer advice on where you can obtain medical care as well as where you can get a prescription filled in an emergency.

To make planning your next vacation a breeze, book your trip online. Travel websites can assist you in the planning of your trip’s itinerary. Booking flights, hotels or rental cars can all be done on the Internet. Reviews and photographs of hotels are available on the web. These websites also include special deals when your flight and hotel are booked together in a single package. They also offer discounts when vacancy is high or when you are traveling at the last minute.

So remember, avoiding rushing is the key to successful business travel. By planning your travel well ahead of your meetings and obligations, you will be able to save some money, relax and have a good time. See if you can take a day off before and after the trip to avoid feeling pressured and rushed. In this way, you will have a productive and enjoyable business trip.