Traveling for work is something that many professionals will have to do eventually. To avoid problems and ensure a smooth work experience, HR should double check this quick and simple checklist during the planning process, before someone departs, and after they return.

If you’re the one doing the traveling, double check this list as well and send it to whoever is responsible for organizing the trip.

Before the trip

Most of the preparation that needs to be done is before someone actually gets on a plane. Here’s what you need to pay special attention to.

Passport expiry date

Ensure the passports of everyone going on the trip are valid for at least 6 months after your intended return date. This is to make sure no one gets stuck in a country with an expired passport.

Double check this requirement, since it may vary from country to country.


There are some countries you may need a visa to travel to, depending on your passport. Check your eligibility and attain the valid visas if needed.

Tickets to event

Flying to attend an event or conference? Make sure you purchase tickets beforehand and each attendee has a copy of theirs.

Check your flight

Double check your flight landing time, timezone difference, and length of stopover. Having too long of a stopover is an opportunity for some work, but it’s better to get someone to their destination as soon as possible. Avoid flight layovers that are more than 4 hours.

Pay attention to the change in timezone. If you’re flying over the day before a big meeting, make sure the timezone change doesn’t cause you to miss it. Look at the landing time in the destination country to make sure you can meet any scheduled appointments.

Location and WiFi

When booking accommodations, pay attention to location and amenities, specifically, WiFi. Find a place that’s in a safe area, close to wherever your obligations or purpose for traveling is. WiFi is also important because it’s likely you will need to do some work while you are traveling, and having Internet at your home base will help with this.

Share the schedule

Does everyone know where they need to be certain dates while they travel? If you’re traveling for a conference, this is easy. What if you’re traveling for client or investor meetings? Make sure you share out the schedule with everyone, including sending calendar notices to the people you plan to meet with to confirm meeting times.

During the trip

During the trip itself, it’s important to stay organized and focused, and travel prepared.

  • Remember to bring your portable WiFi with you when you go out
  • Set alarms for important meetings
  • Stay hydrated
  • Try to sleep and eat on time, especially helpful if there’s been a timezone change
  • Review your schedule for the next day the night before

After the trip

You made it through! After a trip, debrief the rest of the team on what happened, and submit a post-mortem report. This report should detail what went right, what went wrong, and suggestions for next time.

Document any additional expenses needed for reimbursement, and congratulate yourself on getting through business travel!

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick