Most assistants do not get to travel on business trips with their boss unless they work for high net worth individuals or are private household assistants. If the opportunity ever comes up it is well worth grabbing with both hands. Business trips can be a great way to increase your business acumen, meet colleagues and clients in different countries and see how your boss operates while they are travelling on business. This is your chance to really shine and hopefully you will also get to see a few of the sights too! If your boss has asked you to accompany them on a business trip make the most of it but remember there are quite a few do’s and don’ts when travelling with the boss!
Do be early and have all of your paperwork organised. Remember you are still going to have to look after your manager so make sure your trip is hassle free.
Don’t be a nervous traveller. Your boss does not want to look after you on the flight.
Do be extra courteous with all the staff you encounter. You might need them to help you if you have any issues during the course of the trip.
Don’t forget your boss is still your boss. On a long haul flight or train journey don’t let the conversation move on to your personal life.
Do fit in with all of your boss’s plans. If you are invited to take part in activities you don’t particularly enjoy just get on with it. Try not to be too fussy with food either (obviously don’t eat something if you are allergic or it makes you sick!)
Don’t think for one second you are holiday. Going on a business trip with your boss is work. You should act the same as you would in your office.
Do have some conversation starters up your sleeve. You will be spending quite a bit of time with your manager,which you might not be used to so think of a few topics you can use for small talk.
Don’t dress inappropriately. Take clothes that you would wear to work and a few more business casual bits for evening activities.
Do some research on the place you are going to. If it is another country it would be a good idea to check their customs and if this impacts what you wear or how you should behave. If you are visiting another office do ask colleagues if there is anything you need to know.
Don’t whatever you do get drunk. On the flight or during the course of the trip. Even if the trip is going really really badly and you are in hell… honestly, don’t get drunk!
Do take your lead from the boss. If they immediately get their laptop out on the train or flight you should probably do some work too… as much as you want to check out the in-flight entertainment!
Don’t take personal calls during your working day unless it is urgent. Let your family and friends know that you will call them from your hotel.
Do remember you are in control of the travel booking and can make decisions based on what you think is appropriate and will ease any awkward moments. For example if you are both travelling on a long haul overnight business class flight don’t book seats facing each other. You will both want a little space while you try to get some sleep.
Don’t take too much luggage. Ideally you want to take a small carry-on bag if you are flying or taking the train.
Do take lots of cash and a credit card. Just in case. If you travel frequently with your boss you should really have a company credit card for your expenses.
Don’t lose touch with the office. You still want to make sure everything is running smoothly for when your boss returns.
Do remain positive during the trip. You will be spending a lot of time with your boss so don’t complain too much or appear tired or grouchy.
Don’t forget to take some time for yourself. If you can leave early for the evening do spend some quiet time in your hotel or go out to see a little bit of the city. You will be working incredibly hard during the day so recharging your batteries when you can is a must.
Do try to show your boss that you were worth taking along and you were worth the cost of the flight / hotel etc. Be extra helpful, organised, take lots of notes and do try to maximise your boss’s productivity while they are travelling.
Don’t do this!