As the coronavirus continues to spread, for most people the likelihood of business travel in the near future is minimal to nonexistent. However, there are five steps you can take now to ensure a more successful and productive business trip in the future.
Make sure your documents are up to date.
Although many offices are not open and there are extensions on expired items, it's a good idea to know where your documents stand and check with those offices to see what steps you'll need to take. For instance, knowing that your passport will expire in a few months can help you plan for the costs of renewing it when the time comes.
If you haven't done so already, check to see if you'll need to get a REAL ID, another form of identification that will be required for air travel. However, because of Covid-19, the deadline is likely to be extended. This is dependent on final legislation that will be voted on in Congress.
Also, note that Global Entry enrollment is on hold in response to coronavirus. TSA PreCheck is still accepting applications, but that may change in the coming days.
Clean and organize your travel gear.
Now is a perfect time to clean out your travel gear, including suitcases and laptop bags. As these items have been exposed to many different places, giving them a good clean is always wise. You can give yourself some peace of mind by wiping down and disinfecting your bags and luggage.
You can also use this time to put those extra chargers, pens, travel pillows, wrinkle-reducer sprays, headphones, and anything else you might use in one place. In fact, take inventory of the items you have to determine if there's anything else you may need to purchase.
Update your profiles.
If you've got a stale LinkedIn profile or an old CV, use this time to update it. You may also want to update and change any old photos you may have. That also goes for business cards you have or any other items you may pass along to potential clients or consumers. You may even consider hiring a freelancer to help you with any designs.
Research potential clients or conferences.
If you miss being out and about, planning upcoming travel can help make things at least seem a bit lighter. Do some research on any clients you may want to work with, or markets you may want to target, in the future. Though there is uncertainty regarding many things, getting ideas for potential partnerships is always a plus.
This time can also be useful to check for any annual conferences that may be slightly outside of your field but still inspiring or beneficial to the work you do. While many conferences are postponed until further notice, knowing what's out there can help motivate you. Plus, you may stumble upon a digital alternative that you can virtually attend.
Check your loyalty rewards.
Make sure your travel points and the miles you've earned aren't about to expire. You don't want to lose the rewards that can earn you extra benefits like a free hotel night or even free flights. Each loyalty reward program has its policies, so it's a good idea to check the requirements of the ones you use the most.
Fortunately, you don't have to actually travel to keep an active account either. You may be able to take part in the airline or hotel's dining program to keep your account active, for example. Alternatively, you may try donating miles to their partners. Doing this not only shows account activity, but it also goes to a good cause.