There’s no denying it, traveling with your boss can be an intimidating experience. You would definitely need to follow some basic etiquette rules that would not be in play in a solo trip. Some people can afford to be a bit more relaxed if they have a fairly established relationship with their boss. If not, though, then we’ll outline some basic travel etiquettes when traveling with a superior.
Most business trips only last two to three days. If your boss only has a carry-on, then you should also only have a carry-on. It’s not a good impression to make your boss wait and potentially be late because you had to retrieve your check-in bag. Most airlines allow a second carry-on for a fee. It’s a small price to pay for avoiding a check-in bag if your boss doesn’t also have one.
Study the Destination Area
You can definitely score some brownie points with the boss by showing you done your homework of the destination area. No, don’t spout some random facts about the country or city. You should, however, know the name and address of the hotel and car rental agency. If traveling to a foreign country, then you can score extra points by demonstrating basic comprehension of the language. You have a chance to prove this when asking an airport staffer for assistance or hailing a cab and naming the destination.
You should also know ahead of time if your phone will work at the country of destination. Visit this global roaming charges page to determine whether you can continue to use your phone and the charge rate.
On the Plane
During the flight, it’s a good look to stay productive. Get on your laptop and use the plane’s Wi-Fi to work on business-related matters. If there is absolutely no work that needs to be done at the moment, then read a book or magazine. However, what you read will reflect on you if the boss doesn’t know you that well outside of work. With that in mind, read something sensible, such as a how-to book related to your job industry. Newspapers are fine, too, though avoid the comics or crossword section.
Avoid reading material that may make you look childish or kooky, such as magazines on celebrity gossip or conspiracy theories. If you insist on reading such material, then at least do so on a Kindle device so it’s a bit less obvious.
If there is downtime during your travels, feel free to recommend to your boss to look for a café or just sightsee. Even if it’s leisure time, you should still dress modestly for the occasion. A pair of jeans and a polo shirt is simple yet suffices. Don’t recommend stops to a bar unless you have an existing and established rapport with the boss.
In the event you get lost or are having trouble getting around, take initiative rather than expect your boss to take action. Yes, as the superior, it’s his duty to make sure the two of you find your way around. However, show that you can take charge. If you’re having trouble locating the hotel, for example, be the one to ask (or pantomime) a stranger for directions.
No need to be so uptight when traveling with your boss. However, you do need to be on your best behavior. You still need to exude professionalism even when outside the office.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Mask, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 6 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently, he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.