If you prefer lists, use them, if not, just figure out some significant points and strat packing. The rest comes itself.
Figure out your business program – meetings, dresscode, free time (yes or no, if yes-what you prefer to do – swimming, sightseeing, running, etc.), additional warming activities if any. It always helps to check the weather forecast in advance in case of outdoor activities. And for sure be informed about the exact sport activity and the equipment needed. Then event by event imagine all the necessary items (inner and outer layers, accessories) you will use. Get a supply of any medicines you use regularly to take with you on your trip.
Yes, decide in advance, it will save you extraordinary baggage, especially in times for first checked bag additionally paid (always ask the travel agent or the travel coordinator in your company if you need or have included checked bag and the allowed size and weight, as they may vary between airlines). The golden rule is travel light!
Sites of interest
Check the hotel booked for you. You may find interesting ways of spending the free time in or around the hotel (special SPA treatment, swimming pool on the roof, rich winery, interesting site nearby, etc.)
Check out if there are any festivals or special events at the time of your trip so that you can have some extra added value to your business trip. If you have enough free time look into buying a CityPass, which gives you an entrance into a number of attractions and free public transport, sometimes it is better to buy this pass online before your trip.
Business plus pleasure
Some companies do not mind if you combine busines trip with your private visit. Sometimes flight tickets are even cheaper if you fly on Friday evening or Saturday morning and get back next work week. The hotel is usually covered by the company, but if it is a different of your standart or you prefer confidentiality, you can always search with your travel agent another accommodation. If you make such combinations always ask for the “teambuilding” activities in the business program, thus you avoid visiting the same sites during your private stay. Most of the hotel chains and airlines have loyalty programs, which you can join. They do not care who is paying their services, but you are the one collecting the points.
Money on hand
Check in advance what is the currency used in the country you go and if you need cash you can research where exchange rates are best – at the airport on arrival, in your home country or at a bank or change-point in your destination city. Convert your travel money into Euros or local currency if better and get your credit card. Amounts about the business trip are defined by the company policies. Also, ask the bank about any hidden fees for using your personal credit card in particular countries. Observe the company finance policy and practices for business trip costs. If not sure for any situation, ask the relevant colleague before the trip – it can save you worries or international calls.
Documents and Essentials in your Wallet
Check you have an ID Card or passport which is valid for at least 3 months from your date of return (for some countries it is more, so check you’re your travel consultant). Make sure you have the necessary visa to enter, if required.
Get travel insurance and decide if you want health coverage only or loss of luggage and canceled trip insurance (check with the travel agent before booking the flight). You can also rely on the international health card for EU citizens (here you can find the difference with travel insurance). Check if your employer has included you in a group policy and what is the exact coverage.
Print the hotel, transfer and other vouchers for pre-ordered services. Boarding pass and flight details may be kept on the mobile phone, but most surely on paper. Your personal Puffins Travel agent will prepare the for you the travel pack with all necessary documentation, ready just to take or print.