A trip to Washington DC is every business traveler’s dream. The city throbs with history and power and is a regular hub for the high and mighty from all around the world. If you’re planning to visit this buzzing city for business, this post has everything you need to prepare for a successful trip.
Book accommodation in advance
Like most top cities, Washington DC offers plenty of accommodation options for business travelers. However, the challenging part is locating one that ticks various boxes including offering easy access to the city center or your designated meeting places.
This is where platforms such as Blueground come in handy. This real estate tech company allows you to choose and book online one of its many furnished apartments spread across Washington DC. You can use the website’s filters to sort apartments by price, location, amenities, and the number of bedrooms. Their apartments can be booked down to the exact days you need so that you’re not locked into a year-long lease, or at the mercy of someone else’s sublease schedule. Check them out if you’re looking for comfortable and conveniently located accommodation facilities in this city.
Dressing casually in the city center can have you sticking out like a sore thumb. In Washington DC, image is everything, and this means you have to be smartly dressed always. Your choice of dress code significantly impacts your impression on the people you’re going to meet or influence during your stay here.
Remember, the city is home to some of the smartest business professionals and affluent people you’re ever going to meet anywhere. Don’t waste your opportunities to impress and network successfully by dressing shabbily!
Always keep time
Punctuality is the one thing you cannot take for granted in Washington DC. You have to plan your schedule properly to ensure you arrive at meetings, business meals, or presentations on time. This shows that you’re a committed business professional and that you respect your business associates.
Use reliable travel means within the city including trains, cabs and chauffeured car hires. You can also drive yourself if you don’t mind navigating the streets and parking yourself — while also gaining the freedom to explore at your own pace.
Present a positive body language that shows you’re a confident businessperson. Maintain direct eye contact, offer firm handshakes, and smile when necessary.
Avoid gestures that your associates can interpret to be rude such as crossing your arms during presentations or being inattentive during conversations. The ultimate goal is to encourage whoever you meet to want to interact, listen and network with you.
Create a proper travel plan
One of the most common mistakes we see many business travelers make is to travel without a proper itinerary. While you may not have control over factors like the weather or airport delays, you cannot risk wasting your trip because of avoidable issues.
For starters, create a buffer zone in your travel plans to accommodate possible delays including getting stuck in DC’s notorious traffic. And if you are driving yourself, try to reserve parking spots in advance and also pre-order meals and drinks at your designated meeting places.
Carry only what’s necessary
The last thing you want to deal with when on a business trip is excessive luggage that inhibits your movements from one place to the other. This will not only leave you stressed out due to the logistics involved in the transfers but also add to the cost of travel as in the case of extra airfare.
Carry only what’s needed for the trip and invest in a high-quality suitcase that accommodates all your items. This will help you avoid losing your belongings while in transit and as you go about your business.
Stay in touch
Traveling for business means you’ll likely have to leave behind your family and colleagues for the duration of your trip. Depending on your role in the business or family, it could be a big deal to be away for too long.
Thankfully, the advancement in communication technology means there’s no shortage of apps and platforms to help you stay in control. Whether you want to video call your family after a busy day or need to video-conference your staff during their weekly meeting, there’s a tool for pretty much everything. Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facetime are excellent for keeping in touch with family and friends, while Zoom is probably all you’ll need for your work-related calls.
Exercise and eat healthy
A big mistake that most people do when traveling for work is to pause their exercising and dieting routines. Regular exercise helps to ensure you stay healthy and sharp while on your business trip. Couple that with good food and you have everything you need to battle out any stress that might be emanating from the loneliness of being away from home.
Where possible, exercise every day by doing simple routines such as pushups, skipping rope, swimming, or taking the stairs instead of lift. Concerning the diet, try to eat whole organic foods and steer clear of fast foods and other unhealthy options. While at it, eat balanced diet at all times and don’t forget to get enough sleep.
Mix business with pleasure
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, Washington DC is a city rich in history and culture. If your schedule allows, try to explore popular places and take a few pictures to make your trip worthwhile and memorable.
Even better: Share the trip with a business trip companion, making it a complete success in every regard. Not only can a fine entourage work miracles at a meeting, they will also see after your well-being once the business part of the trip is done.
What follows is pure pleasure, while you explore DC together and let loose after a challenging pitch or the closing of a deal. Here, you will find the best companions for top closers on a business trip in Washington DC. Below are a few suggestions of exciting attractions you can check out while here:
This expansive lawn sits between the U.S Capitol and the White House while encompassing the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
National Gallery of Art
This is home to masterpieces of European and American paintings and sculptures.
View the historic building that holds the conventions of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Did we leave out anything important to do while visiting DC for business? Let us know in the comments below.