Business man walking with a suitcase


Post Pandemic Business Travel Tips for Start-Ups

23 November 2021

As a high potential start up with ambitions to expand globally, international travel may have played an important role in your business plan. Or maybe your business evolved during the pandemic, and you are wondering what business travel might look like for you as we cycle into the new normal?

The Covid-19 crises brought corporate travel to a standstill, countries around the world closed their borders. Long periods of enforced quarantine no longer made business travel a viable option. Fortunately, virtual meetings were able to take up some of the slack. 

Despite the relative success of doing business online, there do appear to be some green shoots for business travel. Many industries still see the innate value in face-to-face meetings, conferences and tradeshows. Although the return to corporate travel may be slow, as many businesses make a hybrid return to the office, travelling for work may become more frequent again in 2022. 

After such a long hiatus, what do start-ups need to remember when it comes to business travel

It may seem basic, but it is important to invest in good quality travel baggage. Not only will it be more durable, having good quality hard shell luggage for business travel avoids:

  • The stress of cabin baggage being the wrong size
  • Damaging expensive IT equipment while you travel
  • Water damage if you get caught in the rain

Try to pack as light as you can while also considering your agenda for the trip. Some items to include:

  • Appropriate office attire for your destination (it is worth checking if this has changed post-pandemic. A once formal office may now be office casual since introducing hybrid working.).
  • Clothing for attending business lunches/dinner.
  • Casual clothes for down time. 

Once you have an idea of what you would like to bring, there are many blog articles and videos on how to pack carry-on luggage. Only bringing carry on avoids the extra cost of checked baggage and saves time getting through the airport.

As a start-up, your budget for business travel may be limited. Keep costs as low as possible by doing some research before you leave:

  • Book flights as far in advance as possible.
  • Contact your cell phone provider to ensure you are on the best plan for international travel.
  • Plot out your meeting locations before booking accommodation to ensure it isn’t too far away.
  • Factor in transport costs if you plan on staying a distance from your meeting location. Sometimes it’s better value to stay closer.
  • If you are attending a tradeshow or conference pre-pay for catering, parking or internet access if needed.
No-one wants to imagine becoming ill or being in an accident while overseas, much less while being away on business, but it does happen. In these uncertain times make sure you have access to private healthcare should you need it with short term health insurance

After such a prolonged period without business travel, it can be tempting to try and fit in a lot of meetings on one trip. Avoid this, particularly if you are travelling to a different time zone. 

If you have arranged an in person meeting, it is likely to be important. Remember if you are feeling tired from travel and previous meetings, you are not likely to be at your best so try to limit meetings to one or two per day. Plan meetings so distances are minimal. If you have to travel by transport between locations allow plenty of time for traffic or public transport delays. 

Before you leave, be sure to confirm meeting times and location with everyone you plan to catch up with. If you are going to a country where they speak a different language, try to have the basics. Allow extra time for almost everything you do in case language barriers mean it takes longer than usual. Translation apps, although not perfect, can really help in these situations. 

Make sure you have chargers, plug converters and backups of everything, particularly presentations you intend to give to those you are meeting.   

We all know zoom meetings are tiring but we are likely to find in person meetings for the first time in more than a year an exhausting experience too. Don’t forget to plan in some personal time on your trip. Take some time out to exercise, relax with a book or sightsee while you are away to give your mind and body a rest from work. An afternoon off will make a big difference to your performance at meetings the next day.  


Although the longer-term future of business travel is yet to be fully understood, it does appear that more business travel will take place in 2022 and as a start-up, don’t miss the opportunity to meet face to face with potential suppliers or investors.