Estimated reading time: 6 mins
London is a business hub not just for businesses in the UK but also for those around the world. So taking a business trip to London is definitely not an unusual event. Still, it can be pretty stressful and a little intimidating if you’ve never visited the city before. There’s a lot you could see and do, if you have the time, but you’ll also have to deal with important business matters while you’re there.
Business trips always have the potential to be a huge hassle, but you can also make them more pleasant if you know how to handle them. London can be a great city to experience, especially as it can be easy to get around. With the right approach, you can survive your trip there and even make the most of it.
Plan Your Journeys Before You Make Them
London can be a great city for those who want to get around without a car. But for newcomers and tourists, it can also be confusing. When you’re there on business, you don’t want to risk being late, so you don’t really have time to try and figure out how it all works on the fly. That’s why it makes sense to plan your journeys beforehand and make sure you know where you’re going. The easiest option to make meetings on time could be to get a taxi, and maybe your employer will even send a car for you. But if you’re planning on using public transport, make sure you know the right stops and how to use the network before you set off.
Find Somewhere to Drop Your Bags
There isn’t always time to stop at your hotel when you arrive in a city for business. If you have to go straight to a meeting or arrive too early for check-in, you could be stuck with your luggage. But if you’d rather not drag it around, there might be alternatives. Some hotels will let you leave your bag before you’ve checked in. However, this will often come with the caveat that they’re not responsible for your things. If you want something more secure, you can find St Pancras luggage storage or storage at other train stations. If you can drop off your bags at the station when you arrive or somewhere close to your hotel, it frees you up to get where you need to be.
Try to Pack Lightly
Speaking of luggage, it’s helpful if you try to pack as lightly as you can on your London trip. If you don’t have time to drop your bags somewhere, you don’t want to be stuck with a huge suitcase. Even if you do have somewhere for them, it’s possible you might need to take them on the underground or other public transport. It’s going to be much easier if you have a smaller bag. Not only will it be lighter and take up less space, but it will also be easier to keep it secure when you’re in close quarters with other people.
Confirm Your Reservations and Plans
Before you travel, it’s always smart to confirm your plans. You need to know where you’re staying, where you’re expected to be and when, and how you’re going to get there. It’s always best to check that everything is arranged before you leave. Confirm your schedule and make sure you have checked that your hotel is definitely booked for the right dates. If you have any meetings, ensure you know when and where they are, and who you’re supposed to be meeting.
Take in the City
It can be tempting to try and work all the time when you’re visiting somewhere for business. A train journey, for example, might seem like the perfect time to get out your phone or laptop. But if you want your trip to go smoothly, consider paying attention to where you’re going and allowing yourself to disconnect from work a little. It will help you to avoid any problems like missing your stop and let you familiarise yourself with the city. It’s also just a good opportunity to give your mind a break so you can decompress and be more prepared for any upcoming meetings or other obligations.
Find Healthy Eating Options
Some of your time in London might be taken up by lunch meetings or social events you’re expected to attend. These can often result in indulging a little too much in food from restaurants and other establishments that you wouldn’t be eating so much at home. When you’re free to choose your own food, take the opportunity to seek out healthier options. Fortunately, London has some excellent places for healthy eating and it’s even a great place to find vegetarian and vegan food. If you know you’ll be having a heavy lunch or dinner, try planning lighter food for your other meals.
Track Your Expenses
Hopefully, your employer is covering your expenses while you’re on your trip. If you’re self-employed, you might be able to claim your expenses on your tax return. It’s important to know if you have a budget you need to stick to and to track your expenses. Make sure you ask for a receipt when you’re paying for anything that you want to claim for. There are some handy mobile apps you can use to track expenses. Your employer might want you to use a specific app so check if there’s one you should download before you go. London can get pricey and you don’t want to spend your own money on anything you shouldn’t have to pay for.
Explore If You Can
You don’t always get a lot of time to yourself when you’re on a business trip. You often have to go from meeting to meeting, or you might be stuck at a conference the whole time. But if you have any spare time for yourself, using it to explore the city can add to your trip. There’s plenty you can do in London, even if you’re short on time. With different ways to get around and even a lot of free stuff you can do, you could use your time however you want. From museums and walking tours to markets, pubs and parks, you have many options.
Avoid the Busiest Places
When you’re short on time, which you probably are on a work trip, you can’t afford to waste time wrestling with crowds of people. There are always places in any city that get busy and that are best avoided at certain times of the day, week or year. This is especially important to remember if you’re going to be in London around Christmas or any other time when there are likely to be crowded events taking place. Before you go anywhere, check if there is anything happening nearby so you can avoid the busiest places.
Bring Chargers and Adaptors
If you’re visiting London from outside of the UK, don’t forget to bring a travel adaptor for your electronics and gadgets. Many hotels will have them to borrow or buy, but it’s useful to have one with you in case you need to plug something in at any point. Don’t forget to pack chargers for things like your phone and laptop so that you can get your work done and stay in touch with colleagues. It could be a good idea to take a WiFi hotspot too and check your data roaming prices.
London is a great place for a business trip, but get organised before you leave if you want to have a good time.