Travel etiquette


Business Travel Etiquette

Whether it’s your first time travelling for business or you’re a seasoned travel professional, it’s important to follow proper business travel etiquette when travelling with colleagues or clients. Check out our tips below and you’re guaranteed to become the most sought-after travel companion within your organization.



  1. Be on time

One of the most impolite things you can do is be late to meet your colleagues. That is Business Travel Etiquette 101. When you run late, you create unnecessary stress for your travel companions. Suddenly they begin wondering if they’ll make the flight and whether or not they should go ahead without you.

The best way to avoid running late is to plan ahead. The night before you leave for your trip, take the time to decide when exactly you’ll leave for the airport to meet your travel companions. This way you’re sure to have enough time to get ready beforehand. And if you’re notorious for running late, plan to get to the airport early specifically to buy yourself a coffee or to have breakfast/lunch before your flight. Even better, you can also book your priority passage through security at certain airports like at the Montreal’s Trudeau airport.


  1. Dress appropriately

It can sometimes be tricky to dress for business travel. Wearing a suit can quickly become tiresome when sitting on a lengthy flight yet dressing in sweatpants doesn’t exactly exude a sense of professionalism.

The solution? Dress in business casual attire.

Wear clothes that are comfortable for travelling, but that can quickly convert to a more professional ensemble with a just few key items. Women, wear comfortable shoes on the plane but make sure to include a pair of heels in your carry-on luggage. Men, pack a tie in your carry-on luggage to easily add it to any casual dress shirt. By including items such as these in your carry-on, you’ll easily transition from business casual to business professional.


  1. Don’t overshare

While it’s normal to cover some personal topics with your travel companions, once you’ve discussed business, always be mindful of what you’re saying.

It’s natural to chat about interest/hobbies, as well as touch upon the subject of family, but always remain conscientious that these are your colleagues, first and foremost. You work with these people on a daily basis and you want to remain professional. Play it safe and keep away from topics such as religion and politics, and always avoid getting caught up in “water cooler gossip”.

As well, avoid discussing any sensitive subject or information concerning your organization, or the purpose of your trip. You never know who is seating around you on a flight overhearing this information. You don’t want to be responsible for leaking confidential information!


  1. Make an effort

Regardless the destination you’re travelling to, it’s important to make an effort. Especially if you’re travelling to meet with your client in their home country. Do your research beforehand and learn some facts about their country, such as the: architecture, local history, weather, etc. You can even impress them by learning a few basic greetings in their language.

Whatever you choose to do, discuss topics that are relevant to your client to demonstrate professionalism. It will show that you genuinely care.


  1. Always bring cash

You never know when you’re going to find yourself in a situation where your debit/credit card is not an acceptable method of payment. And you don’t want to be the person who isn’t paying for their cab ride or meal!

Avoid this type of uncomfortable situation by carrying some cash with you at all times. By this, we don’t mean that you should carry around a few hundred dollars. Simply have enough cash to cover the cost of a meal, should the need arise.

By doing this, you’ll demonstrate your attentiveness and preparedness, and you will likely impress your colleagues, boss, and clients.


  1. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption

The last thing that you want to be remembered for is your karaoke rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” Be sure to remain professional and limit your alcohol consumption.

If you’re dining with your boss or client, follow their lead. If they have a glass of wine with dinner, consider it acceptable to partake and indulge in a glass yourself. However, always remember that it’s best to stay alert and focus on the purpose of your trip: business.


  1. Mind your manners

It can sometimes be tricky travelling to a country whose mannerisms you aren’t accustomed to. When in doubt, always follow the lead of your host.

When you aren’t sure which is more customary, a handshake or a simple verbal greeting, wait for them to make the first move and then follow suit. The same goes for any other social or business gathering you attend with them.  


  1. Polish your organization skills

Lastly, the most basic rule of business travel etiquette is being organized. Almost all of these other tips that we’ve covered can be achieved if you properly organize yourself before your trip. Always be sure to do your research ahead of time and bring the necessary materials and documents.

Make sure to also organize your travel documents before you leave your home and place them in an easily accessible location. The last thing you want to do it hold up the line at the airport. Don’t make your travel companions wait while you search the depths of your luggage for your plane ticket.



At the end of the day, travelling with your colleagues or boss can sometimes be intimidating. Especially if you’ve only ever spent any time together in the office. However, take this opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and use the one-on-one time as a means of picking your travel companions’ brains and learning from them.



Have any tips when it comes to business travel etiquette? Let us know in the comments section!







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