Whether you’re a member of a think tank trying to get attention from a policymaker, a consultant, or simply in town to meet some partners, Washington, D.C. is a very business-friendly city. It has tons of top-class accommodations, great things to do, and is a great place to get work done.
But just like anywhere else, you have to make sure that you have everything down if you want to hit the floor running and get the most out of your trip. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a perfect business trip to Washington DC.
Opt for a Furnished Apartment
If we were to give one piece of advice to make things easier and less costly when planning business travel, it would be to ditch the long-term hotel stays and rent a furnished apartment instead. Companies like Blueground offer tons of great furnished rentals that come completely equipped with appliances and devices that guests might need during their stay, in the most sought-after areas of Washington, D.C. Staying in an apartment rental is more cost-effective then what you’d pay for a hotel room of a similar standard. They offer studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments that would be perfect if you want to pair people up in teams.
One of the best things about furnished apartments is the handling of logistics. Regrouping people will be much easier, and you can use roomier apartments for group meetings at the drop of a hat. The other great aspect is the cost savings. Not only will you be able to save on the cost of the room itself, but you also won’t have to spend as much on the food, entertainment, and transportation budgets. Everything can be done right in the apartment, even presentations, and business dinners.
Before you visit DC, you should have some knowledge of how the city is planned and be ready to go from the moment you land. Start looking at how to travel from the train station or airport to your hotel. Take note of opening and closing times for establishments. If you’re going to take public transportation, take a look at the Metro map. If you’re going to drive, make sure that you already have directions saved in case your phone’s GPS has issues once you get there.
Also, make sure that you have all the essentials you need. Make sure that you have all of your important gadgets, such as external drives, chargers, and power packs, in a pouch made especially for them, and always carry them on your person.
Dress the Part
You should also be aware of the dress code before you arrive. DC is a political city, and even if you’re in the private sector, the dress code is more on the formal side. So, don’t be surprised if you’re required to wear a jacket to attend certain establishments in the city. That also means that you should consider leaving your business casual attire at home and invest in a few button-ups and oxfords.
Keep Track of Time
We’re not only talking about people on the West Coast. While staying aware of time zones is essential, timing will be important for everything you do. This is especially true if you have to meet clients right after you land, or have multiple meetings in one day.
You just never know what might happen. Go in with the mindset that everyone and everything is going to be late, whether it’s the flight, meetings, or the limousine service. You have to give yourself a buffer every time to make sure that you can meet your obligations.
For instance, you should make an effort to get to the airport at least two hours before you have to check-in. If you have to go from one meeting to the next, give yourself 30 minutes on top of the usual travel time.
Don’t forget that you’re in one of the most interesting and historic cities in the country, so take the time to unwind. The city has tons of free museums and historic attractions to visit, a great nightlife, and some of the best dining establishments you’ll find anywhere.
You also can’t leave the city without doing brunch at least once. It is pretty much a religious institution in the city and offers a great opportunity to meet some of the movers and shakers, so make sure to check out Iron Gate or Jaleo in Penn Quarter if you want to experience something truly special.
Now that you know a bit more about Washington, DC, make sure that you get everything in order and plan your trip carefully. Also, make sure that you take advantage of everything the city has to offer and remember to enjoy your time there while you can.