The days of the business traveler turned road warrior may be on the way out in several industries, but that doesn’t mean that business trips aren’t still happening. A handshake can still seal the deal in many instances. And a business trip can be a key to this success for many businesses. So, how can you make sure that your business trip is a smashing success?

Planning ahead for a business trip can make all the difference. Veteran road warriors will want to plan for all contingencies, pack light, keep the essentials, and do their homework to help seal the deal. But having the right attitude can make all the difference as well!

Of course, many more details go into planning a business trip than just the brief synopsis above. And success can surely be on the itinerary with just a bit more knowledge. So, be sure to read on for more helpful tips and tricks that will have you planning a successful work trip like a pro!

Plan for Contingencies

Something will undoubtedly go wrong when traveling for business. Call it the Planes, Trains & Automobiles Rule. And if you don’t want to end up like Steve Martin, you must plan for alternate modes of transportation if things head south in a hurry. Having a car reservation on hold that ultimately isn’t necessary is much more helpful than waiting around at the rental car counter for hours. Especially when not having a reservation means you’ll just be stuck with a Jeep Wrangler from 1994—or worse yet—you find there are no cars left.

And of course, in the heat of the moment, it can pay to know how your insurance coverage works. For example, find out how much your business auto insurance would be ahead of time. Such insurance policies (which are also referred to as commercial car insurance) are a versatile and inexpensive type of insurance that can offer protection for a great variety of professions. Everyone can use it, from roofers and cleaners to architects and cosmetologists. How expensive coverage is can depend on factors such as how high limits are set, where the business operates, and the work that is done. How often workers drive and how extensive the fleet of vehicles is will also factor into the total cost.

The best part about understanding your business auto insurance is that it can save you money in the long run. Just think, you won’t be stuck playing the rental car insurance coverage game of chicken with the person working the counter. The rental company will always say you need additional coverage. Still, if your company already has commercial car insurance, this may not be true. So, be sure to study up on the facts of the situation before you make a risky wager. After all, no one wants to decline coverage just to find out they are potentially being undercovered—or worse—that they have no car insurance protection at all!

Pack Light, Stay Nimble

Obviously, you will want to have the right clothes for your trip. And longer trips will require larger suitcases than what can fit in an overhead bin. Still, combining what might go into one more giant suitcase into two smaller bags allows business travelers to pack light and stay nimble as plans are forced to change. After all, no one wants to spend a week in the same pantsuit because their checked bag got lost by the airline.

Adding to your essential on-the-road kit, consider carrying a solution for car emergencies, particularly those minor scratches and scuffs that might occur during the trip. Having something akin to paint for touch-ups on the go can become a lifesaver, ensuring your car remains sleek and professional, reflective of your business persona. A tiny scratch might seem insignificant, but perfecting every detail, even on your vehicle, demonstrates a commendable level of thoroughness and can leave lasting impressions on your business colleagues or clients.

Always Keep the Essentials on Hand

Just because you aren’t bringing a complete set of law books doesn’t mean you can’t take what you need. And you should also be sure to save room for a few personal pleasures on the road. Having things you want with you, items that may remind you of home, can be a wonderful motivational tool.

Always keep a toiletry kit stocked up and ready to go. Having your favorite toothpaste and shampoo can go a long way toward making the road more comfortable. And these items don’t take up much more additional room.

Do Your Homework to Seal the Deal

99% of business deals are done before the two parties meet for the first time—one side might not just know it. The key is to maintain an informational advantage over your opposition in any business deal. You may want to partner with them, but when you’re negotiating, you want the best deal for your position possible.

Gaining the upper hand will require good old-fashioned leg work. Run complete background checks on all parties and institutions, study the market, and make sure you thoroughly understand your strengths and weaknesses. Utilizing outside firms that specialize in this type of work is always recommended. This is because specialists can have background clearances and access to non-public databases that can generate much more helpful information.

And remember, the key to a successful business trip isn’t always getting a “yes.” Sometimes, a business trip is a success simply if a relationship is forged or deepened. But, many times, it will take multiple trips before anything can come to fruition. And, of course, sometimes, in hindsight, a “no” can be a blessing in disguise as well. Just think of how Steve Jobs must have felt coming back to Apple after being fired years earlier. His story is an example of turning a no into one of the greatest corporate successes of our time.

Don’t Forget to Leave Your Pessimism at Home

Business travel can be stressful enough if you haven’t adopted the right attitude. And while toxic positivity is definitely a thing, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take bumps in the road with an optimistic attitude. So, if your flight gets delayed out of Charlotte, turn lemons into lemonade and enjoy an ice cream. At the same time, you can prepare for your meeting instead of stressing over things that are out of your control.

And having the right attitude can help any business trip end in success. A confident and optimistic demeanor is infectious, and displaying one will undoubtedly positively impact any business dealings. People are attracted to positivity, so be sure to leverage this social engineering for yourself on your next business trip. The results should be impressive. Safe travels to all, and good luck out there!