By this time, it's a generally known fact that I take a lot of business trips over the summer. Thus, because I'm totally positive that you must be interested in every second of what happens on one of those trips, here's a recap.
There are three things to arrange ahead of time: plane ticket, hotel, and transportation. Normally, transportation means a rental car, but that might be either a train (if in Europe) or other public transportation (if anywhere else near a city) depending on where you're going. At my best, I'll arrange that a month or two before the trip. At my worst, well...let's just say I've booked a rental car while flying on a plane with wi-fi. That's never a good idea though, because they have absolutely no incentive to give you a good rate.
Three quick recommendations: for flights, sign up to get miles from a couple different airlines. I try to always fly JetBlue in the US and American outside the US, because miles have pretty great benefits if you stock up over time.
For hotels, Hotels.com is also really good. They have a lot of hotels to pick from, and for every 10 nights you stay at a hotel booked through them, you get a free night!
For rental cars, I recently discovered Sixt. Their cars were new and clean, I got a better car for the amount paid each time, their customer service is really friendly, and most importantly, their lines move about 50% faster than all the others. What more could you want from a rental car company?
I usually pack the morning of the trip, because I'm a procrastinator. Fact of life. I'm also a pretty minimalist packer, so a carry on + a personal item is more than enough room. I'll get to the airport around 1.5 hours before leaving, where I'll often meet up with anyone else who's going on the trip.
Obviously, flying on a plane is flying on a plane. Nothing earth-shattering to report there. Except! JetBlue has FREE wi-fi on some of their planes. Best perk of all time.
Eventually, we get to the hotel and I usually collapse before getting ready for bed.
Doing this is always a bad idea, because it takes me about 30 extra minutes to motivate myself to get myself back up again and ready for bed.
Eventually I'll get myself there though, and the next morning, we'll head to the school, where we'll train all day long. I looooove having co-workers along with me, because it makes the day go so much faster when you get to share training with someone else. At the very least, it's nice to not end the day with a sore throat!
Depending on the school, the time we finish varies. If I'm by myself, I'll usually go somewhere else, spend an hour or two catching up on the other things that have happened during the day, find some food, go back to the hotel and watch junk tv (I watch the Bachelor on business trips - don't judge), and fall asleep. If I'm with someone else, we'll try to go see some of the sights.
Usually we'll be wherever we are for two or three days, and when that's all over, we'll fly home.
And now you know how I spend a lot of time in the summer. Your life will never be the same.