Business travel looks a bit different nowadays.

Instead of a big desk with a fax machine, your “business center” could be a MacBook set up in a Berlin coffeehouse, a Chromebook on a Wi-Fi-equipped transatlantic flight, or even an iPad on a powdery white beach. Advanced signing and scanning apps mean less downtime, less lost productivity, and less stress. And with “bleisure” travel coming into vogue, jetting off on your first business trip can actually be stimulating or even, dare I say, relaxing. Here’s why:

It’s a small world after all. Though you’re working hundreds of miles away, you don’t have to ditch your support system. Thanks to tech tools like FaceTime and Skype, business travelers never have to be out of dialing distance of their family and friends.

You’ll grow and learn. At first, new cultures may seem scary or unfamiliar, similar to making small talk, going out for drinks with new colleagues, or even learning a new language. But studies have shown that being in an unfamiliar setting — even for just a few hours — heightens your creativity. So even if you’re just going on a 24-hour trip to Chicago, take advantage. You might come home with a magical new idea.

Technology’s got your back. Just want to crash in your room after a long day of meetings? With new hotel apps, you can have room service waiting for you. And you don’t have to be in a five-star hotel to enjoy five-star concierge service. Thanks to beacon technology, hotels are rolling out the red carpet and giving you personalized recommendations as soon as you walk in the door.

Checking the Boxes Before You Jet Set

Graduating from cubicle dweller to road warrior opens up not only a world of adventure and life experiences, but it also creates a new checklist to make your first business trip a success. Avoid that “what am I forgetting?” moment of panic with advanced planning.

1. Pack smart. Save yourself the stress of hauling around a bursting-at-the-seams suitcase, and create an all-purpose packing list. Of course, tweak it for different trips or changing seasons — adding jackets or throwing in lighter fabrics as needed — but here are a few universal must-haves I recommend:

  • A sensible carry-on: Carry-ons save you time at both ends of your journey, and you’ll avoid those pesky baggage fees. Be mindful of the size of your bag, though. Capacity on commercial flights is often tight, and that clunky roll-around bag you’re trying to pass as a carry-on shouldn’t take up half the overhead bin.
  • Phone charger: It seems obvious, but having no juice in your battery when you need it is the worst. I highly recommend purchasing a portable cell phone battery for when you’re not near an outlet.
  • Travel adapter: Heading across the pond? Don’t get stuck with the wrong prongs. Look up the proper travel adapter, and give yourself plenty of time to find one.
  • Wrinkle spray: Unless you’re using high-tech fabric, business clothing tends to lose smoothness. Perk up your dress shirts with a travel-size wrinkle-releaser spray.

2. Tie up those loose ends. As early as a week before you leave, you should be writing and scheduling an out-of-office automatic email reply, taking your suits to the dry cleaners, replenishing your supply of business cards, withdrawing any necessary cash, and organizing your passport and any other documents.

3. Download the proper apps. The most important thing you pack might not even be in your suitcase — rather, in the palm of your hand. Uber is probably the first travel-related app to come to mind, but there are hundreds of others to choose from, too.

Passbook, for example, is a flagship app on the iPhone. It serves as a virtual wallet, holding your boarding passes, discount cards, and coupons. TripIt is another app I recommend, as it keeps track of hotel, car, flight, and restaurant reservations and compiles them into a master list. Additionally, Smart Receipts keeps all your receipts in one place for when you get back to the office, and WiFi Finder will scan for nearby internet connections, preventing those steep roaming charges from adding up.

Taking Time to Recharge When You Need It

Going on your first business trip is undoubtedly exciting, but that doesn’t mean it won’t involve a lot of hard work. That said, listen to your body — it will tell you when it’s time to put down the carry-on. Don’t be afraid to build in some “me time” on your first business trip. Perhaps you can go on a refreshing hike or check out the nearby art museum.

Who says your first business trip needs to be stressful and draining? These days, business travel is easier and more fulfilling than ever. You can see far-flung places, learn new skills, and grow in your career.