Traveling for business can be both very exciting and very nerve-wracking, especially if you do not travel a lot. There are a lot of considerations you will need to keep in mind when preparing for and heading out on your business trip. To help you get started, check out these five tips for a fun and safe international trip.
Check Your Documentation
Before heading out of the country, make sure you have all the necessary documents. This includes your passport, visa (if needed), and your regular ID. If you do not have the right documentation, you will not be able to get to your destination.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time before your trip to handle all of the necessary paperwork. You should also make photocopies of all important documents and hand them out to your family and administrative assistant. This way, you will be prepared if anything goes wrong.
Learn Proper Etiquette
Just as you would not hire a contractor without doing your research, you should not travel to a new country without learning about it first. Make an effort to learn the protocols and etiquette of the countries that you are visiting. Study how to greet people and conduct business meetings.
You should also learn about different work cultures and normal business days and hours. For example, in some countries, lunch breaks can last from two to four hours. Religious customs, business protocols, diets, senses of humor, and clothing styles greatly vary from country to country.
Additionally, you should understand how gestures and body language can differ internationally. This sort of misunderstanding can lead to embarrassment or worse, complications with business. Consider talking to an understanding local or experienced travel planner about the customs of the country.
Depending on where you are traveling to, you may not be able to use your debit or credit card as freely as you do in the states. Some retailers, restaurants, and cab companies may only accept cash.
Make sure you convert your money into the local currency, so you do not run into any problems. Be sure to speak to the right person at your company about obtaining cash for your business trip. There is likely a policy in place that will allow you to get a cash advance below a specified amount.
Familiarize Yourself with the Area
Even though you have likely researched the best places to stay in London, when you are checking in to your hotel, ask the clerk at the front desk for a map of the surrounding area and a business card. A map can help you to find your way around the new city if you are heading to a business meeting or going sightseeing. This is also a good idea if do not want to waste your international data plan on your smart phone’s GPS.
The business card is a great way to remember the address of your hotel. That way, if you get lost, you can hand the card to a taxi driver or a local and they can help you get back to the hotel.
Keep in Touch
First, you will need a plug or adapter that fits with the outlets in the country you are visiting. This way, you can charge your cell phone, tablet, and laptop when overseas. Before you leave, you should also contact your carrier to learn about which international plans you can use while on your trip.
You can more than likely sign up for a temporary plan for the length of your visit. You should also double check to ensure that your phone is capable of making international calls. Alternatively, you can use a service like Skype to make calls on your laptop or via the app on your smartphone.
Going on a business trip requires a lot of preparation. Before leaving for your trip, make sure you have the right documents, learn the customs, and find the right cell phone plan. With these five helpful tips, you can make sure that your international business trip is a success.