7 Tips When Traveling Internationally For Business

  • 7 months   ago

If you ever find yourself traveling internationally for business-related purposes, you’re going to want to make careful preparations before you set foot on the plane. No matter if this is your first business trip or if you’re a global traveler, traveling internationally for business shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

 

 

Not only do you have to worry about the challenges that come with international travel, but you also have to be prepared to meet the business objectives of your trip. 

Careful preparation beforehand can help your trip go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind. 

Visit your doctor 

Before you travel to a foreign country, you will want to visit your doctor to make sure that you have all the necessary travel vaccines. Let your doctor know where you’re going. They’ll look over your vaccination history and let you know if there are any concerns. 

They’ll also make sure that you’re in good physical condition to travel. Especially with the current COVID-19 outbreak, international travel should not be taken lightly. 

The vaccinations required will be determined by your age and overall health. Try to meet with your doctor at least six weeks before your trip. Also, if you take any prescriptions, you will want to get them filled before your trip.

Check passport and visa 

As soon as you know you will be flying internationally, you’re going to want to get your passport taken care of. Ideally, you should always get your passport renewed at least nine months before it is set to expire. If your passport is set to expire within six months, some countries may deny you entry. 

If you don’t yet have a passport, it is best to get one as soon as possible. It can take several months for a passport to be issued. 

Depending on where you’re going, you may also need a work or travel visa. As soon as you know where you’re going, check to see if that country requires a visa. 

Research local culture 

Take the time to start researching the local culture of your travel destination. This can help you prepare for any cultural differences that you may encounter on your journey. 

For example, while greeting people with a firm handshake is common in the United States, a slight bow and a limp handshake is common in Japan. If you’re traveling abroad to meet a potential business partner, knowing how to greet them properly will make a great first impression. 

Knowing what beliefs, behaviors, and practices to expect from a different culture will help you make the most of your time there. You may experience culture shock — but don’t let it interfere with your business trip. 

Create an itinerary

Plan an itinerary. If you’re under the direct supervisor of someone within your company, sit down with them to review your itinerary and confirm all business-related objectives that will happen.

When you are going abroad for business, your primary objective is to make sure all business objectives are handled successfully. This means knowing who you’re supposed to be meeting with when, what topics you’ll be discussing, and representing yourself professionally.

This is also the time when you’ll want to consider transportation options. Ideally, your company will allow you to either rent a car or hire a private driver. Depending on where you’re traveling, however, you may need to familiarize yourself with public transportation options. 

Make time for sightseeing 

Business itinerary depending, you may be able to plan some time for personal sightseeing. It would be unfortunate if you get to take a trip abroad and don’t get to see some of the major highlights of the area!

Determine how much downtime you will have on your trip. Then, do some research to determine what you would like to see and do. Maybe there is a nearby historical landmark that would be fun to visit or maybe there is a restaurant you’d like to try. 

While you might not have a lot of time for personal sightseeing, you will likely have at least a few hours where you can get out and explore. 

Check the time difference

Familiarize yourself with the time difference. You can use an online calculator to calculate hours between times or you can look up the time zones. The reason you’re going to want to do this is so that you can begin preparing for possible jet lag. 

Jet lag occurs when you travel across several time zones because your body’s internal clock is out of sync with the new time zone. This can cause you to feel fatigued, have trouble focusing, and prevent you from functioning normally. 

Getting some sleep on the plane and arriving at your destination early can help. Take some time to rest before you have to step into your first business meeting. 

Plan for emergencies 

Nothing is worse than an emergency in a foreign country, especially when you’re there for business! Check with your company to see if they already have policies in place that employees should follow in the event of an emergency. 

You should also make sure that your boss, as well as a friend or family member, has a copy of your itinerary. In the event of an emergency, they may need to refer to it. They should also have a way to contact you while abroad. 

You should also have a financial plan in place. Make sure to exchange your money as soon as possible, but don’t carry large amounts of cash with you. 

Final thoughts 

When it comes to business trips abroad, you’re going to want to spend the weeks leading up to the trip getting ready. 

As a starting point, sit down with someone from your company and discuss what the expectations are. Most companies will already have plans in place for international travel and will walk you through the steps. 

Keep in mind that international travel can be very stressful. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, and stay hydrated while on your trip to prevent illness.

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