Business trips abroad are a large part of everyday life for many people. Whether you’re an international businessman or woman, an international salesperson traveling to clients, an employee who is being transferred overseas, or any other type of professional who frequently visits other countries, business trips abroad will be a regular fixture of your life.
But as simple and routine as they might seem on the surface, they can also be quite stressful if not properly prepared for. That’s why it’s important to know what to expect when going abroad and how best to prepare yourself beforehand so that you can come back with success stories instead of horror stories. In this article, we take a look at some helpful tips that will help give you the upper hand before leaving for your trip.
Pack Light and Smart
This is a tip that applies to both business and leisure travel – try to pack light and only bring what you need. Not only will this make it easier to get around (no lugging heavy bags through the airport or on public transportation), but it will also save you money on checked baggage fees. If possible, try to limit yourself to one carry-on bag and one personal item, and if you’re struggling to fit everything into one bag, consider using a luggage compression sack that can help you fit more into less space.
Additionally, if you are shipping suitcases abroad, make sure you use a reliable shipping service so that your luggage arrives safely and on time. The best shipping services will offer to track so that you can always know where your luggage is and when it will arrive.
Do Your Research
This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating – make sure you do your research before heading out on a business trip. This includes everything from researching the country or city you’re visiting (its customs, culture, attractions, etc.), to researching the company or client you’ll be meeting with. The more information you have going into the trip, the better prepared you’ll be for any challenges or obstacles that come your way.
If possible, try to connect with someone who has already been to your destination so that they can give you first-hand advice on what to expect. You may also read some travel blogs or guides to get a sense of what other travelers have experienced.
Get Your Visa in Order
If you’re traveling to a country that requires a visa for entry, make sure to take care of this well in advance of your trip. The process can be time-consuming and complicated, so it’s best to start early so that you don’t run into any last-minute problems. You should use a reliable visa service so that you can be sure your application is handled correctly and promptly.
If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of your application being denied or delayed, which could ruin your whole trip. In some cases, you may also need to get vaccinations or obtain other travel documents, so again, do your research and be prepared ahead of time.
Make Copies of Important Documents
This is another important step to take before heading out on a business trip. Be sure to make copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance cards, and any other important documents you might need. It’s also a good idea to scan these documents and email them to yourself so that you can access them electronically if needed.
This way, if you lose any of your original documents while on your trip, you’ll have backups that you can easily retrieve. You may also upload digital copies of these documents to a secure cloud storage service so that you can access them from anywhere. This is particularly useful if you’re traveling to multiple destinations and need to keep track of all your documents in one place.
Arrange for Transportation Ahead of Time
One of the most stressful parts of business travel can be trying to figure out transportation once you arrive at your destination. To avoid this, it’s best to arrange for transportation ahead of time. If you’re flying into a major airport, you can usually find transportation services that offer shuttle services to and from the airport.
This can be a great way to save time and money, as well as avoid the hassle of renting a car or hailing a taxi. If you’re traveling to a smaller town or city, you may need to rent a car so that you can get around more easily. Additionally, if you are flying into a major city, you may want to consider using public transportation to get around, as this can often be more efficient than renting a car.
Get Travel Insurance
Another important step to take before going on a business trip is to get travel insurance. This will protect you if something goes wrong while you’re away from home, such as losing your luggage or getting sick. Travel insurance can also give you peace of mind knowing that you’re covered financially if anything unexpected happens while you’re on your trip.
Since there are many different types of coverage available, be sure to do your research and choose a policy that meets your needs. And, don’t read the fine print of your policy so that you know what is and isn’t covered, and purchase a policy that makes sense for the length and type of trip you’re taking.
Arrange for Childcare or Pet Care
If you have children or pets, it’s important to make arrangements for their care while you’re gone. This way, you can focus on your business trip and not have to worry about them. If you have young children, you may need to find a babysitter or arrange for someone to stay at your home with them. For older children, you may need to provide them with a list of emergency contacts and instructions for what to do in case something happens while you’re gone.
If you have pets, you will need to make sure they have enough food and water and someone to check on them regularly. You may also want to consider boarding them at a pet hotel or having a pet sitter stay at your home to take care of them.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for a business trip is to stay connected. This includes staying in touch with your office or clients so that you can keep them updated on your whereabouts and progress. Additionally, it’s important to stay connected with family and friends so that they know you’re safe and sound while you’re away.
There are many ways to stay connected while traveling, including using social media, email, phone calls, text messages, and video chats. And, if you’re traveling internationally, be sure to check with your cell phone provider about coverage in the countries you’ll be visiting so that you can stay connected while on the go.
As you can see, your business trip doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your trip goes smoothly and that you’re able to focus on what’s important – your business. So, the next time you have to travel for work, be sure to keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to have a successful trip.
Featured image: Pexels (Andrea Piacquadio).