If you love to travel and are lucky enough to have a job that entails traveling, then you certainly have hit the jackpot. Getting paid to see the country and even the world is the best of both worlds.
It definitely stands to reason that a seasoned traveler will be a much better business traveler. Yet, this isn’t always the case. There are a lot of things that make business travel more of a challenge than traveling for leisure.
Your ability to prepare ahead will give you the right tools to become a better business traveler, but you do need to know a few things beforehand. In this article, we will go over the things you need to know before heading out on your business trip for it to go smoothly.
International vs domestic
Doing business abroad offers up a whole host of challenges compared to when you are staying in your own country.
For starters, your health insurance might not cover you if you get sick in another country. Health Insurance for Traveling Abroad should be at the top of your list of things to do before you leave. There are different types so make sure you are covered for just about anything and for the entire trip to make sure there is no coverage gap. Anything can happen while traveling so make sure you are prepared, especially with evacuation coverage in case you need to be flown out due to a medical emergency.
There are also going to be cultural differences to be aware of when dealing with your foreign associates. Ask around your workplace to find out from others who have already made those trips what you should be aware of. There are going to be dos and don’t that are specific to the culture of the country where you are doing business. The more you know about this the less chance of something happening that can make the trip difficult.
The next thing to take care of is to have your credit and debit cards activated for use abroad. If you don’t let your card providers know ahead of time that you will be away then they might flag your activity as suspicious and block your card.
Also, forget about getting traveler’s checks. You will waste a lot of time exchanging them for local currency that could be spent more productively. And hotels that used to take care of this for their guests often no longer provide this service.
Lastly, get plenty of rest before traveling abroad especially if you are changing time zones. Jet lag can really slow you down so being rested when you arrive will go a long way to feeling less of the effects. When you arrive, make a point to get out in the sun as this shortens the jet lag effects.
Maximize your schedule for efficiency
A lot of companies want to get in as much as possible in as short a time frame as possible. Obviously the trip is costing them a lot of money so this is logical. However, sometimes things can be overplanned.
Try to take a fine tooth comb to the schedule and see where there are times when there is too much overlap of activities. You can even try to group certain activities where it makes sense to try to free up travel time in a certain area. And, try to find some downtime for yourself to rest and even enjoy your time. This will keep you refreshed so you can actually be more productive during the trip.
Packing for a business trip is a lot different than packing for a trip to Disney, for example. You’ll need to have professional clothes to wear which may even include a three piece suit or two.
Make sure to keep a close eye on the weather so you know exactly how you’ll need to dress for the trip. If temps look like they’ll be high, then skip a coat to save room in your bag. And if there are going to be a lot of meetings then try to have multiple changes of shirts and just a couple of jackets to avoid packing a suit for each of the days.
Send topics to discuss ahead of time
Whoever your liaison is at your destination should know what needs to be covered in detail. This will allow them to find out a lot of the information that you need to get things done ahead of time. This can save you massive amounts of time during your trip and may even see you finishing things up much faster.
It can be very hard to organize your thoughts when you have several meetings per day to keep up with. When everything is organized ahead of time it takes off a lot of pressure to focus.