In many ways, going on a business trip internationally is very similar to going on a business trip domestically. But still, there are some differences, and some tips as a result of those differences, that you will want to know.
Here are five steps for getting ready for your first international business trip:
1. Travel Light
Ideally you’ll only need to bring a carry-on bag on your business trip, even if you’re traveling internationally. Yes, this will require you to make sacrifices, but it’s always cheaper and easier to travel light.
In your suitcase, you should only need a minimum amount of clothing (including business attire), a thin laptop or tablet, a phone, the required chargers, a bag of personal care items, and any accessories that you personally require. Heavier items such as heavy shoes or a coat should only be brought if fully necessary.
2. Have Your Payment Method Squared Away
Since you’re traveling in another country, US cash likely won’t be any good for you, and it’s possibly your credit card won’t either.
Instead, you’ll need to use an alternative method to make an overseas payment, such as sending yourself money in the currency of the country you’re traveling to, which you can either do through your bank or even more cheaply and quickly through a money transfer service such as Remitly.
3. Research The Local Business Customs
What are the business practices and customs in the country or area that you’re visiting? Have you research them? You want to find out what’s acceptable and what isn’t, as well as what is considered polite.
For example, should you always show up early or is being on-time or a couple minutes late acceptable? Do you need to bring a small gift of some sort to the meeting? What’s a typical greeting that you would need to give? These are the kinds of questions that you will need to answer through research.
4. Use Virtual Services
Virtual services like virtual office, or a less flexible option – coworking space, allow you to work or do business while abroad at an affordable rate. With such services, you can access basic business needs, such as faxing, collaborating, meeting, and so on. And no, you don’t need a lengthy contract for accessing such service.
You could also consider a business that provides global mobility solutions. You can keep any important documents or travel plans you need in one cloud based portal. Their professionals have been working in the field and know all of the details you might overlook when traveling abroad.
5. Join A Rewards Program (and Use It)
If you join and use a rewards program and frequently prioritize a particular rental car service, airline, or hotel, they’re going to take notice of you.
There are a great number of benefits you will receive as a result. In addition to saving up more rewards points that you can then spend later to save on hundreds if not thousands of dollars on travel, you’ll also receive advantages such as first class upgrades, nicer hotel rooms, early flight boardings, and overall better treatment from the company you’re prioritizing as well.
In other words, if you prioritize a particular travel company, they will prioritize you back. Your trips will be easier, nicer, and cheaper as a result of that.