Photo Credit: Levo League
Nowadays, international business travel is a much more common practice in the global economy, and being prepared for safe and relatively easy overseas travel has become increasingly important to successful businesspeople. Anyone getting ready for an international business trip should keep the following information in mind while making travel plans.
You will need to have the proper documentation if you wish to enter a foreign country, function within that country while business is being handled, and then successfully return home. International business travelers will need a valid passport and possibly a visa.
No one can travel internationally without a passport. Anyone preparing to travel abroad for business should be sure they have an up-to-date and valid passport. It can take several weeks or months to get a passport application processed, and a few weeks to get an expired passport renewed. There is an option to pay a high surcharge for expedited service. However, travelers should plan on starting the process of obtaining a passport three to four months in advance in order to save money and ensure having the passport on time.
A number of countries require U.S. citizens and travelers from other nations to acquire a visa in order to spend any length of time within their borders. The specific guidelines and rules regarding travel visas differ from country to country, so research into the destination is required. A call to the country’s consulate can get you answers to visa-related questions, such as the personal documents needed to successfully apply.
Social and Business Etiquette
Acceptable and respectful behavioral rules, or etiquette, change with the country being visited. An understanding of local etiquette will make international travel much easier.
There are three great sources of international social and business etiquette help. Guidebooks including etiquette information can be purchased for a number of foreign countries and kept handy while traveling. Websites and cell phone applications also provide easily accessed and concise etiquette help tailored to specific countries and situations. Lastly, most hotel concierges can provide in-person information on proper and expected international business etiquette.
There are a few steps to take with personal finances before traveling overseas for business. First, credit card companies should be made aware of the trip so that international purchases won’t raise fraud alerts that initiate a freeze of credit accounts. International business travelers should also contact their banks to find out where branches are in the country being traveled to, as utilizing the right ATM can reduce the amount of surcharges paid while traveling. Finally, research into the currency exchange rate can help with gaining familiarity with the economy and a level of comfort handling foreign money.
What to Eat
Research into local food, restaurants and other dining concerns can provide international business travelers with a more interesting and comfortable experience. Meetings held at restaurants will be easier to prepare for if the kind of food, atmosphere of the chosen restaurant and how to order accurately are looked into ahead of time.
International travel can often involve complex preparations, and an overseas business trip adds another level of pressure. However, the experience can be simplified and enjoyable if the appropriate preparations and research is handled.
Hamid works for Colony Limousine. They offer special occasion limousines for holidays, celebrations, and airport transportation in the Houston, Texas area.