5 Things To Prepare For Your Business Trip Abroad

If you’re traveling abroad for your business, you will have to do quite a bit of homework–how much depends on where you go. While it’s always exciting to immerse yourself in a new environment and embrace new opportunities, you need to be methodical when preparing for your intended trip.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to give yourself plenty of time to get things organized before you depart. You don’t want to do things in a rush and make a mess of your business venture because you didn’t have enough time to get all your ducks in a row.

Here are at least five things to take care of before you head out of the country:

  1. Make sure you always have easy access to money.

Besides the money you carry with you, you’ll need access to money should you run out. Without making prior arrangements, it can be difficult to manage a sudden cash shortage. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to transfer money. You can send money online to anyone in the world through a monetary service that figures out the currency exchange rate for you. You can arrange this through a monetary transfer service. Another option is to ask your bank if it has banking partners in that country. If your credit card works internationally, be sure to inform your credit card company before you leave; otherwise, they may think your charges in a foreign currency are due to identity theft and discontinue your credit line.

  1. Arrange your travel papers.

You may need to renew your passport, get a visa, and ask your physician for vaccinations. Depending on the nature of your business trip, you may have other paperwork to attend to as well.

  1. Research your destination.

Chances are that you’ll be picked up at the airport, be whisked to a hotel, and be wined and dined for most of your stay. Still, even if your entire trip is prearranged in advance by your company, it might be fun to use Google Earth to view your destination. Also visit relevant websites to find out about hotels, restaurants, and transportation options. Also, explore the websites of any historical or cultural attractions you might want to visit.

This way, you’ll be able to be more independent when you get there. What if nobody picks you up at the airport? What if you hate the hotel you’re booked at? What if you want to try the local cuisine? What if you have some free time between meetings and could easily visit a historical site or go to a world-famous museum?

  1. Familiarize yourself with the culture.

You’ll impress your business associates, international clients, and new connections with an understanding of their culture. In addition, you’ll avoid making embarrassing mistakes because you didn’t know about their idea of proper etiquette. In Japan, for example, it’s customary to bow when you first meet someone.

Here are some useful tips:

  • ·  Read up about the history, politics, and religion of the country to help you feel more grounded and to be able to sound less clueless when engaged in small talk.
  • ·  If it’s an English-speaking country, brush up on their colloquialisms. This will quickly win you new friends, although they may have a good-natured laugh at your expense.
  • ·  If you speak a little of their language, then brush up on your skills with a language class; and if it’s a language that you have no knowledge about, then learn a few common phrases.
  1. Stay connected.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure that all your electronic devices work and that you can communicate electronically:

  • ·  Buy adaptors for the country’s power outlets.
  • ·  Call the hotel to see if there is Wi-Fi in your room. If not, then ask if you can get an Internet connection in the hotel’s business center or a nearby Internet cafe.
  • ·  Ask your phone company how to go about setting up your cell phone to receive data internationally. If this is not possible, you could use a domestic cell phone company or buy a cheap cell phone with prepaid minutes for local and international calls to use while you’re there.

In the final analysis, the success of your business trip will depend on how well you prepare for it.