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Published on : Thursday, May 26, 2016
Preparing for international travel is different from planning a business trip within one’s own country. Even for the domestic travel, there are certain basic guidelines which you must follow to enjoy the trip, no matter how busy the schedule is.
So, while fussing on the details of flight itinerary, what to pack and scheduling meetings for a typical business trip, there are some more research and study required before leaving for the business trip to make it both successful and memorable one.
Here is a short list of the things that you should be aware of before leaving for a business trip.
If there is a well thought- out itinerary, it will help to figure out what your company hopes to accomplish. Next comes what you want to set as your secondary goals and what are your other relative priorities. It’s advised to confirm some of the appointments well in advance so that the rest of the events can be scheduled comfortably. A crowded agenda will always make you tired at the end of the day.
Invest some time in learning about the history, culture and customs of the countries to be visited which helps in interacting during the cross-culture seminars. Brush up on the differences in negotiating styles, gift-giving customs, punctuality etiquettes and more. For instance, Japanese consider it rude to be late for a business meeting but acceptable for a social occasion which is quite the opposite for the Latin countries where being late for meetings are acceptable. Middle East generally has the practice to engage in small talks before the actual meeting. The British and the French like to speak about the business during meals.
This might be difficult for the business associates; nevertheless, it contributes a lot in a positive way. Praxis Mobile Language Learning Networks, for instance, helps by providing podcasts for Chinese, Spanish, French and Italian language. Hiring a translator can also be an option for those who can’t adopt the language in a short period of time.
A valid passport and visa is a mandate while travelling abroad. Keep the rest of the related documents like the identity card of your country etc. handy which you can provide in case of any ambiguity. Business cards are always required to show as and when you meet a new person in your business dealings.
While visiting any country, be aware of the various safety issues which may affect the travel. The Government of any country issues travel advisories in case of natural disasters, political unrest, health emergencies or ongoing /potential violent crimes against tourists. It is wise to get into an informed trip. Moreover, always keep backup travel plan in case of any emergency. Be aware of what the embassy can or cannot do.
A plug or adapter may be needed to charge notebooks, cell phones and PDAs while overseas. Make sure you have the correct international plans on your cell phone before leaving. There are always some international options available from the cell phone operators, specially for the corporate users. Using local SIM cards also makes communication much easier.
Business travel is most of the time lonely which can be a nightmare for those who are not accustomed to be alone. For women, there could be instances where you might face risqué remarks. In such cases, hold your temper and make the counter person know it clearly that you will not tolerate this. But this does not mean that you need to be in the hermit hole all through the trip. Just be cautious whom to befriend and with regular travelling experience you can understand to what extent the nefarious intentions could be. It’s more important to protect yourself from the potential stalkers than earning the virtual badge.
Make the most out of your trip, no matter whether it is personal or professional one and watch out for your own safety.