The innovation of the internet has made conducting business across borders a lot easier than in times past. As more companies look to expand their reach, it isn’t uncommon for staff to be sent on international trips to network with others or to set-up new branches. If your employer is sending you on a business trip overseas, it is imperative that you plan efficiently.
Below are a few things you’ll want to remember to ensure your trip is safe and productive:
Get Your Paperwork in Order
When traveling internationally you’ll need to have an updated US passport. This can take several weeks to generate and does cost a fee, therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you have this in advance.
Depending on where you’re traveling to and how long you’ll be away, you may also need to apply for temporary visas and other travel documents. For example, if you are visiting Australia for business purpose, you need to apply for visitor visa (subclass 600) for Australia. Doing this in advance will ensure you don’t end up stranded at the airport.
Your company likely has a travel policy which outlines what they pay for and how you are compensated for miscellaneous expenses during the trip. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what those costs are and what steps are necessary to get reimbursed, such as turning in receipts. It also couldn’t hurt to look into services like Ria Money Transfer Spain (or whichever country you’re traveling to). This way, should you run out of money while you’re away or find that something wasn’t covered that was supposed to be by your employer, you can have funds instantly sent to you. A corporate travel agency can help you with everything from bookings to expense management.
Learn Business Etiquette
Everything from the clothes you wear to the firmness of your handshake could have an impact on how successful you and your brand are when traveling abroad. It is imperative to make sure that you have a clear understanding of ethics and the cultural environment you’ll be traveling to as it pertains to business. Some countries may require women to wear dresses and be fully clothed, others may consider a weak handshake a sign of poor business. Knowing ahead of time what is expected of you as a professional will help to remove barriers and be more productive in making connections abroad.
Make Sure Your Health is In Order
Before traveling abroad it’s a good idea to make sure that your health is good. When traveling, you’re exposed to new environments and cuisines which could cause you to get sick. It may also be necessary to have updated medical records to enter certain countries. Getting all your immunizations up to date and scheduling a physical with your doctor can ensure that you’re in the best health possible for traveling.
No matter where you are in the world you want to make sure that you’re able to keep in touch with home base. Therefore, make sure that you have access to company data before your trip. This may mean downloading mobile applications or getting your employer to provide clearance for you to have access to certain databases remotely. Keep in mind, however, to stay safe when connecting to the office, make sure that you’re doing so on a safe Wi-Fi connection to avoid having data stolen.
Pencil in Some You-Time
This may seem strange on the list of tips for being productive on a business trip, however, it is a good idea. Though work and your business must be top priorities, it can’t hurt to make time for yourself. Vacations are often very therapeutic and can make you more productive when you head back to the office. So, feel free to pencil in the gym for cardio, the spa for a nice massage, or a day of shopping before heading back to the US.
Traveling for business has a lot of perks. You have the opportunity to expand the brand, connect with key players overseas, and experience new destinations. If you’re going to be safe and productive while on your trip, it is imperative to remember more than just packing a bag and finding out what hotel you’re staying it. Completing the steps above will ensure that your journey is a safe and productive one.