How to Plan a Smooth International Business Trip

Business Insights

Travelling for work can be troublesome and if you have never done it before it can also be quite nerve-wracking. If you are prepared before the flight, have all the documentation you need, you know where you are staying and how to get there then your business trip should go off without a hitch. Whilst it may be that you leave everything up to your boss, you do not want to get to the airport to find out you were supposed to sort out your own travel visa. If you are someone that likes to be organised, here is how you can plan a smooth international business trip.

Pre-Flight Preparation

Preparing for any flight it is important, especially where business travel is concerned. You don’t want to be that person that forgets to check their passport was in date and gets denied entry at the airport. Luckily, even if you have been chosen for an international business trip last minute you can still get a fast track passport if your passport is out of date.

There are a range of offices available. There are offices available in Scotland and Wales including a Glasgow and Newport passport office. They let you renew an urgent passport if required. You can make an appointment at the passports-office website beforehand and usually have an appointment within 24 hours. For those little emergencies where missing a business trip could be determinantal to your career, this is the best way to renew your passport fast.

Your business should cover you with any travel insurance but ensure that you have a copy of the documentation in case the airline or airport asks for it. Also make sure that you don’t drink any alcohol before your flight, especially if you are travelling for a long distance as this could leave you feeling dehydrated and not at your best for your business trip. It may also be that you need a short-term visa to travel. Whilst your company may do this for you, it may be up to you to order the visa, which can usually be done online. If you are unsure, check with your company to see what they want you to do and what has already been organised for you. It is better to be proactive and ask than assume and end up not having important documentation sorted before the trip.

Follow Customs

You certainly want your business trip to go as smooth as possible, so ensure that you understand any custom laws, both in the UK and in the country that you are travelling to. This is a business trip, so shouldn’t be used as a chance to bring home duty-free alcohol or cigarettes, as this could look unprofessional, especially if travelling with colleagues. This also refers to any customs whilst on the trip. For example, if you are travelling for a business trip to Dubai, there are ways in which you should dress to respect their faith and culture.

You are representing your business and your team when you enter a new country, so you need to make sure that you do this well and do not break any customs or laws that another country might have. This could be detrimental to your business deal and may even cost you your job. If you are unsure of any customs and laws within the area you are visiting, check online first to avoid any embarrassment and to aid you with packing appropriately. The more you know about an area, the better you will be able to talk with colleagues or potential customers. If you have been keeping up-to-date with news and know a little about the city, it could work well in your favour during a business lunch.

Pack Light

This is not a holiday, so you do not need many clothing options. You will more than likely be staying in a hotel that is suited for those travelling for business, which doesn’t always mean a lot of wardrobe space. You may be meeting with different clients over the days you are there, and this means it doesn’t matter if you wear the same outfit twice. Wherever you do visit, you will be able to make use of the hotel laundry service or find a laundromat whilst out there.

Packing clothes which you can mix and match works best, so you can always differ your outfit slightly. This means you can pack lighter to not incur any additional charges once at the airport. Depending on the length of your trip it may be that you only get hand luggage. It is also a good idea to avoid travelling in a suit, especially if you are going on a long-distance flight. Not only will this be uncomfortable, but it will also lead to your suit becoming creased.

Ensure You Can Connect to The Internet

If your work requires being connected to the internet, you need to make sure that you can get an internet connection wherever you go. This may mean checking that the hotel has suitable facilities and ensuring that you do not need a VPN. This is a viral private network and is often used by companies for their staff when travelling for business.

This is due to the fact that this is a safe and secure network, which may be needed if you are going to accessing any cloud software that has confidential and secure business information on there. Furthermore, it can prevent any blocked sites, as some countries do not allow all sites and sometimes block social media. If you need to access any of this for your job, it may be worth asking about a VPN or it may be that your business already has one. Don’t forget to pack the correct electrical adapters for your mobile and work devices, as an internet connection is useless without the right adapters.

Check Out What the Place Has to Offer

Before going away for your business trip, it is always a good idea to get your bearings, especially if you are travelling alone. If you are travelling with another colleague, see if they already know the city as this will be really helpful, especially if you are worried about being in a new city. The internet is a great place for suggestions for places to stay, places to eat, and even good places for holding business meetings.

If you do have time on your trip to see a few places and act like a tourist for the day, why not do so? You never know when you may be in the country again and, therefore, you should seize the opportunity with both hands. If you land on the same day as your meeting, it is not a good idea to try and squeeze anything else in as you will need time to prepare and you may need a sleep beforehand. This should only be done if time allows and it will not interrupt any meetings or lunches.

Whilst it can be daunting travelling to another country for business, it gives you the opportunity to experience a different culture and going to another country is certainly one way to impress clients and your management. Ensuring you have the right documentation and pack lightly can make all the difference to a smooth international business trip.