“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
Whether this is your first time to travel or you’ve traveled for more times than you can count, relax. Business trips can be fun. Of course, you have meetings to attend, business to take care of and employees to follow up with. Work does not mean you cannot see new places and meet new people. If you’re visiting a new city, you should take time to walk around and have fun. Here are the things you need to do to make your trip relaxing.
International travel for business can be a very exciting opportunity. You not only get to see new and interesting parts of the world, but you even get paid while doing it. In order to have the best experience possible, there are things you can do in advance to prepare. Here are some invaluable tips to help execute the perfect international business trip.
One experience that might be frustrating to many foreign travellers is a procedure called Immigration Check. It is always better to be at the airport atleast three hours ahead of time to complete this gruelling procedure so that you can relax in the lounge. Otherwise you will be made to stand in the long queues testing your patience.
Create an Organized #itinerary: Plan Your Trip
Make sure that your days are packed with opportunities to help your company. Scheduling time for appointments, meetings, and personal time is very important to executing a beneficial international business trip. An itinerary should be a good guide for your trip’s goals and achievements. Because you do not want to waste any time on this trip, it’s better to plan in advance to take full advantage of the opportunity.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” –Martin Buber
The words sound like a no brainer but seriously plan your trip. If you want to have fun, check events, restaurants, and places you are interested to see online and how close they are to where you intend to stay. You don’t want to spend your trip worrying about missing a meeting and definitely not exploring the city’s transportation system. Take some time before you actually travel and plan exactly where you want go. For directions, you can download Tripomatic: Trip Planner. This application comes with maps needed, so download it to your phone and you’re good to good to go. Tripomatic works offline.
Learn about the #Culture and Customs: Before landing in said country, it’s important to understand the environment, culture and practices of this region. Knowing up-to-date news and information about your international travel destinations will help you avoid inappropriate comments or disrespectful behavior. Not only is it important to understand the culture, but it is also beneficial to know protocols, customs and etiquette as well. This includes things like: common greetings, religious practices, business manners, dietary practices, and acceptable humor.
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener
Learn the Native Tongue: While not every business trip requires learning a whole new language, it’s always advisable to seek out some basic vocabulary for the region you are visiting. The use of a translator might be beneficial as well. Communication is a huge part of business and breaking down those barriers will only help you with your business endeavors.
“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Protect Yourself: Traveling internationally can be exciting, but also very stressful and sometimes dangerous. A new environment can mean new hazards and threats. Don’t avoid protecting yourself to save money. Sometimes #travel insurance is a valuable way to reduce the risk of health crises and other types of risks.
Stay Connected: Plan to use your communication devices while staying overseas. Make sure that your plan is available in other countries, or rent a cellphone from the airport. Communicating back and forth between your headquarters, while in a different country, is often an important part of international business. Communicating with your coworkers back at the office is an important part of international business travel.
Follow Up With Your Employees:
You can’t fully relax when you think of the disasters you might encounter when you go back to your company. All the issues you should’ve taken care of when you were traveling suddenly pops up. A good work-fun balance is definitely needed but once you start running your own business, you know that you have to work 24/7 to keep everything running smoothly and there are tools to help you. Sign up for an online time tracking system and you can easily follow up with your employees and check who showed up for work and who did not. And also they can write shift reports daily so you can exactly see what they are working on. ClockIn Portal is a good online time tracking tool that your company can use.
“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” – Anatole France
Read Your Postal Mail Online:
One of the things that makes a lot of company owners or managers worried when they travel is postal mail. A simple lifehack is to get yourself a virtual mailbox. That way you can read your postal mail online. Virtual mail companies receive your mail and you can view what you received online. You can also decide what you need to do with your mail through an online applications. So if your business trip lasts for only a few days, you can ask mail facility to scan contents of your mail and read it like you would read an email. All through an easy-to-use online application. PostScan Mail offers this service for a very reasonable price. I forgot to mention they also do electronic check deposit.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Make Sure You Are Connected to Internet:
When it comes to internet connection, most hotels, if not all hotels, provide WiFi connection. It depends on when and how frequently you need internet access. In worst case scenarios, you can use data roaming. Make sure your hotel has an internet connection and also ask about data roaming expenses. Plus, it mainly depends on where you are going. Some countries have free WiFi almost anywhere. Just check before you go.
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang
Minimize Time You Spend Online:
It sounds like a strange advice after listing all the applications you should use and online services you should download. If you want to relax and focus on what you traveled to get done at first place, you should not be distracted by Facebook or Twitter. You can focus on how your employees are doing and which mail items you received but that should not take more than an hour or two of your day. Decide on a time to take care of business at home and forget about it the rest of day. Being a businessman is an all-day-long career but schedule a time to take care of business, and remember to have fun. Look around and enjoy the city you are at.
Try This Travel Quiz: