Preparing for a business trip in another country isn’t exactly the same thing as preparing for a business trip within your own country.
For example, you’ll have to do more extensive research into the customs and the etiquette of the country that you’re traveling to, learn some basic words and phrases so you can be at least conversational in the native language, and plan your itinerary more carefully.
Here are the top tips for your first foreign business trip:
Plan Out Your Itinerary
Your itinerary will need to reflect the goals that you hope to accomplish when visiting the country.
For example, are you here just for the business meeting and hoping to fly back home soon after, or do you want to make a mini-vacation out of it while you’re at it?
You also need to be sure that your itinerary leaves room for unexpected issues that could pop up, such as an invitation to lunch you didn’t expect or a transportation delay.
Be Prepared With How You Will Spend Money
Have you thought about how you will spend money in the country you’re traveling to? Will you do it through cash (in which case you’ll need to work with a money transfer service) or through a credit card?
If you do opt with a credit card, you’ll need to contact your credit card company to confirm that you can make foreign transactions. If they charge you a small 1-5% fee for each foreign transaction that you make, you can always apply for a new credit card that doesn’t charge for foreign transaction fees.
Research The Culture
You should spend at least an hour or so at home learning about the culture, customs, and even the history of the country that you are traveling to. Books, online articles, and YouTube videos are your easiest research sources here.
For example, do people in the country you’re traveling to consider it rude to be late to a business meeting? And regardless, what else is considered to be polite or rude in a business setting?
You’ll definitely want to stay connected when traveling for a business trip, and this means bringing along an adapter so you can keep your laptops, tablets, and phones charged. Also bringing your own portable Wi-Fi router would be smart as well, since you never know how strong the internet is going to be where you travel (or even if you’ll have access to the internet in the first place.
Learn The Native Language
No, you don’t have to become fluent in the native language, but you should at least strive to learn some basic words and phrases. The locals will appreciate it, and this is a great way to pass the time while you’re flying over.
Embarking On Your First Foreign Business Trip
The truth is that traveling for a business trip really won’t be terribly different from traveling for vacation, so you don’t have to let the whole upcoming process stress you out.