You’re about to be the face of your company in an entirely different country. No pressure, right? Being ready for what curveballs international corporate travel can swing at you is paramount to making your visit a successful one. Below are five important do’s and don’ts that will help prepare you for your first business trip abroad.
While you may have vacationed overseas before, corporate culture is a lot more complicated than a walk on the beach. Study up on the ins and outs of business etiquette, social norms, greetings and expectations. Talk with colleagues who have visited previously about what to expect and how to make a good impression.
Doing some homework on your destination can help break the ice and foster a positive relationship with your new network. Keep a curious mind and read up on landmarks, history and local events that will fill any awkward silences with stimulating conversation. The first part of becoming a world-class business professional is being a global citizen first.
Is your passport still valid? Do you have all the necessary immunizations? Does your dog sitter have availability? Before you get your suitcase out, make sure you’ve checked off all the important boxes that any major oversights won’t deter your trip. Also, give your bank, pharmacy, friends and family a call and make sure everything is squared away at home during your visit. You know you need to call your mom anyway.
DO: Dress to Impress
When trying to decide what to pack for an international business trip, you’ll be better off leaving the Hawaiian shirt at home and bringing your best neutrals instead. Classic colors such as white, black, beige, navy and grey are safe bets unless you’re heading to an actual luau, then feel free to break out the floral. Bring your suit, a few tops and bottoms, two pairs of shoes, a comfortable outfit for your travel days and any other weather-conscious clothing that may be necessary.
Always do your research on what is deemed appropriate in the country you’re heading to. For example, women traveling to some parts of the Middle East may be expected to cover up with longer, more loose-fitting clothing. If you’re heading to Japan, many business dealings require more formal business attire, so bringing more than one suit is ideal.
Despite the book you just bought, you probably won’t learn an entirely new language in a week. Spending hours looking up how to prevent jet lag probably won’t be that helpful either since everyone is different. While it’s good to be prepared, over-planning your big corporate trip can cause unnecessary stress that may interfere with your performance. Allow some wiggle room in your schedule and don’t overextend yourself, so you can stay healthy and avoid the dreaded burnout.
DO: Call in the Pros
Travel sounds glamorous until your flight is delayed, the rental car breaks down or the hotel loses your reservation. Luckily in this day and age, there are travel management companies that can do all the heavy lifting when plans go awry. At AmTrav, we take the hassle out of business travel, so you can save time, money and most importantly, peace of mind when you’re on the go. Learn more about our services, but don’t just take our word for it, check out some of our customer testimonials from real professionals like you.
Written by: Liz Cantrell