International business travel is an amazing adventure. You get to experience foreign cultures, explore unfamiliar cities and make deals with interesting characters, and you get paid for the pleasure.
But it’s not always plain sailing. Different cultures bring different challenges and you must be prepared to face them. Having said that, you don’t need to speak seven languages and have an intimate knowledge of every major city in the world.
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Here are our expert tips for international business travelers:
You Don’t Have to Learn the Language
A lot of business travel blogs tell you to learn a foreign language, but that can be a waste of time. English is the language of business, and therefore you are already fluent. Instead, learn a few key phrases to show respect for their culture. You should learn your greetings and thank you but also think of something that can break the ice, perhaps a non-offensive joke.
Get A Universal Plug Adapter
You need to make sure you have the right plug adapters. You can buy universal plug adapters that work for most countries, but you should always check the requirements before you set off.
Get yourself a portable Wi-Fi adapter, so you are never without Internet Connection. Not only will this help you get your work done anywhere in the world it also means you can contact home whenever you want. In some countries around the world, the internet connection isn’t as good as it is at home, so this is a business travel must.
Drink Bottled Water
You need to stay hydrated, especially in hot countries, but the tap water isn’t always clean enough to drink. Make sure you stay stocked up with bottled water.
While you don’t have to learn the local language, it is important to try the local cuisine. This is a big part of international business travel and it is an important part of integrating with the local culture. Use Google to find out what the local dishes are called and ask your local colleagues to take you to their favorite restaurants.
Get to The Airport Early
Getting through customs isn’t always easy when you are traveling internationally. Make sure you get to the airport two to three hours before you fly. Click here if you want to book onto our PA Airport Transfer service.
Give Yourself an Extra Day
The best cure for jet lag is time. Give yourself an extra day before you have to do any business. You can check into your hotel, get plenty of sleep, catch up on your emails and get to know the area. That way you will start your international business in top form.
Also published on Medium.