When travelling abroad on a business trip, you need to be adequately prepared to ensure that your journey is stress-free. This excerpt discusses a few corporate travel tips that business executives should consider.
Accommodation and travel
A few weeks before your trip, do some research on accommodation options in the town you will visit. Hotels are best suited if you intend to host guests. Most hotels have business suites comprising of an expansive living area where you can hold meetings and entertain your guests. If you are travelling on a budget, consider homestays and hostels. Preferably, book early to avoid last-minute price increases. Taxis are a convenient mode of transport, since taxi drivers have an excellent knowledge of the city. However, you can also hire a chauffeur or use car hire services.
It is usual to feel a bit insecure when you visit a foreign country for the first time. Below are some safety tips to observe:
- Have emergency contacts on hand, including the police helpline, hotel security, medical services and the embassy's contact.
- If possible, have a spare passport that you can use if your current one gets lost.
- If you do not have a local guide, do some research about the city and avoid areas that are considered dangerous.
- Avoid carrying a lot of cash. Instead, use your credit card or make small withdrawals from the ATM.
Conduct research into the culture of the country you will visit. Below are some ways that culture can affect your business deal.
- Some communities are more interested in forming relationships rather than signing papers and contracts. Inquire on how to address your hosts. For instance, some cultures are very formal, and people prefer addressing each other by their titles.
- Learn about the culture's method of communication. Some use direct communication and will give definite responses such as yes or no. Others communicate indirectly; hence their responses are vague.
- How does the culture respond to time? Some communities are very punctual and will be quick to seal business deals. Others prefer taking their time to go through every detail of the agreement.
Create an itinerary
Your itinerary should include the hotel you will stay at, the people you will meet, their contacts, where you will meet them and any other areas you intend to visit. Share the itinerary with a close friend or family member. In such a way, they can easily find you in case of any problems.
When planning corporate travel, consider accommodation, travel, safety, culture and your itinerary.