The key to a successful business trip

Get organised for total peace of mind

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When you're away for work, it's critical to stay focused on business. So get prepared ahead of your departure for a seamless, hitch-free business trip. 

Check entry formalities

This might seem obvious, but you never know what might arise. Naturally you'll need to consider visa requirements, but you should also research the documents required to enter the country to which you're travelling. An identity card or biometric passport with an expiry date later than the return date is often required. The number of blank pages remaining in your passport may also come under scrutiny!

The authorities may also demand to see your return ticket or ask for a substantial sum of money to be paid there and then. Finally, familiarise yourself with maximum time limits for issuing a visa and any express procedures, if needed.

Research the country’s security

If you aren't familiar with your destination, it's always wise to consult the country’s representative authorities ahead of time. Hotels are safe places, but there may be areas to be avoided while you're out and about.
Being aware of any risks means being more relaxed and able to focus on business negotiations.

Plan your journey

The quality of transport varies from country to country so do your research, especially if you have a long journey ahead of you.
Choose hotels which are close to useful amenities and meeting venues, or those which are equipped with reception rooms where your professional counterparts can meet you. If you need to hire a car, check whether a manual is required. If you're going to be getting behind the wheel, you should find out whether an international driving licence is necessary. 

Plan your healthcare

If you are visiting an endemic area, it's possible that specific vaccinations will be obligatory or recommended.
Contact a vaccination centre or a public healthcare establishment which specialises in international healthcare before you leave. They'll also be able to offer advice about drinking water and foods to be avoided. Keep any basic medicines and necessary prescription drugs close to hand.

Don't forget your insurance

Healthcare abroad can be very expensive if required, even in a bordering country. An emergency trip for a simple ankle sprain can end up costing you.
Check that your professional insurance covers the upfront payment of medical services abroad, but also make sure it will deal with the costs for a potential emergency repatriation. In all cases, businesses should inform employees about insurance details before their departure. 

Financial tips for travelling abroad

As you would with any trip to a foreign country, you need to research the local currency. But other aspects should be considered: not all bank cards are readily accepted overseas, so make sure you carry a Visa or Mastercard.
It's a good idea to note down their emergency numbers in case you lose your card. The maximum amount of money which can be transported by a traveller without being declared varies from country to country – it’s best to research this.

Protect your data

In order to prevent the inconvenience of data theft, clean up your computer’s hard drive before you leave. Back up all sought-after data on a remote storage device (which you can call on if need be). If you need to take this device with you, make sure you choose a reversible encryption solution via password.

Finally, don't forget to research the habits and customs of the country you're heading to, especially regarding courtesy and attire. The more effort you make to integrate with your professional counterparts, the more successful business negotiations will be. 

Published by Laurence on 08/12/2017 Photo credit: © Sam Edwards

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