Tips for Traveling Overseas for Work


Planning for an overseas business trip differs from a business trip within your own country. It becomes more stressful when you not only have to remember to pack everything and have your work done but also when you have to think about adjusting to a country that speaks another language and whose culture differs greatly from that of your home country. Traveling for work internationally might require you to research business and greeting customs of the country that you are traveling to. Moreover, you might have to worry about your safety, especially after recent events. Some countries require to get a visa months before your trip, which takes extra planning. Depending on where you travel you might have to get additional vaccines. When you travel internationally you won’t be able to use your cell phone and might have to get power adaptors. When you are faced with planning an overseas work trip you might get very stressed and overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to help you get through the planning and packing as stress-free as possible!

Prepare a well-planned itinerary

Know what your company hopes to accomplish through this trip and make sure you have planned to do so. Plan all appointments ahead of time and make sure you have enough time in between in case you need to travel to a different location or if a meeting runs late. Having a meeting in a foreign country with people from other cultures might make communication difficult. Since these meetings aren’t what you are typically used to, you don’t know what will happen. Planning a reasonable amount of time in between will make you less stressed in the moment.

Do research on the country you are traveling to

Spend some time learning about the country. Learn about the culture, the protocol and etiquette practices. Study up on the history, know what their cultural feelings towards being tardy, gift-giving, and the proper use of names and titles. Having this knowledge can help you avoid uncomfortable situations and will certainly impress your hosts.

Learn the native language

You don’t need to become fluent in the language but even if you just learn a few words your business associates will definitely appreciate any sincere attempt. If you or the people you are meeting with don’t speak a common language or no on is comfortable in their skills to speak the other person’s language then hire a translator. Before your trip you can try to learn the language by using programs such as Rosetta Stone or podcasts on your phone. Colleges or community centers in your area may also offer language classes.

Check travel advisories

Before your trip be sure to check the governmental travel advisories. These warnings are constantly updated based on current threats including terrorism, natural disasters, political unrest, wars, health emergencies, and outbreaks of violent crimes against tourists. Even if you don’t think the place that you are traveling to is a high risk area, it’s important to have a backup plan in case something does go wrong. Have the contact information for your country’s embassy in the country that you are traveling to.

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