Tips for Traveling Internationally on Business

Business travel is more complicated than personal trips, and even more so when crossing borders during international flights. You will need to spend more time planning and taking additional factors into account to stay safe and organized while you are away. You don’t want to spend time being detained or not have your Los Angeles apartment rental booked due to poor planning. Below are some tips for smooth international business travel. 

Passports & Identification 

You need to make sure to bring your passport, necessary identification papers (including a driver’s license if you plan to rent a car), and tickets with you when you depart. 

Before leaving make sure you have at least six months of validity left on your passport and two to four blank pages for entry stamps. It is also wise to leave a copy of your passport, other identification papers, and your itinerary with your family, friends, and secretary in case something goes wrong. This way you can easily access your itinerary and identification when it is saved digitally. 

Sort Out Your Visas With Plenty Of Time 

Some countries allow the issue of visas on arrival (like France and New Zealand), whilst others require this to be granted in advance (like China, Australia and Russia). Visa requirements vary from country to country and may take longer than expected to obtain. Some, meanwhile, are relatively straight-forward and even offer an electronic label-free visa (ETA) which can be obtained by airlines and travel agents on behalf of travellers. 

Regardless of where you are traveling, review their visa procedures and plan well in advance. 

Bring Electrical Adapters 

Electrical plugs and voltage vary across the world so it is important to have the appropriate adapter with you. Being unable to charge your phone, computer, or other device can end up causing more than just a slight hassle. 

Hotels aren’t always able to provide you with the necessary adapters. Even if they do, you may not always be able to access your hotel when your device warns you of low battery power. 


While away, it is likely that you will need to check in with your home office, family, and other colleagues. If you work for a large company, they may provide you with a company phone or provide an international voice and data plan for your cell phone. 

However, if this is not the case, it is wise to have an appropriate mobile plan set up before you go to avoid being hit with an exorbitant bill. Just a few quick texts or voice calls can quickly rack up the expense. Alternately, switch off the cell connection and only use Wi-Fi hotspots for communication needs. 

Jet Lag 

It’s the bane of long haul flights. Jet lag can make a meeting close to the time you arrived hard to handle. The best way to handle this is to book an overnight flight and sleep through the journey. If possible, book a short 6 – 12 hour stopover that allows you to sleep and partially adjust before arriving. 

Local Currency 

Paying with plastic is not nearly as common in some parts of the world as you may be used to in the U.S. While paying for a taxi with a credit card may not be a problem in America, in other countries this will pose an issue. 

It is worth withdrawing some of the local money after passing through customs. Most companies have policies that cover these eventualities, and it is beneficial to inquire about yours before you leave. 

Get Your Bearings 

When you check into your accommodation ask for a map and a business card. Keep the business card with you as this will prove useful when asking for directions if you become lost. 

A map will help you to orient yourself and be of assistance if you have free time for seeing the sights or wish to walk to meetings. Your itinerary should include the hotel address and a map of the area, but hard copies of these items are beneficial. 

Water, Water Everywhere 

Different standards of hygiene and acceptable additives to the water systems of the world can cause you to become sick, even in reputable hotels. Places like Germany and France have different mineral contents so even if the water is sanitary, it may still upset your stomach. 

Even if the locals tell you the water is fine, it is wise to take precautions. Never drink water from the tap or eat raw or uncooked food, wash your hands regularly with sanitizer, and carry a pack of sanitized wipes to clean airplane and hotel surfaces you regularly come into contact with. 

Speaking the Language 

Unless you plan to present to a large audience or have in depth conversations with the locals, it probably isn’t necessary to become conversant in the local language. However, it is polite to show that you have made some effort by learning a few key phrases such as “hello”, “please” and “thank you”. People will appreciate your effort and you can learn some fun phrases in return. 

Returning Home 

Depending on the time of day and the airport you return to, clearing immigration and customs can be a breeze or a world of pain for travelers. Applying for the US government Global Entry program will remove the gamble thanks to pre-clearance.

I hope you enjoyed this article about tips to successfully travel internationally for business.

Interested in more articles about global business?

Read My Posts:

- How To Work With Clients & Employees Worldwide

- Can Global Business Be Done On A Budget?

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