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International business travel can be an exciting part of your career, but traveling today can be filled with delays, headaches, confusion, and frustration. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your international business trips go as smoothly as possible.
Some of the most important recommendations are included below to help you plan your next trip the right way:
1. Understand the Culture, Customs, and Laws in Your Destination Country
If you’re not a seasoned international traveler and you’re required to take your first trip out of your country, you might need to prepare for a culture shock. For business women, this might include adhering to customs and laws requiring that you wear certain attire, you always travel with a male escort, and more.
Depending on your destination country, the laws could be very surprising to you, so do your research and make sure you understand how you’ll be required to behave and move around the country during your visit.
2. Get the Right Documents in Advance
Depending on the country where you legally reside and the country where you’re going, you might be required to get different types of documents before traveling internationally. This could include a passport, a visa, an international driver’s permit, and documentation related to prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re bringing with you.
If you’re traveling to the United States, then you could obtain acceptable travel documents in the form of an Electronic System for Travel Authentication (ESTA). ESTA is the automated system for entering the U.S. It’s not a visa but a waiver program that allows the U.S. government to see who is entering and leaving the country. You can submit an ESTA form online to request yours.
3. Pack Appropriately
Not only do you need to pack your suitcase based on the types of meetings and events you’ll have to attend, but you’ll also need to pack according to your destination while keeping travel safety concerns in mind as well. Think beyond weather here.
As mentioned in #1, different countries have different customs and laws that women have to adhere to. That means you might be required to wear specific types of clothing or very conservative clothing depending on where your business trip takes you.
4. Review Current International Airline and Other Public Transportation Rules
International travel rules for airlines, trains, and other forms of transportation are subject to change at any moment these days, so don’t leave for a business trip without reviewing current laws in your country and your destination country.
Preparation is Key to Smooth International Business Travel
By following the tips above, you’ll mitigate many of the problems that international travelers encounter during their business trips. In addition, prepare yourself mentally. There will be long lines and there is a strong possibility that something won’t go perfectly during your trip. Stay calm and be patient.