International Business Travel in a Post-September 11 World
International Business Travel and travel in general have been forever impacted by
the terrorist events of September 11, 2001. Do you remember the good old days? You
can pull up to the airport parking lot 30 minutes prior to flight time and make a
quick dash to the terminal. I've even had airlines holding the gate door open for
me when they see me running down the terminal. Well, those days are long and gone.
Seven Tips for International Business Travel
Even prior to September 11, International Business Travel has always been a challenge
for even the most experienced business travelers. When you are dealing with a world
of unfamiliar cultures, safety in a foreign country has always been a concern for
not only men but especially Women Traveling Alone. You need to be aware of any
potential Travel Warnings about your country of destination.
The international time zones play havoc on our physical and mental well-being. Upon
arrival, you may not speak the language and wish that you had taken a Body Language
Course to figure out what the different people with different cultures are trying
to tell you.
Giving the new world of travel, the key to successful, hassle-free international
business travel is planning. International Flight Booking is more complex than booking
your domestic travel. You often have multiple stopovers with multiple airlines.
Photo Credit: Trip - Clix
You may think that you have conquered business travel based on your domestic experience
but international travel is a totally different scenario altogether.
1. Airport Line Ups
You will notice that the international line up at the airport
is almost always longer than the domestic line ups. Everything is twice as long
from security checks to weighing baggage. Often times you are in the same line up
as foreigners who don't understand the local language or rules of the airport. So
everything takes extra long. Listen to the advice when they ask you to arrive at
the airport 3 hours before flight time. Do it.
2. Departure Taxes
Many countries have a departure tax that you pay at the airport
on your return trip back to your home country. It is inconsistent whether you pay
at the ticket counter or the security check point. To make matters worse, they'll
want the taxes paid in their local currency and in the exact amount. They don't
So if you are not prepared, you need to step out of the line and
find an currency exchange location at the airport. Of course, you'll be charged
a ridiculous exchange rate and you'll be stuck with excess foreign currency when
you arrive home. It pays to plan ahead and make a few phone calls and set aside
the exact amount in the local currency with your ticket on your international business
3. Jet Lag
One of the biggest issues facing international business travelers is adjusting
to international time zones. Your body takes a tremendous punishment five miles
up in the sky sitting in a cramped seat for half a day with dry recirculated air.
Even if you able to sleep on the plane, your whole body feels exhausted by the time
you land and get to your hotel.
Dehydration is your enemy. So drink plenty of water
and avoid alcohol. Try to adjust to the time zone a few days before your departure.
Sunlight will help you to adjust. Get plenty of sunshine once you arrive to help
you to acclimatize.
4. Take a Train
In many parts of the world such as Europe, traveling by air may not
be your best option especially if you are stopping by multiple cities. Taking the
train can be a cheaper and faster alternative. High speed trains with sleeping accommodations
are often available on longer trips.
5. Car Rentals
For those who want to drive in a foreign country on a regular basis,
you should consider an International Driver's Permit. This is written in eight languages
and is recognized in many parts of the world. It's a way to demonstrate to authorities
that you do have a valid driver's license in case of an accident. Otherwise, you'll
spend hours trying to prove to them that your local driver's permit is indeed real.
should always tell the rental agency where you are intending to take the car. In
some countries, the insurance coverage is only applicable within certain boundaries.
Traveling outside of the area will make your insurance void. You could end up
driving in a foreign country with no insurance.
6. Health Tips
Prior to visiting your country of destination, it is a good idea to
visit your doctor to make sure that your immunization is up to date. Some countries
now demand HIV testing prior to entry.
For those who wear contact lenses or eye glasses,
bring a copy of your prescription written in metric just in case of an emergency.
Make sure that you contact your medical insurance coverage to see if your policy
is valid in the foreign country. You may be required to purchase additional insurance.
7. Water & Food
Most European countries have a water supply that is safe to drink.
However, many undeveloped nations have a water supply that contains organisms which
cause diarrhea in humans. If you are not sure, be safe and drink bottle water. Try
to buy bottle water with a brand name that you recognize. Even use the bottle water
to brush your teeth.
Raw fruits and vegetables are always the foods that will mislead
foreigners. While they look delicious and locally grown, the food could be rinsed
in local contaminated water. The diarrhea causing microorganisms will stay alive
on the fruits and vegetables. You eat one and you could end you going to the bathroom
more often than you care to. Showing up in an international business meeting after
a night of diarrhea is something that you should absolutely avoid.
You can see that international business travel is quite different than domestic travel.
A few precautions are required to ensure that your international business meeting
is as successful as it can be.