5 Tips for Preparing for a Stress-Free Business Trip Overseas
3 mins read

5 Tips for Preparing for a Stress-Free Business Trip Overseas

Going on a business trip overseas can be an exciting opportunity, but also stressful if you’re not properly prepared. Here are 7 tips to help you get organized and make your international business travel as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Get Your Paperwork in Order

Make sure your passport is up-to-date and won’t expire during your travels. Check the expiration date and renew it if needed at least 3 months in advance; click for more details on renewing a passport online. Also, check the visa requirements for the countries you’re visiting and apply well in advance, as the process can take weeks or months depending on the destination. Print out visa approval letters to carry with your passport. Inform your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans, including specific travel dates and destinations, to avoid potential fraud alerts. Set up notifications so you can monitor account activity while abroad.  

Research Your Destination Thoroughly

Learn about local laws, customs and etiquette to avoid making cultural faux pas. Study common greetings and dining etiquette. Check the weather forecast and average temperatures so you can pack properly for the climate. Research ground transportation options for getting to and from airports and meetings at your destination. How easy is it to hail a taxi or use a ride-share service? Is public transit efficient and safe? Knowing what to expect will help minimize stress and culture shock when you arrive.

Create a Detailed Day-By-Day Itinerary

Plot out your full schedule with flight numbers and departure/arrival times, hotel confirmation numbers and check-in/check-out dates, meeting times and locations, and local contact names and numbers. Build in at least an extra hour between commitments to account for potential delays. Share printed copies of your itinerary with any colleagues or contacts involved in case anyone needs to reach you. Having everything mapped out hour-by-hour will make travel days less hectic and allow you to promptly respond if contacts need to adjust the schedule.

Get Complete, Clearly Organized Contact Information

Collect phone numbers with international calling codes, email addresses, office addresses and websites for your airline, hotel, local client/colleague contacts, credit card companies, and emergency services at your destination. Input everything into your phone so it’s accessible even without Wi-Fi. Print out a paper copy as a backup. In case of cancellations, delays, or other issues, you’ll know exactly who to reach out to no matter where you are.  

Get Sufficient Rest in the Days/Nights Before Departure

Arrive at the airport well-rested by going to bed early at least 2-3 nights pre-trip. Avoid screens and stressful tasks right before bedtime. Stay hydrated on the plane and sleep when you can to minimize jet lag upon arrival. Avoid excessive alcohol, which can dehydrate you, and limit caffeine before bedtime. Being well-rested will make it easier to tackle long flights, time changes, and full workdays once you arrive.

Preparing properly for an overseas business trip requires planning, forethought and attention to details. Follow these tips to cover your bases. Doing so will set you up for a smooth, stress-free experience conducting business and navigating logistics at an international destination.

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