International business travel can offer many benefits for both large and small companies.
Organizations can expand and strengthen their network abroad, win new international clients, forge partnerships, or sow the seeds for future referrals. Meanwhile, businesses with overseas customers can
reap the benefits of reconnecting in person instead of via video call.
Corporate travel outside America can also give employees a better understanding of global business perspectives. Business travelers might also gain insights into worldwide trends related to their industry. Foreign business trips also offer chances for professional growth, with opportunities to learn new approaches or be inspired by different cultures.
But, organizing business travel can be challenging. From last-minute flight delays to rapidly changing travel restrictions, there are many pitfalls to navigate. To ensure an international business trip is as successful as possible, there are multiple things that travelers and travel managers can do to prepare.
Check what documentation is needed to enter any countries, including stopovers, ahead of time. It's important to do this even if it's a country you've organized travel to before, as requirements can change. You will also need to find out how many months you have left on your passport and if you need visas.
Some countries in Europe are introducing the need for certain visa-exempt travelers to apply for an
ETIASto enter. These requirements are expected to come into force in 2024, so travelers to Europe must keep abreast of the incoming changes.
Finally, there is one more set of rules you need to research! Check that your
corporate travel policyis up-to-date so employees know how to approve business trip arrangements and submit their travel expenses.
A travel management solution, such as
TravelPerk, can help organize your entire trip and offer exclusive rates through our unparalleled travel industry connections. Our user friendly booking tool also allows travel managers to preset parameters for powerful automated approval workflows, allowing team leaders to focus on more critical tasks.
As well as saving time and keeping travel spending on track, TravelPerk's
mobile appoffers you 24/7 customer support so issues like flight cancellations can be resolved quickly.
Not only can this help save your company from additional travel expenses. Taking out insurance can eliminate some of the anxiety associated with traveling abroad and streamline the processes of organizing alternative arrangements. Policy inclusions do differ, so take your time to find one that meets your travel needs.
Another benefit of using a TMC like
TravelPerkis receiving real-time safety updates for your travel arrangements. Rather than constantly checking websites, handy notifications can be sent directly to your travelers and management.
As well as ensuring you meet your duty of care to your employees and gifting everyone peace of mind, this feature can also provide notifications on any changing entry requirements for your travel plans.
Confirming whether company credit cards will work overseas and if your bank offers reasonable exchange rates is also critical. Another option is to take a prepaid travel card, as some offer low/no fees and competitive rates.
Remember that although you're probably used to paying by card in New York or other American cities, some countries are still cash-based. So, see if you need to get notes and coins from a currency converter before the trip.
For anyone traveling to a country that speaks a different language, learning a few basic phrases can also be very useful.
Adjusting your sleep schedule to match your destination's time zone, staying hydrated, and taking in natural light can help. There are optimal times of day to do this, depending on the journey, and
apps can calculate this for you.
In case of patchy reception, download maps offline to navigate without relying on Wi-Fi. If you're traveling without a car rental, be ready to go by installing ride-sharing and local public transport apps before departure.
No one wants to hit an important meeting straight from an international flight. If the schedule allows, give yourself or your employees time to freshen up after arrival. They are more likely to impress once they are rested.