With delayed flights, rising prices and flu season in full swing, how do you avoid complications to ensure a hassle-free day of travel? This article will discuss what you should consider before booking your next international business trip.
Business travel is booming, but that doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing (or flying). Professionals on the road face many obstacles. Planning can be the best way to prevent unpredictable accidents.
What are some of the biggest travel complications? Most important is the cost and unpredictability of the flights. Carriers including American Airlines canceled thousands of direct flights from major international airports. As a result, the cost of flights and the frequency of long layovers have increased. Due to these issues, many business trips have also been delayed.
Unsurprisingly, car rental spending has increased alongside airline cancellations and delays. Indeed, since 2020, rental car prices increased by 50%. This means that it may be more efficient, in some cases, to use carpools or taxis rather than renting vehicles.
In addition to the factors listed above, there is the time of year. Winter is flu season and travel hotspots like train stations, airports and bus stations are the main places where germs and viruses spread. Nothing puts the brakes on a business trip faster than a case of bronchitis or RSV.
All this to say that business travel can still be exhilarating and productive, even if your business travel itinerary includes many stops in different time zones. Here are some business travel best practices to help prevent travel accidents.
- Map your documentation needs.
Gathering the correct documentation for visiting different countries can be one of the most frustrating tasks for international travelers. For example, did you know that Canada requires additional documents if you are going there for a business trip? Many people don’t know what they need to prepare and bring in terms of paperwork.
It’s wise to consider all the places you’ll be going, as well as potential stopover sites. Will you need anything other than your passport? As part of your investigation, consider any health-related expectations, such as required and suggested vaccinations. Example: The WHO recommends malaria vaccines if you travel to certain parts of Brazil and Africa. You will want to be aware of this and discuss it with your doctor before you go.
- Order foreign currency in advance.
Many people wait until they get to the airport to buy foreign currency and end up spending way more than they should. A better way to ensure you have foreign money as soon as your plane lands is to order it online from a reputable company. The great thing about most online foreign exchange sites is that they strive to find you the fairest and most transparent exchange rates possible and deliver the currencies right to your doorstep.
Waiting to arrive in another country leaves you with no money for tips or taxis. This is not good, especially if your flight is delayed. Finding yourself on foreign soil in the middle of the night without any local currency can be dangerous and delay your business travel plans. Always be ready by order your currency in advance.
- Stay flexible in booking your travel dates.
You can’t necessarily change the date of a conference, but you might be able to get to the host city a few days earlier. Being flexible with departure and arrival times can mean hundreds of dollars in difference in airline fares. Reducing expenses can also help you save money for future business trips.
Don’t forget that you may be able to add personal leisure to your business trips. “Pleasureis one of the most popular global business travel trends right now. So if you have a PTO to use, you may be able to extend your tour at the beginning or end to save money on flights and sightseeing.
- Accept that delays may occur.
No matter how much you hope you don’t get stuck at the airport, you could end up with an unusually long layover or delay. When that happens, you’ll be glad you packed your favorite snacks, preloaded a movie on your laptop or device, and bought yourself some awesome headphones or earphones.
In the week leading up to your trip, keep an eye out for the airlines and airports you’ll be passing through on your next business trip. Has anyone changed their airline rules? Do you know the best way to recover hotel vouchers, refunds or additional credits if you are canceled or evicted? Are there nap pods or micro rooms like MinuteSuites can you “hire” for a private siesta while waiting to board? Knowledge equals power when you’re on the road and the unexpected happens.
- Stay on top of top business influencers international business travel tips.
There are a lot of travel influencers on social media. Each covers different travel issues in different ways. Paying attention to these influencers can keep you up to date on everything from currency exchange rates to golf trends. For example, if you plan to play a round of golf in New Zealand, it is better to arrive with clean clubs and shoes. But you might not know without the advice of an influencer.
It’s truly amazing all the tips and insights you’ll get from reading social media posts, listening to business travel podcasts, and watching videos focused on world travel. Be sure to note which ones best suit your needs so you can structure your trip accordingly.
Traveling for work isn’t as easy as jumping on a plane and seeing where the wind takes you. However, with a little pre-planning, you can also have fun while getting some work done.
Written by Robert Hoffman.
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