In today's fast-paced global business environment, international travel has become a staple for many professionals. However, navigating the complexities of cross-border travel can be daunting, even for the seasoned traveler. This list of international travel tips is designed to empower business professionals to travel smarter, safer, and more efficiently.
Whether you're a first-time international traveler or a globetrotting executive, these tips provide valuable insights into making the most of your journey. It's not just about reaching the destination; it's about optimizing the journey and the business experience in an increasingly interconnected world.
Work travel tips
Convert some money into local currency at your bank while still in the US. This reduces issues when traveling in counties that have a physical currency based economy. Don't keep all of your currency in the same location. Having separate groups of money ensures that you can empty a particular pocket without losing all of your money.
Inform your credit card companies about international travel. This should avoid having your transactions flagged or your card frozen when unexpected transactions happen. Let them know where you are going and how long you will be there.
Check with your cell phone carrier for any international data plans they may have. Most providers have a list of countries where they offer free access to slower data speeds and discounted rates for calling and texting.
Check for any shots or vacations needed for the area you are traveling to. As a general rule, having an up to date tetanus shot is recommended for all international travel.
Register trip with the State Department’s SAFE Traveler portal. This will ensure that you receive email updates regarding any safety concerns in the areas you are traveling. It also allows the US Embassy to locate you in the event that there is an emergency requiring your attention.
Check local power outlet configurations and get adapters for your electronics.
Identify the closest US Embassy to your destination.
Before you start packing for your trip, be sure to locate your passport. You don't want to show up at the airport and realize that you left it at home.
If you are traveling with any sharp tools or knives be sure to pack them in your checked bags.
Be sure to check the number of bags and their weight aloud for your flight so that you don't over pack. This will also make checking in at the airport easier. You might want to leave space in your bags for items you might buy in your destination country.
Check the weather forecast for trip days to ensure you pack the proper wardrobe .
Check driving regulations for US drivers in your destination country.
Example - in South Africa holders of a US driver's license can drive on their US license as long as their trip is less than 6 months.
Check for local holidays in your destination country just in case.
Google maps on your phone allows you to same map areas off line, be sure to save your destination area offline so that you have the GPS info even if you don't have internet access.
Take pictures of receipts for reimbursements in case you lose the physical papers.
Bring portable power banks to keep your tech charged on the go.
Confirm all your meetings and appointments a few days before to ensure there are no misunderstandings or schedule changes.
Set up an out of office email reply so that people trying to reach you know to expect a delayed response.
Subscribe to flight text alerts for your travel to be kept aware of any changes.
It's a good idea to download your favorite playlists and movies/shows to your mobile devices so that you have access to entertainment even if you don't have data.
Be sure to update the software on your phone and all of your applications before you leave the US to avoid expensive data charges. Downloading WhatsApp, Google Translate, and the Google Maps information for your destination are good ideas as well.