International Business Travel: 17 Tips To Give Your Employees Before They Fly
While many employees see business travel as a perk, especially if it is an overseas trip, some find it inconvenient and uncomfortable. For instance, since the trip is on the other side of the world, they may have to deal with jet lag, and not get the time to relax and adjust. However, they can have a much better experience by following certain tips.
Here is a list of 17 business travel tips that will help your employees navigate their next trip like a pro. The tips are divided into 3 sections: pre-trip, on-trip, and post-trip.
- Check your company’s business travel policy
- Keep passports and other essential documents in order
- Ensure you have travel insurance
- Pack both business attire and casual clothes
- Wear comfortable clothes while traveling
- Make sure you charge your electronic devices & don’t forget the power bank
- Book direct flights & choose your seat wisely
- Download helpful travel apps
- Eat healthy & keep hydrated
- Beat jet lag with exercise
- Take pictures of all your receipts
- Use a firewall while using the public internet
- Look for coworking spaces
- Set out time to talk to your family
- Report your expenses at the earliest
- Provide feedback
- Send thank you emails
1. Check your company’s business travel policy
Before planning for the trip, make sure you check your company’s do’s and don’ts of international travel.
Check your travel and expense policies that define travel booking protocols, the approval process, the reimbursable and non-reimbursable expense, and more.
2. Keep passports and other essential documents in order
Passports, ID Cards, and other essential documents should be kept in order and checked before you travel. These things seem obvious, right? But they aren’t. So, here are a few things to do:
- Ensure that your passport has enough leaves for stamps & visas and is not about to expire.
- Check how much time an embassy would take approximately to provide you with a visa. Give yourself plenty of time to apply for it.
- Get yourself a document holder where you can keep all your ID cards, boarding pass, etc.
3. Ensure you have travel insurance
One of the vital travel tips is to have travel insurance. The last thing you want during a business trip is to get sick. However, if that happens, you should be able to see a doctor without any inconvenience.
Check if your company provides travel insurance for international travel. If not, get one yourself so that you are covered in case of any sickness. In addition, also make sure that you take a small medical box of prescribed medicines with you and other essential medication you may need in case of an emergency.
4. Pack both business attire and casual clothes
While you are expected to attend all your meetings in business attire, there might be occasions when your clients invite you for a casual meal or activity. So, take some casual clothes as well. You can also pack your gym clothes or swimsuit in case the hotel provides these facilities.
Moreover, you must also pack a spare change of clothes in your carry-on luggage. So, in case your checked-in bag gets lost, you will have clean clothes to wear at the end of a long journey.
Also, pack with security checks in mind – don’t carry large bottles of liquid or any item that may slow down your security checks.
5. Wear comfortable clothes while traveling
International flights are generally long. Therefore, make sure you wear something comfortable during your flight. You can also carry pillows or eye masks that help you sleep on the flight.
6. Charge your electronic devices & don’t forget the power bank
Make sure all your electronic devices are charged before leaving home. You never know when important work comes up, and you might need to use your phone for it. Also, it will help you in staying connected with your company and family at all times. A good idea would be to carry a power bank so that you never run out of battery when traveling for a longer duration.
Also, make sure you carry an international power adapter as the chances are that the electric plug system would be different. This will help you with the initial inconvenience as you reach your hotel after a long flight.
7. Book direct flights & choose your seat wisely
It is always wise to book direct flights during international travel. You will spend fewer hours traveling, and it minimizes the risk of delays and limits the time you spend at the airport. Plus, you will have better chances of avoiding lost baggage situations.
Apart from this, some airlines provide the option of selecting seats that might be more comfortable for you. It is a good idea to check with the airlines for seat preference and select a seat that you think will be more comfortable for you to have a decent flight.
8. Download helpful travel apps
Firstly, download the travel and expense management software your company is using – it will help you with scanning all your receipts and stay in touch with everyone.
Apart from this, there are countless travel apps that you can download that will help you stay organized and make traveling a lot easier.
9. Eat healthy & keep hydrated
Overseas meetings have one thing in common: lots of good food and alcohol. However, the “good food” may not necessarily turn out to be good for you. Eating food that you are not accustomed to may cause some trouble. You should try new food, but make sure it is healthy.
Moreover, having too much alcohol may also have side effects like not being able to sleep properly. Our suggestion would be to have lots of water and healthy food (maybe fruits) as it is key to preventing jet lag. Also, it is good for your health and overall mood.
10. Beat jet lag with exercise
Exercise can help you counter the effects of jet lag. A study shows that you should exercise in the morning and afternoon time to push the circadian rhythm to an earlier time.
Also, don’t sleep as soon as you arrive. After a long flight, you might get tempted to sleep and relax for some time. Our suggestion would be to try avoiding it and first try to adapt to the new time zone you are in. This will also help you fight jet lag.
11. Take pictures of all your receipts
You will need to document all expenses being paid by your company. No receipts = No refunds is a standard rule in companies. Therefore, we recommend taking pictures of all receipts and uploading them to your company’s T&E management app then and there.
This will free you from the hassle of handling and saving paper receipts and make filing expense reports easier for you.
12. Use a firewall while using the public internet
Your work computer can have a lot of confidential information related to your company. Therefore, make sure your antivirus is up-to-date, and you have a firewall for protecting your data.
A pro tip here would be to carry your portable wireless device or get yourself a VPN. A VPN will allow you to pass any local firewall or blocks and share files, videos whenever needed.
13. Look for coworking spaces
You don’t have to work from your hotel room all the time. Almost all hotels or cities have co-working spaces available. You can find one for yourself to hold all the client meetings via an app.
You can also check with the people around you or your clients for co-working spaces.
14. Set out time to talk to your family
It can get difficult to stay in touch with your family during an international trip due to time differences. So, work out with your family the best times when you can talk with each other. Make sure you remain free at that time and talk to them. They will appreciate this.
15. Report your expenses at the earliest
Once you are back home, make sure you file your expense reports on time. Generally, companies allow employees to file expenses till 15 days after coming from a trip or as per your travel and expense policy.
However, if you have followed our previous tips on keeping a record of your receipts, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
16. Provide feedback
Give feedback on your overall trip to your travel manager. You can give feedback on the accommodation, airlines, booking process, etc. You can also leave a review for the hotel or the airline so that it helps other employees as well.
17. Send thank you emails
Last but not least, it’s always nice to send thank you emails to your clients and partners who made the business trip successful and memorable for you. This reflects a good gesture on your part and will help you continue to build the relationship.
Make International Business Travel Easier
You can share these international travel tips with your employees as it will help them have a comfortable travel experience. These are things that people generally forget about while traveling.
ITILITE helps you create a robust duty of care plan and automatically implement it so that your employees are well aware of everything that is included for them during business travel. Also, our travel and expense management software helps you track your employees’ location and reach out to them in cases of emergency.
Get a free demo of ITILITE travel and expense management software now to see all our advanced features.