The year 2020 transformed the world of travel. We’ve seen abandoned airport terminals, canceled vacations, and some of the world’s most popular squares completely empty. Luckily, the global travel industry is getting back on its feet, and travelers, many of whom have been locked down for a long time, are starting to go back to their favorite mountains, beaches, and monuments.
However, many of us once known as travel pros, always ready for even the trickiest of situations, are now feeling unprepared for getting back into the swing of traveling. Many aspects of how we explore the world are different after the pandemic and the travel pro tips we used to know and use regularly might be forgotten. So, let’s prepare for the new and remember the forgotten take the burden out of business travel.
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Look for reliable travel advice
Let people around you know about your travel plans, especially if this is your first time visiting a certain destination. Perhaps some of your friends, colleagues, or relatives have been to the destination before and can give you invaluable advice. Verify it with trusted sources and remember that we are all impacted by stereotypes and unconscious bias, so always pack your open mind.
Pack less, but pack smart
If you’re packing for a business trip, pre-plan every look from head to toe. This way, you will avoid weighing down your bag with unnecessary garments and ensure you have appropriate attire for every meeting. Your carry-on should contain your most important items and everything you would need to survive in case your luggage is lost. And if you want to avoid losing time at the baggage claim altogether, then keep it simple by sticking only to carry-on luggage. Also, keep in mind security checks when you pack. To ensure you make your way through as quickly as possible, keep all items to be checked at security ready to unpack when needed.
Prepare all the documents and make copies
Make sure you have your boarding passes, passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, meeting agendas and credit cards ready the night before you fly. Do not forget about COVID-19 measures: check if the country you’re travelling to requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Always print your documents, as not every international airport allows you to scan from your phone. Moreover, you want to ensure you have copies in case you lose any of them, or your phone dies. It might happen that you find your bank card plays up and stops working, therefore it would be best to bring an extra bank card with you just in case.
Charge your electronic devices before you fly and bring a power bank
Make sure all your devices are fully charged before you leave for the airport and try to re-charge them whenever you have the opportunity. Delays and cancellations happen all the time, and you don’t want to risk a dead phone or laptop when a work-related issue arises.
Consider joining a rewards program
If you’re flying for business on a regular basis, joining a travel rewards program could prove advantageous by making your travels more comfortable and saving you a substantial amount of money. Members of reward programs often receive early boarding, first-class upgrades, priority hotel room, and better treatment in general.
Do your research on the business culture
When traveling to a different country to do business, doing your research on that country’s proper business etiquette is a must. Because what might be seen as good manners or proper etiquette in your country may be considered rude in another. An American going into a meeting in Japan should know not to go for a handshake. Germans will need to be prepared for some delays when starting to work with a new Italian partner since time can be viewed more flexibly by Italians. Checking the cultural trends beforehand will ensure there are no misunderstandings that can seriously harm communication and the business.
A couple of phrases in their native language can get you far
Learning as much as you can about your destination and the local culture is one of the best ways to ensure successful communication but learning a couple of phrases of their language will definitely earn you some extra points. This way you will show respect and interest in their culture, and that you care about doing business with them. In addition, the locals in the city will also appreciate it, it will make your interactions with them easier, thus allowing you to build your cultural intelligence.
If travelling in a country where you cannot read the script, make sure you have important destinations written down in the local language so you can use sign language to show taxi drivers where you want to go.
In conclusion, pre-travel planning helps ensure you enjoy all aspects of the trip and minimizes the chance of potentially stressful situations that could affect your business opportunities or overall experience. By putting these travel pro tips and tricks into practice, you will develop habits that will help you get used to new conditions, enrich your travel experience and turn you into a travel pro in no time. And don’t forget to share your knowledge with your friends and colleagues to make their travels as easy and enjoyable as yours.
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