Business Travel Tips – Save Yourself From Embarrassing Situations |

Doing business overseas can be a challenging task for a number of reasons including: the language barriers, differences in customs, social etiquette and exotic foods. Business meetings with foreigners can be particularly sensitive as many countries practice different forms of business etiquette vastly different to what you would consider the norm.

Before you go away on your trip it is a good idea to do research on the country that you are going to. Try to learn a few common phrases and focus on general greetings, thank-you’s and a few business related phrases. Try to find out what the main social differences are between your customs, so that you do not make any embarrassing mistakes. You should also look up if there will be any religious or public holidays over the period that you are traveling as they may not operate over these periods.

Several countries also operate according to different week days and do not necessarily follow the Westernized Monday to Friday work week. In some countries, women are not treated as equals. If you are a woman traveling to one of these countries you should make sure that you dress appropriately and conservatively and pay particular attention to specific behavioural requirements.

Certain countries, such as Germany, pay particular attention to punctuality and being late can be viewed as highly unprofessional. On the other hand, in many Middle Eastern and African countries, meetings are more laid back, taking on a leisurely pace.

In most countries nowadays it is customary to produce a business card upon the first initial meeting as a standard formality. In Far Eastern countries greetings and customs should be particularly to pay attention to. Koreans tend to bow in greeting, while the Chinese clap. The titles of certain people should also be noted. This is mainly predominant amongst the African and Middle Eastern countries.

Doing a little research before you travel will help you to save yourself from entering some potentially embarrassing situations. This research will also help achieve the aims of your business trip as your knowledge of the specific customs will show respect, which will be much appreciated and will no doubt work in your favour.

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How to Make Business Travel Arrangements |

It does not matter if you are a frequent business traveler or just an occasional one, but when you are going on a business travel, the best thing is to do it the right way. Most of the companies have policies in place which is to control the cost for employee trips and when you plan your business travel, the best thing to do would be to follow each and every guideline and to ensure that your travel plans are approved and reimbursed and that you do not incur any expenses for the trip.

1) Firstly, you have to perform a thorough discussion with your supervisor regarding the destination, the number of nights you are away and the method of travel which you have chosen. Also, include under this discussion personal vehicle, rental car and air travel. Make sure that you inquire about your company’s travel procedures from your boss.

2) Make sure that you make prior contact with the person you are meeting on your business travel and also ask for the name of a neighboring hotel. In case you get hold of hotel maps and bookings, it will be of great help for reserving your travel plans. In case, if your company actually uses only a particular hotel chain, then you can skip this step.

3) You can search for the travel agent that your company uses for making business trips and you can book your own travel with the same person. In case, your company uses centralized resources for booking travel, then you can provide the complete details of the trip to this individual which is a great way to ensure that all the travel plans will be booked accurately. Also, do not forget to provide your frequent flier and hotel club numbers as this will enable you to credit for the miles and nights as well.

4) Once your arrangements have been completed, you can ask for a copy of the arrangement from the centralized booking resource. Also, in case you are making the bookings all by yourself, then never forget to take the confirmation number of the flight, hotel room and the rental car.

5) At least a week before you start your trip, you have to contact your airline, hotel and rental car agency and in case you encounter any problems, you can inform your employer of the same.

6) Make sure that you retain all the receipts of the trip and also fill out the expense report as soon as you return back from the trip.