Resources for International Business Travelers

If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you know that it can be both exciting and a little bit scary, as well. Everyone speaks a different language, has different customs…it’s no wonder that travelers often find themselves coming down with “culture shock.”

 

Now, can you imagine going through all of that on a business trip? Yikes! Fortunately for business travelers, there are a variety of resources available to help make international business trips less of a hurdle. Let’s take a look:

 

Visas

 

If you’re visiting another country for business reasons, you may need to obtain a visa in advance. Often, this is even the case in countries that allow American tourists to apply for their visas in the airport when they arrive. Visa requirements vary greatly from country to country and can change frequently, so this is one area where it’s important to have expert assistance.

Consider contacting a reputable business agency to assist you – they can let you know what visas you need and what documents are required.

 

Language Software and Apps

 

Being able to speak the local language, even imperfectly, can go a long way toward making your international business trip easier. These days, there’s no need to sign up for an actual language course: software programs like Mango and Rosetta Stone make it easy to learn on your own time. Bootstrapping entrepreneurs who don’t want to pay for the software package can often get access via a local library. Meanwhile, translation apps like WordLens help you cope even in situations where your language skills are sub par.

 

Culture Guides

 

Becoming familiar with the quirks of the local culture is one of the most important steps you can take before any international business trip.

The way you’re expected to conduct yourself in another country may be quite different from the way you conduct yourself at home.

 

ExecutivePlanet.com has a set of free guides that can help you with the basics of doing business in another country.

 

Passport Expediting

 

You’ll definitely want to make sure that you have a valid passport before you travel. State Department processing times are six weeks for normal processing and three weeks for expedited processing, but you might not know about a business trip until the last possible moment. Passport agency offices are not located in every city or even every state, and busy executives often don’t have time to travel. In that case, you may wish to use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport. Expediting companies carry your application directly to the State Department for processing in as little as 24 hours.

 

Corporate Agents have far better discount business class airfare

Utilizing a corporate travel agency has numerous benefits. Some of them can include price discounts, hotel reservations, emergency, and customer service for starters. It may seem practical and cheaper to use the web, but it has many limitations as compared to working with a professional travel management firm.

Reality Check

Let’s be real – airlines are businesses. They need to make as much money as they possibly can and will look for every opportunity to so. Do you think those things for sale in the plane are for your benefit? If you think that the web or newspaper provides the best prices you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Why do airline ticket prices vary? During peak seasons like Christmas, more people demand travel tickets. The number of airplanes and seats are pretty much the supply and it is limited.

A lot more people will buy tickets with departure dates near December 24 and return dates after January 2.

There aren’t enough plane seats to fit each and every person who would like to travel on that date – as a result airlines charge higher prices. How do you beat it? Book at least Three months prior. The thing is a lot of people don’t know their schedule since their work can easily interfere with their plans. Airlines know this and most importantly, would take advantage by asking for higher prices.

A corporate travel agency gets tickets in bulk and far ahead of time. They’re charged wholesale discount business class airfare unavailable to you on the net or elsewhere. It’s their incentive from airlines so that they too can generate income.

Travel Management Companies

Corporate travel agencies aren’t dinosaurs. They also use computers and also have internet. In a similar manner you may search the internet for prices, these companies have special software that can view dozens of websites all at once.

Agents know where to search for better airfares. Some agencies have special deals with selected airlines so they have access to the ticketing system. If you’re looking for discount business class airfare, or special prices for a group package it is advisable to go to these companies. You may negotiate prices with them whereas you can’t while booking online.

Customer Service

When you reserve on the net it is hard to change plans, but agents could be given a tentative date and can hold on for you till a certain time. The longer your company’s relationship with them, the greater your benefits is going to be due to your credibility.

Bad weather happens anywhere resulting in cancelled flights. If this happens what do you think anyone would do? They’ll call the airline simultaneously. Often it will take you ages to get to them or they won’t really be of much help.

A corporate travel agency is going to be there for you and understand what emergency actions to take. They already know your first question – how quickly could I leave? Good firms are knowledgeable and will act immediately for you. They will either rebook you in another airline quickly or find you an affordable hotel close by if the weather turns very bad.

Hotels & Meeting Management

Corporate travel management will not be restricted to plane tickets. They also know how to find hotel rooms in desperate situations at good prices too. In fact some even have meeting management services.

A corporate travel firm has far more advantages over doing reservations yourself. The advantages are discounts, customer service and also other services all leading to peace of mind.

 

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