For many people, the ability to travel the world for work is a dream come true. While international business travel is a great way to see the world, the reality is there are a lot of mishaps and annoyances that can happen along the way if you don't plan ahead.
Fortunately, you can catch these issues before they catch you. Here are just a few of the things you need to do before traveling abroad for business.
Call your bank and credit card company.
The last thing you want when you're traveling abroad for business is to get hit with those ATM or foreign transaction fees.
Fortunately, things are less complicated than they used to be. There are plenty of credit cards on the market with no foreign transaction fees at all. Additionally, some banks do reimburse you for any ATM fees or foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad.
Even still, while making financial transactions when traveling abroad isn't as much of a headache as it used to be, you'll still want to call your bank and credit card company to verify the information. If there are fees, your bank can at least tell you which international partners they have so you don't get slammed too badly.
On top of that, you need to actually tell them where you're going so they don't shut down your account.
Figure out your international cell phone situation.
Staying in communication with your team while traveling abroad also isn't as complicated as it used to be, but you still need to plan ahead.
If you're going to be using Skype for free calls, you'll need to map out just about every internet café you can find. That's what I did when I went to visit a friend in Mexico earlier this year and it came in handy.
The good news is, some cell phone providers like T-Mobile, give you unlimited text and data in several countries as a part of your plan. If the country you're traveling to is not included in your plan, you may be able to add it for a small fee.
Of course, you'll have to call your cell phone company to see what the deal is. Roaming charges are not cute so make sure to do your due diligence before boarding a plane.
Make sure your team knows what to do while you're traveling.
Many business owners complain that it's difficult to travel because they feel like they can't take their eyes off their business. Often times this is because of a problem in delegating.
If you're going to be traveling abroad for business, you'll want to make sure your team is prepared. For example, I'll leave tasks for my virtual assistant in our project management system ahead of time in case it's difficult for me to find some internet access. She also knows which emails to answer and which ones she should notify me of.
The key is to make your expectations clear and leave instructions before you travel. Otherwise, you may find yourself playing a game of phone tag while you're abroad.
By preparing for your trip ahead of time, you can get make sure you don't have any unexpected surprises while you're traveling abroad for business. While it takes some effort, it's worth it just to avoid the potential headaches.