Jetting into the New Year with International Business Travel Tips

A few members of our team were lucky to spend some holiday time in Barcelona, helping a client with an international meeting.

The event went well, but required quick thinking and creativity from nearly all in attendance. That’s because weather snarled airports around the globe, causing canceled flights, delays, missed connections, and lost luggage.

Organizers who had planned to arrive a comfortable couple of days in advance showed up the night before. A few key personnel arrived with just hours to spare. Many people were without a change of clothes, let alone professional attire.

Luckily, most were able to fit in a quick shopping trip. And our team helped ensure that presentations were formatted, rehearsed and ready to go, even if the speakers were bravely battling jetlag. We learned a few things and thought others could benefit from our experience.

So here’s our New Year’s gift: A list of tips for performing at your peak while abroad.

Assuming you’ve done the basics, like making photocopies of your passport, securing any necessary visas, and getting cash in the proper currency, be sure to…

Store files online. Presentations, agendas, spreadsheets… If you’ll need it onsite, don’t let the only copy travel on someone’s laptop. Use Box, Google Drive or another online option to ensure everyone can access their materials from anywhere.

Rehearse at home (or on the plane). Don’t count on a leisurely rehearsal day to make sure you’re ready. Practice your presentation, with slides and any other visuals, well before you leave. If that’s not possible, spend some of your airplane time going over it in your head.

Be healthy before take-off. Travel takes its toll, especially if it’s drawn out with delays, extra flights and long waits in airports. To arrive as fresh as possible at your final destination, start getting plenty of sleep, fluids and healthy food at least a week before you depart. While en route, drink lots of water, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and try to eat light.

Carry on toiletries, and a change of clothes. If possible, bring enough for a day so you can be fresh should your luggage get lost. That includes clean underwear, a toothbrush, make-up and an extra shirt or lightweight dress that looks more professional than your travel wear.

Pack energy food. There’s always a chance you’ll have to skip a meal, or that the local fare won’t appeal to a sensitive stomach. Bring granola bars, trail mix, pretzels—something you can eat on the go that will help keep you fueled for the journey.

Let the hotel help. The concierges at our hotel were wonderful at tracking down our luggage and making sure it found its way back to us. Rather than spend time on the phone, struggling with an unfamiliar language, take advantage of the services that are available where you’re staying.

Save receipts. Most airlines will reimburse for the cost of replacing clothes and toiletries up to a certain amount per day. It might not be much in the long run, but every little bit helps.

Keep calm and carry on. Travel woes happen—everyone understands that. Focus on what you can control: doing your job as well as possible. And, if you get a free moment or two, make the most of the trip by seizing the opportunity to sightsee. You won’t regret it!

Are you looking for a new experience in the New Year? Give us a call to discuss how MPG can put your message in the spotlight.