7 tips for long-term business travellers
7 tips for long-term business travellers
Get a good office space in your destination
Having the best office space to work in your destination country is essential, not only for productivity but also to build a business and make contacts.
Having a local receptionist handling your incoming calls is something a lot of new offices and co-working spaces offer. They will transfer important calls to you and cut out those spammy calls that distract you from the job at hand.
Most spaces are equipped with everything you need from kitchen to water cooler, you’ll make more contacts with other workers locally which can lead to a wider range of contacts and ultimately, more business.
Have good look at all of the options long before you arrive. Phone the offices and speak to people there. Be clear about the requirement for the job you’ll be doing, whether it’s a mail service, dedicated phone line, fixed delivery address, and they will also help you find the places in the area for accommodation, leisure, and of course, business.
After your workspace, equally important is living space when choosing where to stay. You might see newly renovated modern looking suites, but having a bigger place (ideally with two or more bedrooms) is better. Larger accommodation, even if it’s slightly further out makes it so much easier to settle in. Having two rooms means you can use one for all of your clutter rather than having one bedroom full of clothes, laptops and empty suitcases.
Having a management company take care of things (towels, cleaning, bedding) will help, the last thing you need to be doing is searching for a laundrette in the evening.
According to Sophia Ludwig of Deutsche Bahn:
“In my opinion, giving business people the extra bit of comfort is the service quality of the employees working in that accommodation especially through personalization on the guest. What is more satisfying then after finishing a working day that was full of stress and hard decisions, to arrive in a place which knows you better than you even know yourself.”
There are lots of administration issues that will need taking care of at a local level. Make sure you set aside a few days early on as there will be the customary visits to the local council building to register yourself and to get set up with residency permits, residence documents, and possibly an ID card.
You never know what might happen while you’re on the move, so taking pdf scans of all of your documentation will help if ever need to go to an embassy for a lost passport, driving license etc.
Back home. Let your credit card company know that you will be out of the country, there are instances of cards being declined which lead to a long wait and a potential embarrassment when it gets declined.
Transport in your destination
If you’re going to be moving around, get the “preferential” package from the local car-rental agency. It’s a slight extra fee but it means you’ll always have a car available (they deliver from elsewhere if you need a car quickly), and more importantly, you won’t have to queue behind the line of tourists. These queues are sometimes an hour long and it can be very frustrating.
Check out all of the transport plans in the city and find out about getting a local transport card which is cheaper.
Uber isn’t everywhere, so don’t rely on it being available, find out from their website which cities they operate in.
It’s easy to hit Burger King every day whilst out of the country as it’s simply easier. Try to eat well, get into the local cuisine and you’ll find a much better diet which is usually a lot cheaper. Don’t be afraid to try something different, have look at the local specialities, local foods are usually much healthier than your standard food chains.
It’s good to get into local cuisine, you learn a lot about the culture from the food eaten and it’s great for conversation with the locals in your business/lunch meetings if you have an idea about their food.
Drink bottled water to start with. Your taps at home may have water you can drink, but the mineral content of water varies around the world which will mean an upset stomach for at least a few days as your body adjusts to the different mineral levels.
Packing cubes help with luggage organisation and are highly recommended by our team. If you are going to be travelling around in your destination country it’s best to be fully organised and can quickly get your suitcase packed late on a Sunday ready for a Monday morning meeting.
Packing cubes help with the organisation they also save a lot of space in your suitcase, and you are likely to add to your possessions whilst abroad, so every centimetre counts.
Join clubs, join a gym, and get out and meet people. If you’re moving long-term to a new place, it can get lonely at times.
In getting out there and meeting new people you’ll find your stay a lot more interesting, from learning the local language to meeting new people.
You are likely to make more business contacts through networks of people. Don’t be afraid to shout out on Reddit/travel to the city you’re visiting, there are expats all over the world, and they’re all in the same boat, so you’ll always find someone willing to meet up for a coffee. Plan for this, take a look at Internations.
Be strict with yourself and make sure you get out to do one thing a week. It can be easy to let the time pass without doing anything and you can get into the routine of just going back to your apartment.
And also invest in an e-reader. You’ll need to take your mind off work every now and again and it saves a ton of space.
And if you happen to be travelling to France, Belgium or Spain. Give us a call and we’ll give you all the advice you could ever need, no strings.
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