When it comes to business travel, there are always last minute things to finish before heading home to pack. In this post we have listed 8 things to do before you travel for business. If you have an assistant, or work with a Virtual Assistant (or one of our Client Managers) they can assist you with all points. Before you even jet off anywhere, we highly recommend that you share the following with your assistant:
- A photocopy of your passport information page
- Expiry date and issuing country
- Current valid visas in your passport
- Any previous shots you’ve had for travel
- APEC Card information (if you hold one)
- Frequent Flyer information (if you are registered)
With this information above, your Virtual Assistant / Client Manager will be able to manage the following checklist:
1. Check Travel Documents, Visa and Medical Requirements
Make sure your travel documents are not expiring within 6 months, and double-check all visa and medical requirements of the country you are travelling to. Some visas can be easily purchased online, while others, such as an Indian visa, is a little more complicated and takes a little longer.
2. Check Frequent Flyer Points are Assigned to the Ticket
If the travel has been organised by a travel agent, it is not uncommon for them to forget to list the Frequent Flyer number when booking the ticket. If you contact your frequent flyer hotline, they will be able to ensure that the account has been added to the ticket. In some instances, you may not be able to do this until after the trip, so it is best to have your assistant to follow up as soon as possible after you’ve returned.
3. Hotel Location, Check-in, and Facilities
When travelling in Asia, many of the airports are not located in the heart of the city, and this means travel time can vary. It is always good to know where your hotel is located based on the airport, as well as where your meetings are being held. While checking with the hotel on this information, it is good to verify check-in time and storage option, if you arrive early and are unable to check in. And let’s not forget checking what facilities the hotel offer – free internet connection in the room, gym, breakfast, in-room dining, executive suites, or restaurants at the hotel or nearby. This information beforehand helps with expectations and allows you to be well prepared.
4. Travel from Airport to Hotel, and Return
If you’re travelling to a foreign country where English is not the first language, it is always best to organise transport via the hotel. If you prefer to catch a taxi instead, ensure you have a print out of your hotel information in English and the language of the country you’re visiting. With that, include the hotel’s telephone number so that if you do get lost, you can easily call them and have them speak with your driver. If you’re happy to use the hotel transport, your assistant can organise the pick up as well as the drop off to the airport for your return flight home.
5. Voicemail and Email Notifications
If you have an office phone that is not manned daily, it might be best to leave a message that you are travelling and if you need to be contacted, the person can contact your assistant or send you an email. With regards to emails, if you’re not checking them regularly, it might be best to put an out of office message on your email so people can expect a delay. This goes for WhatsApp. It is such a popular communication tool in Asia, if you’re using the personal version of WhatsApp, change your status, and if you’re using the business version, have your automatic message stating that you’re travelling.
6. Check your Medical Insurance or Purchase Travel Insurance
It is a good idea to check that your medical insurance covers you while you travel, and to be fully aware of what your requirements are if you were to fall ill or have a medical emergency. If your insurance doesn’t cover you, we highly recommend Charings Insurance Brokers. Litai is who we use when purchasing insurance for ourselves as well as our clients.
7. Alert Your Bank and Credit Card Companies
These days the banks and credit card companies are more conscious of unusual activity and often if you’re using your credit card in another country, it triggers them to contact you. Instead, be a step ahead by informing your bank and credit card companies that you will be travelling during specific dates, and you’ll be travelling to specific countries. This will also help you with any fraudulent charges after you’ve returned home.
8. Well Organised Travel Documents
And before you walk out the door, check that you have the following:
- Copies of your credit cards and a listing of numbers to call in the event of loss or theft
- Medical insurance cards
- Passport and driver’s license
- Travel itinerary bookmarked on your phone (TripIt is great for this)
- Reservations and confirmations
- Easy access to electronic tickets
- Your Emergency contact information
All the best with your travels. Bon voyage!
There are many ways we can assist you with your business administration or marketing needs. Feel free to schedule a call with Nicole and explore how we can support you.