Travelling for work abroad can be one of the major perks of the job and a really exciting adventure. Whether you’re off to meet a client overseas, have a big event to attend, or are just working from a different office for the week, travelling for work is a great experience. Once you’ve got the essentials covered, like business travel insurance, flights and hotel, there are still a few essential tips that you’ll need to follow when travelling for work.
Take a look at our top tips on everything from how to book your stay, to how to pack and how to make the most of your time while you’re away. And when you’re ready to compare business travel insurance, we’ll help you compare quotes in minutes.
How do I prepare to work abroad?
Preparing to work abroad can be a pretty stressful process leading up to the flight. Often, work builds up and before you leave you’ll either need to get it all finished and signed off or pass it on to someone else. Out top tips for organising your workload before you head off to work abroad are:
- Have the one-to-ones that you need: In order to make sure that your work will be covered you’ll need to let everyone know what needs to be done whilst you’re away. Don’t be scared to pull your colleagues aside and ask for some help on finalising things before you go away. Time is of the essence when you’ve got a big work travel trip coming up, and there’s nothing more stressful than leaving the office and not having everything sorted before you go away. A proper handover will mean you can concentrate on the trip at hand.
- Plan ahead and ensure that you have all the equipment you need: That might be a laptop, all your chargers, adapters, diaries etc. Whatever it is you need to get the job done when you’re travelling for work, make sure that you prep the equipment and remember to pack it. A top tip for those travelling with laptops is to charge it up to full capacity before you go through security as some airport security departments won’t allow you to travel with electrical equipment that doesn’t turn on.
- Get your business travel insurance sorted: First, find out whether your employer covers your business travel insurance, or whether it’s something that you’ll need to purchase yourself. It’s really important to protect your luggage and valuables like iPhones and laptops, so don’t underestimate the importance of getting it sorted.
- Get the essentials in order: It goes without saying that you’ll need to get your company credit card in order and make sure that your passport is in date before you do anything. Other essentials include your visas and itinerary. Plus, if you have other employees joining you on the trip, make sure that they are fully briefed with an itinerary, and have up-to-date passports and any visas they need beforehand, too.
What are the best business travel tips?
If you can book an overnight flight, you’re going to really thank yourself. Long-haul flights are a nightmare when you need to get off the other side and pull off a business meeting or a serious day of work. Overnight flights are heavenly when it comes to getting some rest, and if you fly business class it will give you the chance to enjoy all that extra room and help you catch some zzzs.
Even if you can’t get an overnight flight, it’s worth investing in an eye mask and trying to get your head down whilst you fly. With the time difference and the pressure of work when you get there looming, any moment of sleep you can get on the flight over will be really valuable.
We know that a Burger King or McDonald’s at the airport is pretty much customary wherever you’re from, but when you’ve got a job to do on the other side of that flight you’re going to need some clean energy to get you through. Opt for a healthy meal at the airport and try to drink lots of water on the flight. Flying can be really dehydrating and this can leave you feeling tired and sluggish when you step off the plane. Avoid overly salty foods and opt for clean alternatives with a side of H2O.
You might not like the sound of this one, but trust us here, the lighter you travel the easier you will find your business trip. Luggage can be one of the most difficult elements of travelling, so where possible just take carry on luggage that can be stored next to you or above you on the plane. This way, there’s no danger of your luggage getting lost or damaged, which can delay you and leave you without any business attire for your meetings. And if you can’t manage to get everything in one suitcase, make sure you have a clean shirt or top in your hand luggage just in case.
What jobs travel the most?
If you’ve got the travel bug and are looking for a job that allows you to travel, you should be looking at which jobs allow you to travel the most. There are so many jobs that allow travel, and even the ones that don’t often have conference or incentive opportunities that allow you to get away from the office. Take a look at the jobs that allow the most travel…
Pretty much everyone’s dream job – a travel writer is able to travel around exploring the world whilst they write to earn a living. The modern alternative is probably closer to a blogger or influencer, who is paid to travel and review different destinations. They sit somewhere between a marketing professional and a writer, but this dream job allows you to travel as part of the role.
As a buyer, you will often have to source products from all over the world. Some brands might even outsource part of their production process. Both these things might mean extra travel for you. A modern buyer will usually get lots of travel opportunities within their role.
Cruise Ship Worker
If you have any friends who work on cruise ships you’ll know how many beautiful places they get to see in a year. Their day-to-day life is travel, as all of their work is done whilst onboard or in port. Working on a cruise liner is notoriously hard work and requires a lot of skill and dedication, but the rewards are huge in terms of business travel opportunities and you get to meet lots of new people every trip!
Being a flight attendant allows you to work anywhere in the world, as your job takes place in the sky itself! It’s an exciting and dynamic role that mixes customer service with travel. They get a pretty good deal when it comes to days off, too - whilst their shifts are really long they get their days off in chunks as opposed to weekends like the rest of us. Plus, if you have to stopover this counts as work and you get to stay in a hotel and explore the area. Admittedly, most of the time they probably have to catch up on sleep before their next shift, but it’s a pretty awesome way to see the world without having to pay for the privilege.
Tips on booking your stay
1.Plan your hotel and transfer in advance
Planning is essential when booking your stay, and if you have time on your side it’s a good idea to book everything in advance. Sometimes we don’t have this luxury, but if you get briefed about the trip in advance, get booking your hotel ASAP to find out about discounts and best rates. Booking an airport transfer in advance can also be a great way to offload stress when you get there. Forget hailing down cabs or getting overcharged for public transport, liaise with your hotel to find out how you can get there quickly and easily from the airport.
2. Book your flight using a comparison tool
Google and Skyscanner both offer great tools to compare flight prices from across the web, meaning that you’ll get the best-value flight and the best times to suit you. Using a tool to discover the best flights can be a lot more effective than booking through a travel agent. However, if you’re going it alone and booking your flight yourself, it’s a good idea to book it on a credit card and get business travel insurance straight away. This way, you’ll be covered if anything goes wrong, or if your flight gets cancelled.
3. Book a hotel near where you’re working
How many times have we got excited about staying in a flashy hotel, gone ahead and booked it and then realised that it’s miles away from where we’re actually working. Don’t fall into this trap, or you will find yourself being flustered and dishevelled when you eventually rock up to your meeting or office. Booking a hotel that’s well connected and is relatively close to where you’re working is a good way to combat this and relieve a little stress when you get to your location.
Top tips for smooth business travel
Aside from the above, there are some tips you need to know about getting through the airport smoothly and ensuring that you pack correctly. The last thing you want is to be stopped on your way through, or become delayed by your own doing!
Take a look at these top tips and make sure your next trip goes without a hitch:
1.Get on a rewards programme
If you travel a lot, you may be a great contender for a rewards programme. You’ll gain points which will give you air miles and may make you eligible for an upgrade.
2. Check in online beforehand
To ensure that you breeze through check-in, be sure to check in online beforehand. The earlier you do this, the more likely you are to get the seats you want, so find out when your airline check-in opens and go through as soon as you can. Some airlines even allow you to check in online before you even get to the airport.
3. Aim for non-stop flights
Stop-overs are not only stressful and tiring, but they leave more room for error. Avoid any extra drama by trying to get non-stop flights to your destination.
4. Print key information
Things like hotel location, passport number and a copy of your important documents like business travel insurance will be really important. Everything is online these days – which is great – but if your phone dies or your laptop battery runs out and you need to access one of these key documents, you’ll be in trouble! Print out hard copies and keep them in your hand luggage.
Protecting your trip with business travel insurance
Ensure you’ve purchased business travel insurance to cover you and your employees when you travel. There’s nothing worse than something going wrong and realising that you haven’t covered yourself in the event of an emergency. Make business travel insurance one of the first things you do in order to protect you and your employees.
Insurance policies through Insurance Choice can offer protection when travelling for work whether domestically or internationally, and can include coverage for medical, political evacuation, baggage, possessions and personal money.
This can be a godsend if you have any damaged or lost property whilst you’re on your trip - whether that’s a company or personal item.
If you think you’ll just give it a miss for a short trip, you might be surprised to find out that booking business travel insurance is not only advisable but a legal obligation for companies with staff working abroad. For this reason, it’s advisable to take out an insurance policy as soon as bookings have been made to cover you for any eventuality.
Need business travel insurance soon? Get a quote from Insurance Choice today for group business travel insurance
so that you and your employees can travel knowing you’re protected.