Any travelling business person will tell you that life on the road is not quite the rock & roll lifestyle it’s cracked up to be. Travelling up and down the UK can be bad enough with all the time away from home, friends and family, but travelling abroad for business can be a whole different kettle of fish. Here we outline a few tips to make your all of your European business trips as stress free as possible.
Passport & Travel Tickets
You’re never going to get very far without your passport, so double-check it and make sure it has at least six months to go with at least two blank pages. It’s also useful to leave a photocopy behind with a friend, spouse or administrative assistant in the off chance anything should go wrong. Similarly it’s a good idea to buy your travel tickets well in advance, both in order to get the best deal and to buy yours before they sell out. Then it’s a case of keeping it somewhere safe until you need it and not leaving it behind.
Health & Safety
Many mainland European countries tend to have a different water system than you may be used to and often have different standards when it comes to cleanliness. Don’t be afraid to be extra vigilant when abroad and never drink the water even if the locals tell you it is okay. For example, German water is perfectly fine for locals to drink from the tap, but your body isn’t used to the different mineral content and you could still have an upset stomach. Keep free or reduced medical bills in mind and renew your European Health Insurance Card just in case you should become sick. Always avoid raw and uncooked vegetables, meat or fish. Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitiser or carry a pack of wet wipes to cleanse your seating area on the airplane or surfaces in the hotel room.
Being able to charge devices while on a business trip is critical. Because electrical outlets and currents vary, it’s important to have the appropriate adaptors. Every year, thousands of guests turn up at hotels and assume that their hotel will provide all the necessary adaptors. Remember what Samuel L Jackson said about assumptions? Do your research and find out what adaptors you need long before you go, and don’t leave it until the last minute to buy one.
It is inevitable that you will have to make small talk with a local, be it the taxi driver who picks you up from the airport or the hotel receptionist when you check in. Take the time to brush up on the culture, their customs and even the local news, it will help you to have a little knowledge about them. While you’re not expected to be fluent, it as least polite to learn a number of key phrases like hello”, “please” and “thank you”, all of which will help you go a long way.