International Business Travel Tips, From Business Travelers
Bring Local Currency With You
"Take foreign currencies with you," advises Rosie in her comment, adding "In France, you cannot go to a bank to change dollars, you need to go to the Post Office, but they will NOT exchange $100 bills unless they have been verified as genuine by the French Banque de France. And this could take a minimum of 3 weeks. Apparently, a lot of fake $100 bills 'manufactured' in Russia have been floating about."
Notify Credit Card Companies In Advance
Annie recommends, "notifying your credit card company(s) of your itinerary. Also if on a cruise notify them of the name of the line & where they bill from. My card co. did recognize the name of the billing co. & it was really annoying as the card co. doesn't have 24/7 call service. Also check your medical insurance! Medicare participants especially need to check their supplemental as most only cover $10,000 out of the country (except emergencies in Canada)."
Scan Documents, Be Prepared, Know What To Do
"In addition to carrying copies of your documents and cards and leaving a set with family, scan copies to your email account," commented reader brinniewales. "This helps considerably in case everything you are carrying is lost or stolen and/or no one is available at home to respond to your immediate needs. Internet cafes are available around the world, so those copies of documents and cards are just a few clicks away.
If your passport is lost or stolen, and if possible, check the government website to determine the requirements for a replacement passport before going to your embassy or consulate. You may be able to complete the form online and print a completed copy to submit. Photos are necessary so, if necessary (if not taken at the embassy), take the appropriate number (and size) of photos."
Lou had a bunch of comments including, "Leave a complete list of the contents of your wallet and valuables home with someone who can immediately report these items to credit card companies, law enforcement, US Customs or insurance companies.
Business travel may require a VISA where tourist does not. Business travel laws and rules vary in most foreign countries. Also items you travel with may be considered for tariff. It's smart to have a letter of invitation from [your] client stating your business."
Better Than An App For That
"Here's a good idea for protecting your valuables and keeping track of your iPhone, your iPad, your laptop and even your camera, keys, luggage and passport," wrote Gordon. "Two years ago, I found Okoban and obtained tracker tags for a free global lost and found service. I put them on all of my valuables."
It paid off in Rome. I left my passport at a restaurant at lunch. That afternoon, I received a text message from Okoban saying that my passport had been found. I did not even know it was missing."
Know Your Cards And Don't Assume
Hanky wanted us to know that he "just returned from Europe a few weeks ago, so my experience is fresh.
- Be sure you have a credit card that can be used internationally, i.e. Citibank cards in the US are not used in Europe, call for the upgrade at least one month early and they will send a new card that can be used in all locations.
- Be sure you call all your banks and credit/debit cards to tell them your travel dates, so they don't reject a bill.
- Be sure you take the appropriate electric converters, we stayed at the Ritz and even they did not (have any to loan)"
Reader Joy has multiple suggestions too, advising:
- Give someone at 'home' your complete itinerary, and numbers where you maybe found.
- Take foreign money with you, and be ready upon landing to get where you need to be.
- Do not assume anything, so be prepared. Maps help too. (show and tell cab drivers).
- Take all medicines with you, in your possession, and not in luggage.
Thanks to all who commented, these are great tips we think others can use too. You lived and learned and we benefit. See more comments at "10 Tips For International Business Travel" or add yours here.
[Flickr photo by _tar0_]