a company can familiarize itself with cultural nuances which may impact the design, packaging or advertising of the product. Moreover, traveling abroad allows one to locate and cultivate new customers, as well as improve relationships and communication with current foreign representatives and associates
Typically, a successful business trip requires months of planning
Visas: Visas are required by many countries and cannot be obtained through the Office of Passport Services. They are provided by the foreign country's embassy or consulate in the United States for a small fee. The traveler must have a current U.S. passport to obtain a visa; many cases, a recent photo is required. The traveler should allow several weeks to obtain visas, especially if traveling to developing nations. It is important to note that some foreign countries require visas for business travel but not tourist travel. Therefore, when company representatives request visas from a consulate or embassy, they should notify the authorities that they will be conducting business. Business people should check visa requirements each time they travel to a ccountry because regulations change periodically. Contact an Export Assistance Center to learn about documentation requirements for the countries where you will be traveling. Vaccinations: Requirements for vaccinations differ by country. While there may not be any restrictions on direct travel to and from the United States, there may be restrictions if individuals travel indirectly, by stopping over in one country before reaching their final destination. Vaccinations against typhus, typhoid, and other diseases are advisable even though they are not required. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) maintains a fax-back system and a homepage to advise travelers of current and accurate country and region conditions. To receive a document dial 888-232-3299 and follow the prompts. The CDC internet address is http://www.cdc.gov. Foreign Customs: Since foreign customs regulations vary widely with each country, travelers are advised to learn in advance the regulations that apply to each country that will be visited. If allowances for cigarettes, liquor, currency, and certain other items, are not taken into account, they can be impounded at national borders. Business travelers that plan to carry product samples with them may be required to pay import duties. In some countries, duties and extensive customs procedures on sample products may be avoided by obtaining an ATA Carnet.
Planning an Itinerary
Travel Agents: Travel agents can arrange transportation and hotel reservations quickly and efficiently. They can also help plan the itinerary, obtain the best travel rates, explain which countries require visas, advise on hotel rates and locations, and provide other valuable services. Since travel agents' fees are paid by the hotels, airlines, and other carriers, this assistance and expertise may be free to the traveler. A well-planned itinerary enables a traveler to make the best possible use of time abroad. Although it is expensive to travel and a businessperson's time is valuable, an overloaded schedule can be counterproductive. Two or three definite appointments, confirmed well in advance and spaced comfortably throughout a day, are more productive and enjoyable than a crowded agenda that forces the businessperson to rush from one meeting to the next before business is really concluded. If possible, an extra rest day to deal with jet lag should be planned before scheduled business appointments. The following travel tips should be kept in mind: ·The travel plans should reflect goals and priorities. ·Obtaining names of possible contacts, arranging appointments, and checking transportation schedules should be accomplished...