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First Business Travel Abroad Checklist

May 26th 2015 at 2:23 PM

According to the latest news and survey from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), U.S. business travel spending is expected to increase in 2015. U.S. companies spent an estimated $292.2 billion last year and they are forecast to spend over $310 billion in 2015, 6.2% more.


“2014 was a stabilizing year for U.S. business travel, with continuous, sustained growth, despite a plethora of external issues internationally that have weighed down economies in Europe, Russia and Asia,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “This is a significant and encouraging sign of confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy.”

The report’s key findings also include:


  • An estimated 482.4 million trips were taken in 2014, representing a 1.4 percent growth over 2013 and higher expectations than the previous quarter, driven by accelerating performance during the second half of the year.

  • 2014 proved to be a comeback year for international outbound business travel, growing 6 percent in volume year-over-year, after falling 1.0 percent in 2012 and rising only 1.1 percent in 2013. This gain in volume amounts to an estimated $35.6 billion for 2014, a growth of 8.9 percent year-over-year.

  • Transient volume performed well in 2014, with an estimated 298.6 million trips taken, representing growth of 3.5 percent year-over-year. Volume will likely fall off pace slightly in 2015, although spending should continue, increasing from $130.4 billion projected in 2014 to an estimated $137.1 billion in 2015.

A business trip requires careful planning. Listed below are important steps you can take to prepare for a business trip anywhere outside the United States.


1. Visit a doctor.


Get a physical and update your vaccines. Depending on what country you are traveling to, you may need particular immunizations. Carry your medications with you on the plane so if your luggage is lost, you will have them on hand. If your insurance policy does not cover you abroad, consider purchasing a short-term policy that does.

2. Check your travel documents.

Most foreign countries require a valid passport to enter and leave. Some countries may allow you to enter with only a birth certificate, or with a birth certificate and a driver’s license, but all persons traveling by air, must present a valid passport to reenter the United States. Some countries require that a traveler’s passport be valid for at least six months beyond the dates of the trip.


3. Have a copy of your itinerary and travel documents.

Make two carbon copies of all your travel documents (Passport, visa, airline ticket, hotel accommodation, etc.) to remain on a safer side. Leave one copy with a friend or relative at home, so at least one person knows exactly where you will be staying and how to contact you in an emergency.


4. Notify your bank, credit card company, or other financial institutions that you are going overseas.

Some organizations and offices do not accept credit cards, so make sure to have a good amount of local currency.


5. Pack smart.

Pack light so you can move more quickly and have a free hand when you need it. Carry a minimum number of valuables and plan places to conceal them.


6. Learn about your destination.


Prepare a list with useful information about the destination country such as: official time, phone system, currency, electricity and types of plugs, language, holidays, office hours, security and temperature. Cultural customs differ from country to country. It’s in your best interest to know something about the culture, etiquette, business values, and particular communication styles before you arrive.


7. Make sure you have the contact information for the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are going.

Consular is always available (24X7) for emergency assistance at U.S. embassies, consulates, and consular agencies overseas. Sign up to receive important information from the embassy about safety conditions.

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