Planning a Business Trip Abroad - Tips & Tricks

September 2016

You need to attend a conference or seminar aboard? You want to strengthen business relationships with new customers and promote your products or services on foreign markets? You need to coach or assist a team working on a remote site? Here are a couple of tricks to plan your business trip and stay productive while travelling.
The success of your business trip will primarily depend on how well you have prepared it beforehand.

Preparing for a Business Trip

You will want to be very organized when preparing for your business trip. Don't leave packing and arrangements to the last minute!


Make sure to have compatible power adapters for your devices based on the country/countries you will be visiting. Learn more on: WorldStandards.

Keep track of the time differences when travelling through different time zones; you certainly don't want to miss an important meeting. Use websites like WorldTimeServer to keep an eye on the time, or configure alternate clocks on your PC or mobile.

Ensure that all necessary steps have been taken before travelling abroad (passports, visas, immunizations, medical information, contact information for embassy or consulate...).

Connecting and multi stop flights: locate airports on AirportGuide.com or WorldAirportGuides.com. Get information about the specifics of your flight on Route Happy and Google Flights.

Choosing the Right Device(s) for Your Business Trip

With so much available technology, it may be difficult to determine which device(s) should take priority for your trip. The need for devices will depend on the tasks you need to perform, the software you want to use, and the physical limitations with which you need to comply (such as the dimensions and weight of the device).


Smartphone: Very small footprint, access to emails and shared documents, runs some groupware and video conferencing apps. Connection to the internet can be achieved via Wi-Fi or mobile data (roaming).

Tablet: Gives you access to most of the features available on a smartphone, but on a larger screen.

Laptop: While it is a bit bulky, the laptop remains the ideal working platform for many business travelers.

Once you have made up your mind, you need to consider the following aspects:

Connectivity

Remember to get the right adapters and connectors for your laptop before departure. As for your smartphone and tablet, they can be charged from a PC using a simple USB cable.

Networks

More and more public places are now offering Wi-Fi access (free or paid): hotels, cafes, shopping centers and airports. It is nevertheless advisable to opt for a secure Wi-Fi connection. You can also use your mobile data plan (when roaming is available), but it will be more expensive.

Software

Make sure that the necessary applications have been installed and properly configured on your devices (access to shared documents, remote access to corporate resources, backup and recovery features enabled...).

Securing your devices

While laptops, tablets, and smartphones offer an ideal working platform for your business trip, they also present certain risks:


Unauthorized access to the company' data: loss, theft, or hacking of an unsecured mobile device.

Destruction of sensitive data or the device itself: human error, accident, or malicious act.

Here are a few preventive measures that can help to secure your mobile devices:

-Enable the basic security features such as firewalls, login passwords and drive encryption.
-Disable remote access to company's data.
-Backup sensitive data on a secure cloud on a regular basis (scheduled or manual).
-Restrict access to the company's server from abroad/unknown IP.
-Install and configure apps to track and remotely block/wipe your mobile devices (Find My Phone).

These security measures and recommendations, along with the compliance with safety standards and security policy established by the company, will help to make you business trip much safer.

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