Airline Travel – Tips for Flying Overseas on Business

Planning your overseas business trip should include making reservations as soon as your company confirms the trip. The seasoned traveler always plans to arrive the night before a scheduled meeting to avoid stress, missed flights, and jet lag.

Your travel agent will be aware of the plane’s layout, and should reserve a seat with the most leg room. The agent should also request your boarding pass and any special meal requirements in advance.

The seasoned traveler has a plan to avoid canceled flights. Many business executives double book flights with another airline carrier as a backup. This practice is a major cause of overbooked flights, so make sure unused reservations are canceled by your agent or office. If your flight is canceled, use The Official Airline Pocket Flight Guide to calculate your own rerouting, or call your travel agent or another airline. Don’t stand in line and wait for an attendant to reschedule you.

Overseas Travel Tips

Business casual is the best mode of dress. Avoid wearing clothing that broadcasts your nationality.

Register laptop computers and cameras with customs before you leave.

Use a credit or debit card with a four-digit numeric code. (Many ATM machines outside North America accept only four-digit PINs.)

Bring two copies each of the first past of your passport and photograph, important documents and telephone numbers, and credit cards with the customer relations telephone numbers in case you need to report a lost card. Keep one set of all this information with you, another set in your luggage.

800 numbers may not work outside the United States and Canada. Before you leave, call your bank and credit card companies to obtain their non-800 numbers so you can reach them in an emergency.

If you need cash, wire it through your bank or have a cashier’s check or money order sent to your hotel. Register with the Department of State before you leave. The Department can arrange for a small loan to carry you over until you can replenish your funds.

Obtain a list of recommended doctors in the countries you will be visiting through The Bureau of Consular Affairs before you leave on your trip. The Bureau of Consular Affairs website is http://travel.state.gov.

Bring a letter from your doctor stating your need for any medication, along with a copy of the prescriptions as proof of your need for it.

Carry all prescription medications in their original containers. Bring an extra pair of eyeglass or contact lenses.

When traveling globally, avoid coming across as a poster girl (or boy) for the image of The Ugly American. Wear business clothes and conduct yourself in a businesslike manner. You are representing yourself, your company, your country, and your culture. Research in advance the attitude and expectations of the culture you are visiting, and remember the old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Naomi Torre is a certified etiquette consultant and graduate of the prestigious The Protocol School of Washington. She is a leading authority in the etiquette and protocol industry, and is nationally recognized as an expert in her field. Naomi has appeared on BRAVO’S “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and The Millionaire Matchmaker.” Naomi is the author of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Great Entertaining” and the creator of the DVD “Dining with Decorum.: