For businesses with international dreams, trips overseas are not an uncommon occurrence. Whether it is to introduce your staff members to their colleagues in one of your offices in another country, or you are personally travelling to deliver a pitch to one of your prospects, the miles travelled by air, train and road can rack up pretty quickly. Of course, your business might only have a smaller need to travel overseas, perhaps to the occasional conference or exhibition; despite this, it is still helpful to keep certain things in mind when it comes to safety and expenditure.
Here are a few suggestions that you might find useful ahead of your next international trip – some of these could make a big difference to how much you end up spending…
Travel and reward clubs
Start out by doing a bit of research into the ways you could achieve savings and discounts on your transportation costs. There are many reward cards available, which could give you points to buy flights in the future. Some airlines and train operators also provide their own schemes – one example is the Flying Co corporate loyalty programme from Virgin Atlantic. It can make a lot of financial sense to join one of these schemes if you tend to use the same operators even just a few times a year; rewards include flights, upgrades and more.
Travel money is always important when you are travelling abroad, and you’ll want to get the best rates when you are converting your British Sterling into Euros or US Dollars. One service you can look at is Peer FX because you will skip the middleman, the banks. The idea is that you are matched to someone who is looking to purchase the currency you are selling, whilst selling the currency that you want to buy. Many SMEs trust this as a way to get a better exchange rate.
You and your employees need to stay connected when you are overseas, so mobile phones and tablet devices are often vital pieces of kit. Yet when not managed effectively, charges can be acquired at an alarming rate. There are ways to stay on top of phone bills whilst abroad, whether you get PAYG SIM cards on a local basis, or buy international roaming packs from your mobile supplier. It is important to turn off data connectivity in between uses though as smartphones tend to try and auto-update apps and emails every few minutes.
Allow for delays
Delays and disruptions are a common occurrence with international travel; this is especially true when you have a tight schedule for transfers. It can often be a safer choice to allow a larger transfer time, even staying overnight in an airport hotel if necessary. This means you won’t lose out on the ticket price when missing a flight, as you may need to pay a supplement to get moved to another aircraft leaving later.