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Business Travel Tips for Abroad: Know the Local Culture from Airport Transportation to Rude Hand Gestures

Traveling abroad requires more knowledge than booking a plane ticket. It comes down to etiquette and strategy. Business travel tips aren't general. You'll want to do some cultural research.

Did you know that you should give and take business cards with both hands and bow in Asia? Business card exchange, usually at the beginning of a meeting, is very important to doing business in countries like Korea, Japan, and China. The card should be given with both hands on edges of the card so they do not obstruct the writing. The writing should be facing the person receiving the card. When you receive a card, you should take it with both hands, pay attention to the card, and give some comment. Never put the card in your pocket.

business travel tips for abroad

Business Travel Tips for Traveling Abroad

International business travel comes with stresses. Whether you’re a court reporter or an attorney, there’s a good chance business will require international travel. Preparing for travel and the destination is critical to mitigating stress and business blunders like missed meetings or accidentally breaking social taboos. Here are a few general business travel tips for going abroad.


  1. CHECK YOUR PASSPORT. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of your trip. Some airlines won’t even allow you to board if you don’t follow this rule.


  2. BOOK A HOTEL well in advance and close to where you will be working. Often, the cheaper hotels are far away from business centers—often by the airport. Figuring out transit and cars in a foreign country can be daunting and throw off your timeliness.

    Ask an international court reporting firm with people in your arrival city for hotel recommendations. They will make suggestions based on the location of your deposition, as well as any other specifications you have. They can also make suggestions on meal options and sightseeing—from a local perspective.

    You may also want to check out the latest research on the most popular hotels for business travelers.

  3. TRANSPORATION FROM THE AIRPORT. The court reporting firm can suggest the best way to travel to and from the airport. They can probably even arrange for someone to meet you or your witnesses.

    business travel tips for traveling internationally
  4. LOCAL ETIQUETTE is extremely important. You never want to unknowingly offend anyone—especially a client or business associate. Without proper research, you can easily offend someone without saying a word. Have a conversation with someone living there and ask about local courtesy and habits. Ex-pats are perfect for this since they’ve often learned the hard way. A couple amusing examples:

    Careful where you waggle your finger! Your come-hither gesture may be a big signal to go away. Wiggling your index finger with your palm up in the United States is a signal for asking someone to step forward. However, in the Philippines, it is only used to beckon dogs and is considered very rude if aimed at a person.

    Wear contact lenses? Be careful on that Parisian jaunt. In France, touching your face below the eye with your index finger indicates you don’t believe the person with whom you’re speaking.

  5. GET LOCAL HELP leading up to your trip and soon after arrival. Business travel tips can be provided from the source! (There is only so much you can web search.)

    With team members around the world, Planet Depos employees are always ready to help. Whether you need to schedule a deposition or arbitration, recommendations for sightseeing, or advice on the culture, we’ve got you covered! 

business travel tips for international travel and cultural etiquette


Ready to schedule your international deposition? Have a quick question? Our international team is always ready to assist. Read our trending news and blog for more business travel tips for legal professionals.


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