One of the most exciting aspects of traveling internationally for business is the opportunity to explore new places. Immersing yourself in another culture, exploring the landscape and architecture of a foreign land, and getting to know people you would never have met otherwise are all incredible experiences that go hand-in-hand with business travel. This benefits you in a variety of ways, not only opening up your mind to new possibilities, but there is even research that connects travel with better health and brain function.
All that being said, international travel comes with its pitfalls as well. When you are visiting a new country for the first time, it’s normal to feel anxious. While it is sure to be a memorable experience, when you are feeling nervous about travel, you want to prepare yourself as best you can to ensure that it’s memorable in a good way. Fortunately, in the Internet Age, there is an abundance of opportunities to learn about foreign countries. In this blog, we will go over some ways you can prepare yourself for traveling to a new country for the first time so you can be at ease and fully enjoy the experience.
When you are traveling for business, most of your itinerary is booked with meetings, speaking engagements, and socializing with business associates. But if you are fortunate enough to have some time there on your own, you will want to be as informed as possible when deciding what to do. Fortunately, the internet is full of travel review sites that make it easier than ever to research different attractions, learn the tips and tricks for traveling in that country, and see photos of others who have been there before you.
Talk to Your Lodging Accommodations
You can not only make sure that your accommodations are confirmed, giving you greater peace of mind, reaching out to your hotel can help you prepare to visit this new country. Hotels are happy to provide a variety of information, from directions to transportation to amenities to nearby attractions. You may even be able to arrange for airport transportation through your hotel. This also helps you establish a relationship with someone in the new country before you arrive, making you feel more comfortable in this unfamiliar place.
Look Into Health and Safety
When you are traveling within your country of origin, you may be less concerned about your health and safety, but most people are at least considering the implications when traveling abroad. To travel to some countries, you may need to receive certain vaccinations to enter. In addition, they may have specific safety concerns depending on the political climate of the country. Before you travel, make sure to check the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites to find out which vaccinations you need, as well as any specific health precautions to know. Signing up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the U.S. State Department can be helpful because they will send real-time updates on any safety or health concerns.
Prepare for Sleep Disruptions
Not only could you be contending with jet lag that is disrupting your sleep, you are also sleeping in an unfamiliar place, which for many can mean insomnia and other sleep problems. The first few nights of your trip, your brain will likely be on high alert, making it tough to get the rest you need when traveling. You can get ahead of this problem by preparing for the inevitable disruption of sleep. Pack earplugs and a sleeping mask, and consider investing in some melatonin, a nutritional supplement that helps promote sleep. You might also pack a couple of things that will remind you of home to help you, such as a blanket you usually sleep with. Finally, a relaxing face mask or bubble bath may help you unwind at the end of the day.
Learn the Customs and Basic Phrases
If you are traveling somewhere very different than your homeland in terms of language and culture, you want to familiarize yourself as much as possible to ease your mind about being in a foreign land. Some phrases you may want to memorize in the foreign language include:
- Where is the bathroom?
- Where is the hospital?
- When is the next bus/train?
- Do you speak English?
- Can you say that again?
- How much does this cost?
It’s also helpful to learn how to say “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” and “I’m sorry.” Before your trip, begin to familiarize yourself with listening to the language as well. Train your ear to understand the basic responses that they may have to these questions listed above. It may help to watch movies in the foreign language. Regardless of how you go about it, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the language and culture beforehand.
Don’t Forget Your Wireless Internet Hotspot
Even if you are in a foreign country, it doesn’t mean that you can’t stay connected. Having a wireless internet hotspot like the Sapphire MiFi device provides a great advantage the first time you are traveling in a country because you are able to instantly access navigation apps, reviews, language resources, and anything else that you can find on the Internet. Not only that, you can stay in touch with your friends and family, so even when you’re feeling lonely, you don’t have to be alone overseas. Shop Sapphire for a wireless internet hotspot today!