29/09/2014

By John Williams, Head of Breakthrough, Santander UK


So far we have looked at what you can do to make the most of your forthcoming overseas business visit. The last week is a crucial time, as you finalise details and ensure you’ve got everything you need. In this final week, the thing you should most often be thinking is “what have I forgotten?”

This article offers a checklist to ensure you have not missed anything essential before travelling. You should now re-read your strategy for the trip, making sure you know why you are going and what your company expects of you. You should also have a last chat with your UKTI international trade adviser and see your bank contact again.

Things to do:
- Check the weather forecasts
- Confirm your meetings in the market
- Confirm rendezvous at outgoing and return/intermediate airport(s)
- Confirm car hire booking/delivery
- Confirm flight and hotel reservation
- Copy your passport, insurance, emergency numbers and ticket/itinerary details and leave copies with your office and family
- Make sure you have any medicines you need
- Start to allow for any major time difference in the target market – adjust your sleep pattern, eat earlier/later, etc.
- Set a reminder to put your email to “out of office”
- Make sure you have the keys for your house (and set a reminder on your smartphone so you don’t forget to lock the door!)
- Have a last-minute check on the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) website for Advice to Travellers to your target market

Things to take:
- Passport (valid for a minimum of six months) with visa(s) in it
- Tickets for flights and or trains, car hire confirmation and international driving permit
- Currency and/or credit cards
- Trade mission brochure, guide book and market fact sheet
- Detailed itinerary with contact list
- Hand-carry bag to put it all in
- Mobile phone – one that works overseas!
- Laptop/tablet – as well as relevant chargers and adapters
- Stationery –company branded
- Camera, if your ‘phone doesn’t have one
- Sample(s) and gift(s), if you are allowed to bring them into the market
- Clothing (work and leisure) – take one outfit, two business shirts/blouses and two sets of underwear for each day
- Book(s) to read, if you don’t have a tablet reader
- Toiletries, contact lenses, spare glasses, sunglasses – glasses are especially important as you’re may not be able to source swiftly another pair abroad
- Medicines – ensure you have everything you need as medication can be difficult to get hold of in some countries
- Any business related papers you may need – customer order form, MOU, sample contract, business cards, invitation or sponsorship letters, company letterhead and translated literature

Hopefully you’ve been able to do everything you need to before going away and have remembered every item on our list. However, if all else fails, just remember – passport, tickets, money!