10 tips for traveling abroad for work

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Traveling abroad for work—especially overseas—is a huge perk for most people, but it also comes with its unique set of challenges. Whether it’s keeping up with foreign customs, making sure you have everything you need, or bringing your A-game to every meeting, there are plenty of work travel hacks out there.

Start with these 10 tips for traveling abroad for work so you can have the most productive, stress-free, and enjoyable work trips.

Create a go bag for yourself

Traveling abroad and sometimes work trips seem to come from out of the blue. Whether it’s managing a client crisis or filling in for a colleague who can’t make it, you always need to be prepared.

To avoid leaving any necessities behind due to rushed packing, create a go bag for yourself that you can throw in your luggage. This way, you’ll always have your must-have travel accessories ready to go, so you only need to focus on picking out your clothes and any specifics for the trip.

Here’s a short list of some of the things you should keep in your go bag to make sure you’re always ready to go at a moment’s notice:

  • Portable charger (preferably one that doesn’t need to be plugged in while in use)
  • Passport
  • Travel-size toiletries
  • Plug adapter
  • Underwear and socks
  • Pair of versatile work-appropriate shoes
  • Extra medications (including must-have prescriptions like an EpiPen)

To keep these items organized, put everything in one section of your luggage (we recommend the zipped side) and use packing cubes to maximize space.

Prioritize Getting Quality Sleep

Jet lag is one of the biggest problems for people who travel abroad for work. When you’re adjusting to a new time zone, it can be difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep, leading to you feeling groggy. While it’s natural, it can also interfere with the productivity of your trip and your performance at important meetings.

So, what can you do about it? Try these tips for getting more quality sleep on your international work trips:

  • Try CBD vape juice to help you sleep
  • Bring a compact but comfortable neck pillow to help you get some shut eye on the plane
  • Start adjusting your sleep schedule a few days ahead of your trip
  • Bring a blackout eye mask
  • Take a hot shower or bath before laying down for bed

Create a morning routine for yourself so you have time to fully wake up before you have to be anywhere. That way, you can start the day off on the right foot.

Invest in TSA Precheck and Global Entry

Let’s face it, you’re not always going to make it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. To help make sure you aren’t left to the mercy of the TSA baggage check line, consider investing in Global Entry and TSA PreCheck to help save time and avoid stress.

For under $200, you could get both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry—a small fee to pay for the amount of time and hassle you can save. You can also check to see if your company will reimburse you for your expense. More than likely they will. After all, ensuring that you make your flights on time is in their best interest and it makes it easier if you’re traveling with a big group of colleagues.

Another investment that might be worthwhile is an airport lounge membership. That way, you’ll have a comfortable, quiet place to work while you wait to board your flight. It’s especially worth it if you’re likely to have long layovers.

Other quick tips to keep in mind

In addition to the big three, these tips can help you travel efficiently:

  • Pack your clothes in garment bags and wrinkle-release spray (there’s nothing worse than looking unprofessional because your clothes are wrinkled)
  • Invest in a high-quality carry-on bag and skip the baggage claim hassle
  • Join rewards programs so you can take advantage of your overseas spending
  • Keep backups of important documents in a secure storage app
  • Pack healthy snacks that will keep you energized and focused on long days
  • Always pack a stain-remover stick or wet wipes
  • Do your research ahead of time and know how you’ll get to work-related destinations and events from your hotel

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to impress your fellow travelers and even your boss with your professionalism and preparedness, no matter where the job takes you.

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