Use These 10 Finance Tips to Minimize the Stress of International Business Travel

Use These 10 Finance Tips to Minimize the Stress of International Business TravelTraveling internationally can be tricky the first few times, to say the least. Even well-seasoned travelers can get nervous when heading to new places. When traveling for business, it is extremely important to get extraneous affairs in order as quickly and efficiently as possible so that the main reason for the trip can be addressed with minimal concerns. Some of the main problems of traveling internationally to unfamiliar countries are money problems. These can be solved to a large extent with some know-how and advanced preparedness.

There are several measures that business travelers can take to help make their international travels go as smoothly as possible, but the basis for all of them is research. A business traveler should do as much research as possible about a location before heading there. Having some knowledge of what to expect beforehand can save time and energy that can be directed towards business concerns instead. This includes basic details like local shops, the closest hospital, and the local culture around business matters. Some smart things to look up with respect to finances are the exchange rate of a country’s currency compared to the currency the business operates in, credit card fees in the country, and how to ask basic questions and say simple sentences in the local language of that country. Doing some research beforehand is essential for true preparedness.

It is tempting to want to pay in the home currency of the business, and many businesses in other countries offer instant conversion from a currency to the local one when someone is paying at the register. This is called Dynamic Currency Conversion. However, businesses that offer this service may have added fees or other factors that make this a worse idea than just paying in the local currency. It is important to avoid unnecessary wastage of funds, especially when there are much simpler, cheaper options. Before heading off to a foreign country, it is useful to have some of that country’s currency on hand, along with the currency of the home country of the business. It is unusual to get a truly good rate for a currency exchange in a foreign country or even at currency exchange counters in airports. Instead, it is better to get some foreign currency from a nearby bank or credit union before the trip. These places are more likely to offer good exchange rates, so they make great options to make the most out of available funds.

It is important to have a credit card that can be used in foreign countries without extra fees or other complications. If the business does not already have a travel credit card, it is worth looking into what the perfect business credit card would be for a business with specific travel needs. Using this as a primary payment option rather than cash is both convenient and more easily traceable, so all expenses can be accounted for. It is also a much more safe option than cash, especially if it has a smart chip. Credit cards with smart chips are the most secure, which is one of the main considerations for a business when choosing a credit card. Of course, it is important to research whether the location being traveled to is credit-card-friendly, because this might affect the amount of cash that needs to be carried and how much the card can actually be used.

Notifying the bank before leaving the country is a precaution that is obvious but easily forgettable. If the bank suddenly sees transactions in a completely different country, there is a good chance they will lock the account being used because it is a security concern. Letting them know in advance to expect these transactions is a very important measure to take before traveling internationally.

Automated payments are an extremely useful feature for international business travelers. It is essential to have paid all bills in the home country before and while traveling, and it can be difficult to do this in places where the internet connection is weak or if there are issues with the website being accessed internationally. Additionally, time zones can make it confusing as to when the bills are even due. It is worth the effort to set up automatic payments, just to ensure no they do not slip through the cracks when traveling internationally.

To help condense all this information into one helpful list, Fundera has created an infographic on money tips for international business travelers. It can be used as a checklist as well as a guide, and is a handy thing to have for all international trips.

The most important thing to do before setting off on a trip is to double-check all details. Making lists and noting down reminders can be helpful just to keep track of everything that needs to get done before the trip begins. It can also help to visualize the trip itself and go through every step of what might be needed at every facet of a trip.

Of course, even after all this, it is very possible that unforeseen circumstances could arise. The purpose of doing as much as possible beforehand is to take some of the pressure off when unexpected things do happen, because there is less to deal with in other areas of the trip. This will let the traveler focus solely on the problem at hand rather than having to keep track of a large amount of extra details. After all, the main purpose of these trips are to further the business, and there is no better way to make sure that it is a successful venture than to be prepared and organized.

Where to Exchange Currency and Other Must-Know Money Tips for International Business Travelers - #infographic
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