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International business travel can be very exciting! One can experience different cultures and customs, with a variety of foods to taste and sights to see. However, traveling to a country outside the United States can bring its own challenges; being hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from your office and support system, careful planning is essential for a successful international trip.

Below are tips to help facilitate a smooth and successful journey:

*Convert some currency-
Although you won't get as favorable of an exchange rate when converting U.S. dollars before departure, it is not only convenient, but useful to have a little local currency when you arrive at your destination for things like tipping porters and obtaining transportation to your hotel.

*Understand the exchange rate-
Converting U.S. dollars to local currency can be challenging and confusing while in the midst of a financial transaction. Avoid this added stress by studying the exchange rate online until you are acclimated.

*Let your credit card company know you'll be traveling overseas-
When traveling outside of the U.S., make sure that your credit card company is aware that you'll be using their card in another country. Otherwise, they may (understandably) think that your transactions are fraudulent and decline the card.

*Check the electrical current-
Most foreign countries use a different electrical current than the United States. Because of this, your cell phone charger, shaver and other appliances won't work without an electrical converter. Make sure to buy or borrow the correct one for your destination before your departure. They can be difficult and pricy to find once you've arrived overseas.

*Temporary health insurance-
Many U.S. health insurance policies do not cover policyholders if they become ill or need medical assistance while they are outside of the country. Check with your Human Resources department to see whether your company's health insurance will cover you on your trip. If not, request a temporary policy during your time of travel.

*Photocopy important documents-
Make copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance card and any other pertinent information necessary for travel. It's much easier to get a replacement when you have a copy of your legal documentation. Apply to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need to have your passport replaced.

*Language-
Pick up a book of greetings and phrases in the language of the country you are visiting. Being able to speak even a few words of their language can go a long way towards soothing relations and cultural differences between you and your international business associates.

*Packing-
Be prepared for the possibility that the airline may lose your checked luggage. Plan ahead by packing toiletries (within TSA restrictions), as well as a change of clothes, in your carry-on bag. If a checked bag is temporarily lost by the airline, it is usually recovered within less than 24hours. When possible, avoid this scenario by packing only as much luggage as you can carry on the plane.

To learn more about international travel and planning for successful business trips, contact Montrose Travel Corporate Services at 800-766-4687 or visit us online at www.montrosecorporatetravel.com.

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