Learn about the locality before you leave
Whether heading to Singapore, with its reputation as the world’s digital growth hub, or other similar centers, such as TechCity in London, the Mitte district of Berlin, or the Liberties area of Dublin, you’ll want to know how to get the most from your trip. One place to start is with one of the many sites specializing in country briefings, such as Expat Arrivals, or country specific publications such as Expat Living in Singapore. These cover everything from jobs, property and health care to culture, sports, education – some will even help you get married or find a pet hotel.
Stay safe and healthy
Wherever you go, you’ll want to look after yourself. Preplan before you go, and remember international health services often provide health and safety profiles of countries, cities and even specific districts. Arm yourself with a handy “drug translation” tool to help you find the local name of any household or prescription medicines while abroad.
Get connected for inside news
A healthy social network is as important as a strong business network, so make sure you start building yours before you arrive. Services such as Expat Network and InterNations can help you meet fellow citizens who understand the issues you’ll face as a new arrival. They also produce guides to specific locations and on various issues such as finance, insurance and cultural differences.
Plan your trips
Working overseas is extremely demanding and frequent trips between countries can be the most demanding part of all. That’s why online tools, such as Tripit Pro, that enable you to plan and manage your travel itinerary on the go can help relieve some of the stress. Not only can you link your flight, hotel and restaurant reservations but you can also get alerts to travel delays and help finding alternative flights, so there’s less chance of missing important appointments.
Keep up with the latest apps
Whether it’s local maps, maps of your airport terminal, maps of museums and coffee bars, there’s an app or digital tool for it. Helping you plot your route and order your thoughts ahead of meetings are just some of the amazing things you can now do on the move. Particularly useful are the number of instant translation devices, such as TripLingo and Verbalizeit, to help you cope with the basics of life in most countries.
Use Uncle Sam’s services
The U.S. government provides a range of online tools to help you manage your affairs as a citizen abroad. These include help with your passport, electronic voting in elections and advice on what to do in an emergency (such as a natural disaster or civil unrest). It also offers the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which provides you with a link to your local embassy or consulate and updates on security conditions in the country you are visiting.
Above all, relax and have fun
Yes, you are overseas on business and yes, you have to work but you also owe it to yourself (and your family) to take time out and relax. It is all too easy for business travelers to lose their sense of perspective and spend every waking hour on the move or in meetings. Downtime will not only boost your health but can also help you improve your productivity. For tips on what to do in your free time, search out expat bloggers who have made a life of living abroad – and enjoy.
Georgia Ellis is a writer, who works in digital publishing. She mainly writes about business and technology. Contact her at