Tuesday, 29 November 2011


We decided as a group that the size of the guide would be the same size as a passport. We decided this because David's how to question was about passports and he did alot of research into it, so we wanted to link his question in some how and a passport links in with the whole idea of a pocket sized guide to do with businessmen travelling.

Passport Colours

As the design of the guide is going to be passport shape i thought basing the colour scheme on the colour of the passport would work well. I am wanting to keep it to a minimal colour scheme to keep the design simple and clean, i think this will appeal to a business person more.

Business travel abroad

I have researched into general information about travelling abroad especially for business people. This includes everything from passports to vaccinations and itineraries to meetings.

Passports: A valid U.S. passport is required for all travel outside the United States and Canada. Passports may be obtained through passport agencies, certain local post offices, and U.S. district courts. Application may be made in person or by mail. A separate passport is needed for each individual who will be traveling. Applicants must provide proof of citizenship, proof of identity, two identical passport photos, a completed application form, and the appropriate fees. The cost is $65 per passport ($40 for travelers under 18). The usual processing time for a passport (including time in the mail) is three weeks, but travelers should apply as early as possible, particularly if time is needed to obtain visas, international drivers licenses, or other documents. Emergency situations can be expedited within two weeks for an additional $30 and proof of the need for the service. REMINDER: If you have a current passport, make sure that it remains valid for the entire duration of the trip. some countries require that the passport has a validity period of up to one year after travel to the country.

Visas: Visas are required by many countries and cannot be obtained through the Office of Passport Services. They are provided by the foreign country's embassy or consulate in the United States for a small fee. The traveler must have a current U.S. passport to obtain a visa; many cases, a recent photo is required. The traveler should allow several weeks to obtain visas, especially if traveling to developing nations. It is important to note that some foreign countries require visas for business travel but not tourist travel. Therefore, when company representatives request visas from a consulate or embassy, they should notify the authorities that they will be conducting business. Business people should check visa requirements each time they travel to a ccountry because regulations change periodically. Contact an Export Assistance Center to learn about documentation requirements for the countries where you will be traveling.

Vaccinations: Requirements for vaccinations differ by country. While there may not be any restrictions on direct travel to and from the United States, there may be restrictions if individuals travel indirectly, by stopping over in one country before reaching their final destination. Vaccinations against typhus, typhoid, and other diseases are advisable even though they are not required. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) maintains a fax-back system and a homepage to advise travelers of current and accurate country and region conditions. To receive a document dial 888-232-3299 and follow the prompts. The CDC internet address is http://www.cdc.gov.

Foreign Customs: Since foreign customs regulations vary widely with each country, travelers are advised to learn in advance the regulations that apply to each country that will be visited. If allowances for cigarettes, liquor, currency, and certain other items, are not taken into account, they can be impounded at national borders. Business travelers that plan to carry product samples with them may be required to pay import duties. In some countries, duties and extensive customs procedures on sample products may be avoided by obtaining an ATA Carnet.

Travel Agents: Travel agents can arrange transportation and hotel reservations quickly and efficiently. They can also help plan the itinerary, obtain the best travel rates, explain which countries require visas, advise on hotel rates and locations, and provide other valuable services. Since travel agents' fees are paid by the hotels, airlines, and other carriers, this assistance and expertise may be free to the traveler.
A well-planned itinerary enables a traveler to make the best possible use of time abroad. Although it is expensive to travel and a businessperson's time is valuable, an overloaded schedule can be counterproductive. Two or three definite appointments, confirmed well in advance and spaced comfortably throughout a day, are more productive and enjoyable than a crowded agenda that forces the businessperson to rush from one meeting to the next before business is really concluded. If possible, an extra rest day to deal with jet lag should be planned before scheduled business appointments. The following travel tips should be kept in mind:
  • The travel plans should reflect goals and priorities.
  • Obtaining names of possible contacts, arranging appointments, and checking transportation schedules should be accomplished before the trip begins. The most important meetings should be confirmed before leaving the United States. The Department of Commerce can offer assistance through programs such as the Gold Key Service. Refer to Chapter 13 for additional information.
  • As a general rule, the businessperson should keep the schedule flexible enough to allow for both unexpected problems (such as transportation delays) and unexpected opportunities. For instance, accepting an unscheduled luncheon invitation from a prospective client should not make it necessary to miss the next scheduled meeting.
  • The traveler should confirm the normal work days and business hours in the countries being visited. In many Middle Eastern regions, for instance, the work week typically runs from Saturday to Thursday. Moreover, lunch hours of two to four hours are customary in many countries.
  • Foreign holidays should also be taken into consideration. The Department of Commerce's Business America magazine annually publishes a list of holidays observed in countries around the world. Information from this useful schedule, entitled "World Commercial Holidays," can be obtained by contacting the local Export Assistance Center.
  • The U.S. traveler should also contact an Export Assistance Center to learn of any travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State for countries to be visited. Advisories alert travelers to potentially dangerous in-country situations. The Department of State also maintains a telephone service for recorded travel advisories: 202-647-5225.
  • The U.S. business person should be aware that travel from one country to another may be restricted.

Check List for Business Meetings and Travel Abroad

  • Schedule meetings before leaving the United States - Businesses should determine if an interpreter is required and make all necessary arrangements prior to arriving. REMINDER: Business language is generally more technical than the conversational speech with which many travelers are familiar and mistakes can be costly.
  • Prepare new business cards in proper languages - In most countries, exchanging business cards at any first meeting is considered a basic part of good business manners. As a matter of courtesy, it is best to carry business cards printed both in English and in the language of the country being visited. Some international airlines can arrange this service.
  • Prepare for adverse weather conditions - Seasonal weather conditions in the countries being visited are likely to be different than the United States.
  • Address health care issues - Plan appropriately for prescription drugs, health insurance, vaccinations, diet, and other matters.
  • Electrical current - A transformer and/or plug adapter may be needed to demonstrate company products and to use personal electrical appliances.
  • Money - U.S. banks will be able to provide a list of ATMs overseas, exchange rates, and traveler checks.
  • Transportation - Companies should prepare for any travel in-country via public or private transportation.
  • Communication - Individuals should leave phone and fax numbers and an itinerary with proper company officials in case of an emergency.
  • Culture - Individuals should familiarize themselves with basic cultural traits such as hand signals, street signs, and basic courtesy such as tipping.
  • Foreign goods - Individuals should be aware of U.S. Customs regulations on what can be brought into the United States.
Cultural Factors
   Business executives who hope to profit from their travel should learn about the history, culture, and customs of the countries they wish to visit. Flexibility and cultural adaptation should be the guiding principles for traveling abroad on business. Business manners and methods, religious customs, dietary practices, humor, and acceptable dress vary widely from country to country. It is recommended that business travelers prepare for country visits by reading travel guides, which are located in the travel sections of most libraries and bookstores.
   Some of the cultural distinctions that U.S. firms most often face include differences in business styles, attitudes toward development of business relationships, attitudes toward punctuality, negotiating styles, gift-giving customs, greetings, significance of gestures, meanings of colors and numbers, and customs regarding titles. For example, consider the following:
The head is considered sacred in Thailand so never touch the head of a Thai or pass an object
over it.
   The number 7 is considered bad luck in Kenya and good luck in the Czech Republic, and it has magical connotations in Benin. The number 10 is bad luck in Korea, and 4 means death in Japan.
   In Bulgaria a nod means no, and shaking the head from side to side means yes.
   The "okay" sign commonly used in the United States (thumb and index finger forming a circle and the other fingers raised) means zero in France, is a symbol for money in Japan, and carries a vulgar connotation in Brazil.
   The use of a palm-up hand and moving index finger signals "come here" in the United States and in some other countries, but it is considered vulgar in others.
   Understanding and heeding cultural variables such as these are critical to success in international business. Lack of familiarity with the business practices, social customs, and etiquette of a country can weaken a company's position in the market, prevent it from accomplishing its objectives, and ultimately lead to failure.
   American firms must pay close attention to different styles of doing business and the degree of importance placed on developing business relationships. In some countries, businesspeople have a very direct style, while in others they are much more subtle in style and value the personal relationship more than most Americans do in business. For example, in the Middle East, engaging in small talk before engaging in business is standard practice.
   Attitudes toward punctuality vary greatly from one culture to another and, if misunderstood, can cause confusion and misunderstanding. Romanians, Japanese, and Germans are very punctual, whereas people in many of the Latin countries have a more relaxed attitude toward time. The Japanese consider it rude to be late for a business meeting, but acceptable, even fashionable, to be late for a social occasion. In Guatemala, on the other hand, one might arrive any time from ten minutes early to 45 minutes late for a luncheon appointment.
   When cultural lines are being crossed, something as simple as a greeting can be misunderstood. Traditional greetings may be a handshake, a hug, a nose rub, a kiss, placing the hands in praying position, or various other gestures. Lack of awareness concerning the country's accepted form of greeting can also lead to awkward encounters.
   People around the world use body movements and gestures to convey specific messages. A misunderstanding over gestures is a common occurrence in intercultural communication, and misinterpretation along these lines can lead to business complications and social embarrassment.
   Proper use of names and titles is often a source of confusion in international business relations. In many countries (including the United Kingdom, France, and Denmark) it is appropriate to use titles until use of first names is suggested. First names are seldom used when doing business in Germany. Visiting business people should use the surname preceded by the title. Titles such as "Herr Direktor" are sometimes used to indicate prestige, status, and rank. Thais, on the other hand, address one other by first names and reserve last names for very formal occasions and written communications. In Belgium it is important to address French-speaking business contacts as "Monsieur" or "Madame," while Flemish-speaking contacts should be addressed as "Mr." or "Mrs." To confuse the two is a great insult.
   It is also important to understand the customs concerning gift giving. In some cultures, gifts are expected and failure to present them is considered an insult, whereas in other countries offering a gift is considered offensive. Business executives also need to know when to present gifts - on the initial visit or afterwards; where to present gifts - in public or private; what type of gift to present; what color it should be; and how many to present.
   Gift giving is an important part of doing business in Japan, where gifts are usually exchanged at the first meeting. In sharp contrast, gifts are rarely exchanged in Germany and are usually not appropriate. Gift giving is not a normal custom in Belgium or the United Kingdom either, although in both countries, flowers are a suitable gift when invited to someone's home.
   Customs concerning the exchange of business cards also vary. Although this point seems of minor importance, observing a country's customs for card giving is a key part of business protocol. In Japan, for example, the Western practice of accepting a business card and pocketing it immediately is considered rude. The proper approach is to carefully look at the card after accepting it, observe the title and organization, acknowledge with a nod that the information has been digested, and perhaps make a relevant comment or ask a polite question.
   Negotiating is a complex process even between parties from the same nation. It is even more complicated in international transactions because of the potential misunderstandings that stem from cultural differences. It is essential to understand the importance of rank in the other country, to know who the decisionmakers are, to be familiar with the business style of the foreign company, and to understand the nature of agreements in the country, the significance of gestures, and negotiating etiquette.
   As illustrated in the examples, it is very important to have a working knowledge of the business culture, management attitudes, business methods, and consumer habits before traveling abroad. This can be accomplished through research or training and is very likely to have a positive impact on overseas travel

Airport tips

The airport is always the most stressful part of any journey, so within my guide i am going to include some tips on how to make it easier for yourself and how to make it quicker so you don't need to be there that whole 3 hours before hand.

1. Be Smart About Checking In
   "Rule No. 1: Don't check luggage," says Roy Ramsey, director of operations of Betty Maclean Travel based in Naples, Florida, which services the luxury travel market.
   Checking luggage is bad for two reasons, according to Ramsey. First, a lot of the airlines now charge for a bag, let alone two. "Second, you're delayed leaving the airport [because you have to wait for your bag at baggage claim], and it can get really busy with a lot of other bags, and that delay can be quite long."
   Also, don't make the mistake of trying to bring your holiday present with you on the plane. You may have to unwrap them for security, which wastes time and money. Better to ship all your gifts and presents by UPS than try to bring them on board, says Ramsey. You'll be sorry if you do.
   And, if you must travel with a bag that needs to be checked, take Ramsey's advice. "If you're staying at a hotel, they have shampoo, conditioner, and hand creams," he says. "Plus, there are laundries all over the world. Minimize the amount of things you bring with you."
   If you must check bags, says David Ourisman, an independent travel consultant based in San Francisco, California, check in online from home. It's easy, too, he says. "Say how many bags you're going to check and just drop it off at the kiosk after printing the labels," he explains. "If you're checking bags and the lines inside are especially long, check your bags with the skycap out front."
   By doing so, you avoid the line at the kiosks. Most airlines allow you to print the boarding pass generally 24 hours in advance of your flight. Checking in online is just another way to skip a step before encountering airport security.
2. Organization Will Save You Time
   If you've seen Up in the Air, you know how the road warriors do it. It's all about organization and careful calculation.
   "When you get to the security line, be organized," says Ourisman. "Wristwatch, wallet, cell phone—stick it in your carry-on. Put any toiletries into a bag next to your laptop so you're not bumbling for stuff."
   All you're trying to do in the process of getting through an airport fast is minimize the risk of the unexpected. That means you should be aware of all airport policies and regulations before you head to the airport.
   "Make sure if you're doing a carry-on, you go to the website of your airline to make sure everything is compliant with security (regulations)," says Leslie Erickson, a travel consultant based in the Atlanta metro area, who focuses on international european travel. "You do not want to be screened out; that will take a while."
3. Book the Premium Tickets
   Perks matter. Ellen Craig, a software consultant based in San Francisco, recently booked a trip to London. For business? No. For pleasure? Sort of. She did it to retain her elite status.
   "I don't have a meeting in London, I'm just going to get my miles so I can get over that 50,000 miles for 2010," she says. "The perks are amazing. Get your premier or elite status because it just makes the entire airport process immensely more pleasurable—or less painful," she says.
   If you book tickets in the premium cabin, says Ourisman, you get dedicated check-in and security lines. "It could save a lot of time by being in a line of five people instead of a line that stretches down the length of the terminal," he says.
   Ramsey agrees. "If you're in business class, when they make the boarding announcement, the first and business go on a different line, and that means there's more room for your carry-on luggage." Often, the bins fill up quickly, and then you're stuck and have to check your carry-on. If you need to get off the plane really fast, it pays to have the luggage right above you. "It's worth the money," Ramsey says. "Trust me."
4. An Airport is Not a Fashion Runway
   "Haven't you ever stood in line behind a woman trying to get her $600 Ferragamo boots off?" says Ramsey. "Trying to be stylish on an aircraft this time of year is a serious mistake."
   Ourisman agrees. He doesn't even wear his belt to the airport. He just packs it in his bag.
   "Take off any type of jewelry," advises Erickson. Also, if women are wearing an underwire in their bra, it could set off the metal detector. "You will be searched," she says. "Who would think a little piece of wire in an undergarment could set off the detector?"
   Most of all, wear the right footwear, says Craig. "You want shoes that you can flip off easily. Where you're getting your bucket out at the security line, there's this sense that everyone is getting stressed out," she says. "Don't go barefoot either, [wear socks]," she warns.
5. Travel When It's Quiet
   "Here's my philosophy," Ramsey says. "You never fly on Friday afternoon from one of the major metropolitan airports." That's when all the road warriors are trying to get home for the weekend, he explains. They also have probably maxed out their mileage and upgraded their tickets to business and first class, which dimishes your chances for doing the same.
   Also, he notes, Friday afternoon and evening seem to be the worst time to fly, especially to the south and warm weather states. "You'll have to share space with children who already have their Mickey Mouse hats on."
   In Erickson's experience, Sunday evenings are one of the better times to fly. Monday and Tuesday during the day. "Anything besides Friday," she says.

Essential things a businessman needs/needs to do

Planning is the way to make a business trip organised and make it go alot smoother. Here are some tips in which can help in this.

1. Prepare a well-planned itinerary.
A well thought out itinerary should reflect what your company hopes to accomplish. Think about your goals and relative priorities. For instance, you will want to have two or three appointments confirmed well in advance and spaced comfortably throughout the day. This will be more productive and enjoyable than a crowded agenda that forces you to rush from one meeting to the next. Your schedule should be flexible enough to allow for unexpected problems such as transportation delays and/or opportunities such as an unplanned luncheon invitation.
Kaufman suggests leaving a copy of your itinerary with trusted colleagues, family members or close friends so that they know where you are supposed to be at all times. Also provide a family member or spouse with copies of your passport, medical insurance card, and other pertinent information. In addition, leave an emergency contact list with your travel planner.

2. Seek information on the culture.
Invest some time in learning about the history, culture and customs of the countries to be visited, says Thomas. Attend cross-cultural seminars or training. Read books about that country. Brush up on the differences in negotiating styles, attitudes towards punctuality, gift-giving customs, and the proper use of names and titles (understand the importance of rank and know who the decision makers are when conducting business).
Take the Japanese, for instance, who consider it rude to be late for a business meeting but acceptable for a social occasion. In Latin countries, being late for a business meeting is more tolerable. In the Middle East it is commonplace to engage in small talk before conducting business. The French and the British have different views about discussing business during meals, Thomas says. "Do you talk about business during dinner or do you wait until after you have eaten your meal? The slightest things can really offend people," she says.

3. Learn protocol and etiquette practices.
Study the general protocol and etiquette of the country or countries you're visiting. Understanding in advance how to greet your counterparts and manage appointments will be most helpful. Check normal work days and business hours. In the Middle East, for example, the workweek is Saturday to Thursday. It is not uncommon in many countries for lunch to last two to four hours. Also take into account foreign holidays. Business manners, religious customs, dietary practices, humor and acceptable dress vary widely from country to country.
Misunderstandings over gestures and body language can cause you more than embarrassment but can lead to business complications, says Thomas. For instance, the okay sign (thumb and index fingers forming a circle with the other fingers pointing upward) is commonly used in the US. But it means zero in France and Thomas says it is a vulgar gesture in Brazil and the Philippines (like giving the middle finger is here in the States). She recommends finding a local person from the host country whom you can openly talk to and learn about customs. Or a good travel planner will know the ins and outs of the country.

4. Learn the native tongue.
Business associates will appreciate any sincere attempt. Study the language or hire a translator, especially if the persons you are meeting with do not speak English or are uncomfortable speaking it. You can learn a foreign language on the go using Praxis Mobile Language Learning Networks, which provides podcasts for Chinese, Spanish, French and Italian. You can listen to and interact with language lessons with an MP3 player, iPod, mobile phone, computer for internet access, television, and CD. Colleges or universities in your area may offer traditional classroom instruction or immersion programs. Other options are audio language lessons and software programs such as those available from Rosetta Stone. Seek out someone who knows the language that can help you learn it by holding conversations.
There may even be subtle differences in the same language, cautions Thomas. "Certain words in English that we use freely could have different meanings outside the US." She cites a situation between American and British businessmen. "During the meeting the Americans said, 'lets table' this, hoping to end the discussion, but the Brits kept on talking. The Americans took this as utter disregard and stormed out, not knowing that in England the expression 'let's table it' means to put it on the table for discussion."

5. Check travel advisories.
Governments issue advisories about safety concerns that may affect travel to a particular country or region. Travel advisories are released for various reasons, including terrorism, natural disasters, political unrest, wars, health emergencies, and outbreaks of violent crimes against tourists. Check to see if the advisory applies to the entire country or certain areas. "Know your geography," says Thomas. An incident in Okinawa may not impact someone traveling to Hiroshima. "Make your decision to travel with informed knowledge," she adds.
Have a backup plan in case something does go wrong. Find out whether your home country has an embassy or consulate in the place you are visiting. Make sure it is fully staffed and functioning. If the worst happens, you don't want to be stranded in a foreign country without an embassy to help with emergency evacuation or get in contact with your family and friends back home. Be aware of what the embassy can or cannot do. For example, if you are injured the State Department can help you get back home but the cost of medical care comes out of your pocket.

6. Protect yourself.
Kaufman recommends getting travel insurance. "With Road Warrior you can get a yearlong policy as opposed to a trip-by-trip basis. Insurance companies are there to help you out in a crisis such as medical evacuations," he says. Following the earthquake and Tsunami, one-way airfare out of Japan cost $5,000. So, "travel insurance will help mitigate any financial loss you might incur."
Keep in mind that different destinations pose different risks; incorporate that into your strategy for choosing business travel insurance. Do your research. Travel insurance may not cover you in all countries and in all circumstances. Most policies do not cover acts of war, riots or civil disorder. Find out what exclusions apply.
Check with your health plan carrier to see if you need to get another policy to cover medical costs for an injury or sudden illness abroad, says Thomas. What if you need to be airlifted by helicopter and taken to the hospital, are you still covered? Look into the large travel insurance companies such as Travel Guard.

7. Plan to stay connected.
A plug or adapter may be needed to charge notebooks, cell phones, and PDAs while overseas. Also, contact your cell phone provider before you leave to find out about international options for business trips, says Kaufman. You may be able to get a temporary plan while you are visiting another country. To make an international call from your cell phone, your carrier network must be compatible with that country. Your phone also must be technically capable of making international calls.
Other options are to use Skype on your laptop or a Skype iPhone app to make international calls. You also can rent a cell phone in airport malls around the world from companies such as TripTel or online from sites such as Cellularabroad.com.
If you are traveling to a foreign destination for more than a week or two, consider buying a local phone, suggests Kaufman. You can use that phone for making calls within the host country and it may prove to be less expensive. "Some business travelers also use local SIM cards because it makes communications by mobile phones a lot easier."
Just make sure that you have texting capability. Kaufman says text communication is a lot more reliable than voice communication because it requires less bandwidth. So, during the earthquake in Japan, phone calls weren't going through but people were able to send text messages to their loved ones.

Travel Etiquette

As part of the design idea i am doing, i am including a section which is all about travel etiquette and how to get around foreign countries, so i have researched into this.

#1 Learn a bit about the culture you're travelling into
Although Australian business culture merely requires being on-time, giving a firm handshake and a wearing either smart casual or a business suit, other countries have distinct customs.
For example, in Asia, handing over a business card carefully with both hands, the receiver noting the details on it, and then placing it in their shirt pocket (not pants pocket) is a mark of respect and a traditional ice-breaker in a meeting. In China, a vigorous Aussie-style hand-shake can be seen as aggressive, while a light handshake with a slight nod of the head is normal.
The best way to find out the customs of your destination country is via Google. For example: China business customs.
#2 Learn a few choice phrases
Although the lingua franca of the world is English, it can still be annoying to citizens of non-English-speaking countries when travellers make no effort whatsoever to use the local language.
It can be worth picking up a few phrases that convey gratitude. There are now iPhone apps that make this a lot easier -- for example Talk Chinese Free. You won't be having any conversations in the foreign language, but you can learn "good morning", "thank you", "after you" and "let's get a beer!"
Also check our earlier review of the amazing Google Translate App which can help you get your message across to a non-English speaker in their local language.
#3 Keep it professional
When you're travelling in a group or with work colleagues, you'll naturally relax a bit more than you might in the office. But bear in mind when you go back to work, the normal professional relationship will resume.
You should be particularly aware of not over-sharing colleagues' personal details with other colleagues, or your hosts, who might not have been already aware of them. Commenting on a colleague's family, personal appearance, previous holidays, and so on, can cause uncomfortable moments on the trip or back home.
In terms of how you deal with your hosts, what is professional differs from country to country. For example, in Auckland, having a glass of wine and polite conversation with your host on their yacht may be ideal, while in many Asian countries, singing at a karaoke bar is entirely business appropriate.
#4 Learn how to greet and address people at your destination
While Australian business abandoned formal titles in conversational speech a long time ago (you don't hear "Chairman Smith" very often, for example), in some countries, it is absolutely essential.
In China, for example, it is expected that you refer to businesspeople by their title and family name -- Director Wang, for example. It's also frowned upon to become too familiar too quickly -- familiarity is something that is earned over time.
People in China should also get used to being addressed by their surname. "Good morning, Jones" may sound a little bit boarding-school, but it's heard commonly enough in China, where family names precede given names.
On the other hand, in Italy, it is normal to kiss a new business acquaintance's cheeks (sometimes up to three times depending on the region) and have a long handshake -- and it is considered rude to refuse a second helping on your plate if offered!
#5 A little extra can go a long way
Sending a thank you gift or card to people who hosted you on your trip can create a huge impact in terms of goodwill, as can sending a small thank you to your travel organiser.
Needless to say, next time you're heading overseas, the people involved will remember you positively and doors will open more easily.
#6 Take into account that country's 'time'
Different countries treat time in different ways. For example, in Japan, if a meeting is set for 1pm, you should be there and ready to start by 12.45pm. If you're visiting Mexico, a 1pm meeting means anywhere between 1pm and 3pm -- in that country, a meeting start time is a general indication of when people should arrive.
Don't take offence or get stressed if people don't turn up to your meeting on-time -- unless you're in a country where punctuality is an absolutely core competency for business.
#7 Praise the country, and its cuisine; never criticise it
You only have to think about incoming travellers in Australia talking loudly about "how the beaches aren't as nice as they're made out to be" or "it's a bleeding rip-off to eat here" to know why it's important to be a gracious visitor to a country!
Even if an aspect of a country's cuisine is blatantly offputting (the dishwater coffee in America springs to mind, as do the cooked baby birds still in the egg in Asian countries...) or the country has glaring and widely reported social or governmental problems, never, ever bring these up unless your host does first.
#8 From small talk, big things come
Unless you work in PR or are a star salesperson, it's more likely than not that you find making small-talk a challenge. However, it's the social grooming that helps put people at ease and let more important conversations come later.
There are a remarkable number of good online resources to help you learn small-talk -- it's something you can study just like any other business topic.
The best way to fit in well to a foreign culture is to let your hosts talk about it, and you listen, with polite segues to encourage them to tell you more.
Some specific tips that help: make some enquiries about people you're meeting before you meet them, so you have a few areas of conversation you know they'll be comfortable with in advance.
Read the newspaper in the hotel to keep some current local events up your sleeve for impromptu discussion (sports can be risky though, if the local team isn't doing well).
Open the conversation with a small compliment -- everyone likes a compliment. It could be a compliment on their clothes, their recent career successes, how well an event is going, or the food you've been enjoying.
Make an effort to remember their name and use it in conversation. Again, this is an area where some pre-work can be very helpful, if you're not good at absorbing names!
If the person you're talking to conveys an opinion that you strongly personally disagree with, it's a good discipline to learn to mask your disagreement, say something neutral and try to move the conversation on to a different topic. In business, showing how much you disagree with someone will very rarely achieve anything.
Close the conversation gracefully - don't just melt away from a group without excusing yourself with a positive comment such as "it was nice meeting you."
Research the taboo topics in the country you're visiting to avoid either committing a dreadful faux pas or appearing standoffish by refusing to discuss something that's a common topic of conversation. In many countries, topics you probably shouldn't launch into off your own bat (unless you understand the cultural sensititivies around them well) include religion, money and salary -- but in other countries these are frequently discussed.
#9 Be excruciatingly careful with social media
A modern trap for business travellers is posting status updates about their travels for the folks back home, without realising that their hosts might also be reading them -- or may see them later.
As a result, it's very poor form to commentate critically on a country's culture or cuisine in Twitter or a non-private Facebook account while you're there.
Some countries also specifically ban social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Even if you are able to access them through a VPN service, bear in mind the risk involved in breaching a country's internet policies -- you might appear disrespectful to your hosts and their government's policies, and you might even end up on a visa blacklist down the track.
If you really want to do it, it's safer to post it as an observation later some time after you get back, away from the public eye of Twitter, and in Facebook where at least you can set your privacy settings so that only trusted friends see your updates.
#10 Don't forget the people back at home base
Travelling for business is something that can make other people in the office with desk-bound jobs green with envy. More than that, even if you're looking after your email and calls while you're away, your colleagues are likely going to be handling a bit of extra load on your behalf while you're away.
You'll score immeasureable brownie points with them if you bring your colleagues back some goodies from overseas.
Also consider asking around the office to see if there's anything anyone wants you to buy while you're overseas, to avoid international freight charges and credit card fees.
The personal cost to you will be relatively small, but the goodwill you'll garner with your colleagues may be felt for months or years to come.

Pocket Guides

As what i am designing for this brief is all about pocket guides, i thought it would be useful to look at guides that are already out there. I tried to find ones which were more quirky as this is the style i want to go for.

Monday, 28 November 2011

How to travel as a business man

For this new module we have been set a group task, these were organised by the theme of our how to questions, mine was to do with travel.
Within our group we initially came up with the idea of a guide for a travelling business man, with there been the right and wrong way about it.
From that everyone sort of went off on there own and did something different so it didnt really all fit together, so we decided that everyone would research into separate things and work this up into a concept, this would provide us with several ideas to take into the progress crit on friday, the feedback we get from the crit will help determine which idea or weather to combine ideas together to create the ultimate outcome for it.

I have decided that i am going to look into the things a business man needs on his travels. The essential equipment a business man should have and the things they need to know/think about when on a business trip to another country. 

I firstly looked into the description of a businessman:
'A businessperson (also businessman or businesswoman) is someone involved in a particular undertaking of activities for the purpose of generating revenue from a combination of humanfinancial, or physical capital. An entrepreneur is an example of a business person. Sometimes it can mean someone who is involved in the management of a company, especially as an owner or an executive. Sometimes it can also mean someone employed at a (usually) profit-oriented enterprise. The term businessperson almost always refers to someone with a "white collar" occupation.'

The essentials you need as a businessman:


  • An organizer is essential for any businessman who wants to be able to keep up with his schedule. It may be a small, pocket-sized calendar where he tracks his appointments in pencil, or it might be a high-tech gadget with his entire life on a microchip. No matter what tool he uses, a businessman needs something to keep him on track and punctual.


  • Depending on his job, a businessman needs the tools of the trade to perform his duties. For some this may mean a laptop and cell phone, for others it could be a sales kit and a white board. These are the items that no businessman will leave home without. Add to those items a professional quality pen and some means to jot down notes in a moment's notice.


  • Along with an organizer, every businessman needs a carrier that can be packed up with everything he needs to attend a meeting, call on a client or make a presentation. The briefcase should suit his style, but a nicely crafted carrier made of high-quality materials will make a statement.

Power Suit

  • Depending on the industry, some businessmen may wear suits on a regular basis. But every businessman needs a power suit hanging in his closet. This is the special occasion suit to be worn for the new client presentation, the final job interview or any other event that is high on the importance ladder.


  • A good suit will lose its luster if not accompanied by the right accessories. Every businessman needs a leather belt, good quality silk ties, dark-colored socks that go over the calf and, by all means, polished and shined dress shoes.

Business Cards

  • Every contact a businessman makes should be given a calling card with information on how he can be reached. Though he may leave an impression on people with his demeanor, skill and outstanding presentation, a method for followup is needed to seal a deal or form a business relationship.


  • A businessman who wants to be successful must have imagination. He needs to think creatively to find ways to make his business stand out from competitors. During his tenure, a businessman will be called upon to promote his business, resolve work issues, solve conflicts and dream up new ideas to keep his business fresh. All these skills will be enhanced with a strong imagination.


  • Confidence is the difference between an average businessman and one who excels. When a businessman enters into a relationship with a customer or business partner, the other party must be able to trust his judgment and decisions. He needs the confidence to be able to make a commitment and follow through with a business proposition.


  • Goals are what drive a businessman. Once he has goals, he can prepare a strategic plan with steps of how to accomplish each one.

Common Sense

  • A businessman must have the ability to think on his feet and react to emergency situations. He needs the sense to analyze a situation, determine a resolution and move forward quickly so that valuable time is not lost.