You and your briefcase zip around the world, making deals, communicating new ideas, and impressing potential buyers and clients. All the travel can exhaust you, but if you arm yourself ahead of time with information about your destination, your trips may go more smoothly. Here is a guide to eight of the world's most popular business destinations.
Hong Kong is one of the world's foremost business destinations, so it's safe to say that you'll probably end up there sooner or later. About.com offers some insight on what you need to know when visiting.
- Hong Kong doesn't require that you get vaccinations before entering, but you might want to see about getting a Hepatitis A vaccination. To avoid catching the Bird Flu, you should not eat poultry or dairy products from street restaurants.
- Hong Kong has a subtropical climate, so pack lightweight clothes that let your skin breathe.
- Most people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese, but if you forget your phrasebook (or can't pronounce the phrases therein), chances are you won't have a hard time finding someone who has a basic knowledge of English.
- Hong Kong has loads of public transportation to help you get around, so study bus, tram, and subway routes ahead of time.
Despite Europe's economic struggles, London is doing well, and if you get to go there in business, consider it a perk.
- A lot of business travelers prefer flying into London at its London City Airport rather than Heathrow, so you might consider doing the same.
- For a dining experience that the BBC says is "quintessentially British," and "sure to impress colleagues," visit the Goring Hotel Dining Room near Buckingham Palace.
- If you travel to London during the tourist season, keep in mind that cars will pack the streets, and the subway is not the most reliable system. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to meetings.
If your world adventures bring you to Singapore, keep in mind the following tips for business travelers to this Southeast Asian business hub.
- The public transportation system is well-developed, so you can rely on it to get you where you need to go.
- Most people speak English in Singapore, especially in the business world. You might, however, want to learn a few phrases in Mandarin, Malay, or Tamil if you want to impress.
- Keep plenty of business cards with you, and when you give one away, present it with both hands.
Alright, brush up on your east coast accent. When you visit the Big Apple, here is what you should know.
- NYC has an excellent public transportation system. However, if you plan on venturing very far outside the city, for a meeting or to squeeze in a recreational trip, you might consider scoping out cheap rental cars.
- This sleepless city has tons of delicious cuisine at all hours, but if your expense account allows you to visit one of the city's nicest restaurants, book your table way in advance.
- There are oodles of hotels to choose from, and ones in Manhattan are generally more expensive. If you have time for a commute from your hotel, you might consider booking one away from the downtown area.
The UAE has a rich culture that is vastly different from that in the United States, so keep that in mind as you take care of your business in Dubai. Also take note of the following tips from thatdubaisite.com.
- Dress conservatively. Both men and women should keep their shoulders and knees covered.
- If you bring prescription medication with you, also have a note from your doctor. You might even need to get prior agreement to take your medicines with you into the country.
- If you visit during Ramadan, respect it. Take your business partners out dinner after the sun goes down instead of offering to take them to lunch.
Madrid's culture, history, and abundance of restaurants make it an enjoyable place to visit. Even if you're traveling on business to Madrid, the fun of the city might take the edge off the stress.
- Madrid is inland, but it gets fresh seafood, something to remember when dining out to impress.
- When making small talk, bring up families and football (that is, soccer).
- If you get to squeeze in a little recreation on your trip to Madrid, pay a visit to Chueca, a colorful district in the city with plenty to see.
- Tripadvisor says, "Madrid public transportation is clean, fast, safe, extensive, and efficient," so you should have no trouble getting around the city.
Are you planning on paying a visit to the United States' northern neighbor? Vancouver has plenty to offer to business travelers.
- The weather is mild throughout the year, so forget any worries about traveling to a Canadian icebox.
- Vancouver has a large Chinese population, so you if any of your business associates are from this background, you should learn a phrase or two to impress.
- There is no need to fret about currency exchange since businesses in Vancouver accept most major credit cards.
The last place on this list features China's thriving metropolis, Beijing. The first time you visit, you might find the experience overwhelming but definitely worth remembering. Here are the cliff notes on how to survive a business trip to Beijing.
- When you book your hotel, double-check to make sure the bathrooms have standing toilets.
- If you take clients out to eat, book a private room in a restaurant. The expectation is that you will order for the group, so either learn how to talk about food in Mandarin or make sure the restaurant has an English menu.
- Taxi drivers in Beijing have a reputation for honesty, and taxis aren't super expensive, so it's a good way to get around.
- If you have some time to yourself, check out the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.
A life on the go as a businessperson offers plenty of challenges, but plenty of opportunities as well. If you research your trips ahead of time, you might have such a good time that you forget about the jet lag.