How to Get the Most Out of Your Business Trip to Asia

In today’s increasingly interconnected global economy, it is essential to understand cultural differences. This is particularly true when going on a business trip to Asia. Here are some tips to get the most out of your business trip to Asia.

Know Your Visa Requirements

No matter which country you are traveling to in Asia, whether it’s China, Japan, India, or some other area within the region, it’s important to know all the rules. When it comes to Asia, there are different visa requirements for each country, depending on where you are traveling from. For example, if you are from the United States, you don’t need a visa if you are only staying for 30 days or less in Thailand. However, if you are traveling to Vietnam, then you are required to have a visa before entering the country.

Make sure you research all visa fees and requirements. A passport will not necessarily get you in at every border. Therefore, make sure you know if you are fine with a passport photo or if you need a visa as well. Your corporate travel agent can help you learn what is needed in terms of entry requirements.

Take Everything on a Carry On

Lost luggage is inevitable when traveling internationally. Carrying your bags on the plane with you is your best bet for avoiding lost luggage. Typically, most airlines will only allow you to carry on two bags. They have to meet a certain size requirement, so you’ll need to check with the airline you’re flying on to know the specific carry on baggage size limits. If you do have to check in your bags, be sure to label it both inside and out. This will help you not only claim them, but also help people locate them if they do get lost. If you must check baggage, consider using a GPS tracking device on it to help you quickly locate your luggage should it go missing.

Learn About Business Asia Cultural Etiquette

There are certain rules of politeness and respect in Asian cultures and it can get a little tedious for people outside the country to learn them all. It is important that you research Asia cultural etiquette before arriving. This will help you avoid any embarrassing mistakes as a business traveler in Asia.  For instance:

  • While you are in conversation with someone, keep your hands out of your pockets.
  • It is a great honor to be invited over to someone’s home. If you do get an invitation from your host, be sure to accept it wholeheartedly.
  • Don’t blow your nose in public while in Japan since it’s generally frowned upon. Instead, excuse yourself and go to the restroom or outside to do it.
  • It is acceptable to sniff your nose rather than blow it.
  • Don’t point at other people; it’s considered rude.
  • Tipping is also considered rude and is not customary in some places (Japan)
  • While exchanging business cards, use both hands.
  • Keep your associate’s business card in front of you instead of putting it away.
  • Carefully examine your associate’s business card to fully acknowledge them.

Making a good first impression is critical while you are conducting business in Asia. Although image matters no matter where you are, it matters a great deal in Asia. By showing up at a business meeting dressed professionally and groomed, you show your host you respect them and yourself.

It’s also a good idea to get yourself some travel insurance.  Although it is pretty affordable to receive medical care in Asia, it is still a good idea that you get yourself some business travel insurance before arriving in the country. This type of insurance can cover you in the event your flight is canceled, you lose your luggage, or for an emergency medical evacuation.  Chances are you are excited about your business trip to Asia, and if you’re properly prepared, you’ll get the most out of your trip. Find out more information about corporate travel

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