Travelling to another country is a daunting experience. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, everyone gets hesitant, awkward and nervous. Business travelling can be more uneasy due to the high stakes; the wrong move can lose you a client or business transaction.

With all the many things to think about when travelling abroad on business, thesqua.re offers corporate serviced apartments that make your stay abroad easier, happier and complete.

Here’s what you need to do to adapt to a new country when travelling on business:

Learn the language basics

You don’t need to be fluent, but knowing the basics can go a long way. There are plenty of language books out there that can give you what you need to impress your client. Language classes aren’t necessary but if you know well in advance when you’re going then it is an option to consider (either in your home country or in the place of travel).

The most modern and hip route would be to download one of the many language apps that can be utilised in the palm of your hand. Suggestions include:

  • Duolingo
  • Babbel
  • Memrise
  • Busuu

Source the local cuisine

Markets, restaurants, cafes – there’s all this to explore on arrival. Analysing and tasting the local cuisine, from meals to the basic ingredients, can prepare you for your what’s to come.

Before you go, you can visit restaurants that serve the same or similar cuisine (Lebanese, Indian, Thai, etc). Who knows, staff at your local restaurants may be able to provide you with etiquette tips that will come in handy for the first meeting or meal out with your client.

Undertaking basic research can help you to understand the cuisine even more, especially if you have allergies or intolerances. You don’t want to have an allergic reaction when conducting a business lunch.

Teach yourself the fine etiquettes and customs

This is vital as you want to get off on the right track with your client. How do they shake hands and greet? First impressions are important; you don’t want to lose a contract because they think you’re irreverent.

Things that we consider second nature like opening the door for others, table manners, and much more could well be different and be the complete opposite to the culture you’re entering. Research is very important and it is advised you do this for your own benefit. Nothing gives a better first impression than someone who’s done their homework.

Get involved

Events, activities, festivals – being a part of all these things can make you a part of the community and in turn be appreciated by your client. Even if you choose not to socialise outside of the meetings and lunches, you can feel more relaxed and at home by engrossing yourself in the workings of a new culture and community.

Keep an open mind

One of the most important aspects of travelling. By applying an open mind you’ll feel more at ease participating in and doing things your senses have never before comprehended. New cultures can be disconcerting to observe and certain values may strike you as odd or out of place. Nevertheless, by being open you can attain a level of respect by your client.