Get More Out Of International Travel

How do you say “May I have your business card?” in Mandarin Chinese?

When heading to a new country, a little preparation goes a long way.  Here’s a few tips that will make your foreign travel – for business or pleasure – much smoother.

  1. Currency: You can get foreign currency at the airport, but the currency kiosks have a tendency to be “out to lunch”.  Stop by a bank and trade out some cash before you head to the airport.  It’s a good comfort feeling before you leave.  Plus, you’ll feel loaded. 
  2. Guidebooks:  In my experience, the best guidebooks are from DK Eyewitness Travel.  They show you what the hospital sign looks like, the color of a mailbox, how the policemen are dressed, etc.  Great visual preparation.
  3. Know Your Surroundings: Learn the names of the streets around your hotel, and/or around your meeting location.  Google maps will get you this info quick.  If you have good cell phone coverage where you are going, you’ll be fine.  But don’t count on good cell phone coverage – your phone may fail you in a different country even if you paid for the deluxe international plan.
  4. Help Your Cab Driver: Write the address of your hotel on the back of a few business cards before your trip.  Its a great way to communicate if your cab driver does not speak your language.  They will appreciate the help.
  5. Language Flashcards:  Check out Sparknotes Study Cards, or Tuttle Flash Cards to pick up the language.  It helps to be able to recognize at least a few words or characters, even thought you won’t be fluent.  The flashcards will remind you of grade school.  It’s kinda fun, and a less expensive alternative than Rosetta Stone.
  6. The Best Souvenirs In Life Are Free:  Local newspapers and postcards are cheap or even free.  Many airlines hand out the local paper before international flights.  Take a couple of different copies.  The newspaper’s date will remind you of the when and where of your trip.  


for the free e-book “10 Ways You’ll Do Better In London” see

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