Flying internationally for work is exciting. However, the trip requires some preparation.
International flights differ from domestic ones. Since passengers cross borders, they must go through customs and border control twice. Once at the destination. Again when you return.
Depending on your destination, customs and border control might become a strict experience.
We provide seven tips for flying internationally for work.
1. Read Your Company’s Travel Policy
Corporate international travel has more elements than domestic travel. Most companies help their employees and executives by outlining them in their travel policy. The policy keeps everyone on the same page. Plus, it answers frequently asked questions.
The policy outlines protocols for several situations. You don’t need to guess their expectations; you’ll find them in the policy.
Within the pages, you can also find emergency protocols and travel reimbursement procedures. Know your company contacts before you take flight.
To keep the corporate travel policy current, companies benefit from making several updates for 2022.
2. Check Your Passport
Before boarding an international flight, you must present your valid passport. Moreover, the name on your passport must match your boarding pass exactly.
In 2022, it’s wise to practice caution on these details. Plus, the airlines recommend ensuring that your passport is valid six months after your planned return date.
If your company requires you to remain longer at the international destination, you won’t have problems returning.
In case your passport expires while abroad, take a few steps:
- Contact the local United States consulate or embassy
- Present the required paperwork in person
- Follow additional instructions given to you
The temporary passport allows you to re-enter the USA. However, if you plan to travel internationally again, you must renew your passport promptly.
3. Check the Health Requirements
Pre-2020, individuals needed to update their vaccinations before boarding a flight to certain countries.
In 2022, travelers can expect many things to return to their pre-2020 state. Nonetheless, ensure that you check your destination’s health requirements.
For example, in 2016, the WHO noted that some countries required the following vaccinations before entering:
- Yellow fever
Although the United States has eradicated those diseases, other countries have not. Thus, the vaccines help prevent the spread.
4. Arrive at the Airport Early
The airlines encourage passengers to arrive two hours before their flight departs for domestic travel. For international travel, the TSA encourages travelers to arrive three hours early.
International flights have extra security checks. Their corresponding terminals have more traffic than domestic flights. Thus, allow yourself extra time to get through all of the checkpoints.
If you have time to spare at the airport, enjoy the extra time by relaxing, reading, or catching up on email.
5. Plan for the Security Checks
The TSA uses enhanced screening procedures for international flights. Therefore, they take longer. Agents ask passengers several questions.
Those who bring too many carry-ons must check them with the baggage except for one.
To make the process as easy as possible, keep your travel documents in a pouch and place them in your carry-on. Then, follow the baggage rules outlined by the airline and TSA.
6. Download Some Apps
Smartphones revolutionized the world. Apps have turned the devices into portable desktop computers that rival the laptop.
Before you leave, download apps that will help you navigate the airport check-in process and your destination’s culture more easily.
Plus, create a music playlist, download your favorite television shows, movies, and podcasts to help pass the downtime.
7. Get Comfortable
Flying internationally from the United States doesn’t always equal a long flight. For example, from LAX, it’s four hours to Mexico City, Mexico, and you can arrive in Vancouver, Canada, in less than four hours.
From New York to London or Paris, it takes seven hours on average.
Nonetheless, get comfortable for your flight.
Wear slip-on footwear with socks, a scarf, and comfortable, professional clothing. The scarf is a versatile piece for men and women. It easily becomes a comfy pillow or blanket.
Also, remember to hydrate, pack some snacks, and charge your smartphone.
When your company tasks you with flying internationally for work, that’s pretty exciting. Whether or not you have time to sightsee, you will experience a new culture and see new sights from cabs and your hotel. To focus on the trip, prepare your travel documents, satisfy the health requirements, and plan for the security checks at the airport.