If you’re heading overseas on a business trip, there are several things to sort out before you go, to ensure you can continue communicating and your trip goes smoothly – without you missing a connection! Here are three things to consider before you head for the airport.
The main consideration before you go on an overseas business trip is to make sure your phone has international roaming. Most service providers offer international roaming, but the cost can be prohibitive and will not be included in your phone plan. Some phone companies will offer an international roaming sim card for your convenience.
You should download an app to your smartphone which will tell you how much data you are using up with your international roaming. Keep in mind that you may be charged for calls you receive as well as those you make, so you need to confirm with your service provider just how much using your phone will cost you.
Although phone companies warn that international roaming may not be available in some countries, a map of the area covered by one well-known Australian phone carrier showed only a handful of countries where calls could not be made.
It’s unlikely you are going to be able to locate a fax machine when you need one while you are overseas, and you may be unfamiliar with the way it works – especially if you’re not up to reading a fax manual in Mandarin! You want to be able to send and receive faxes, sending back copies of documents and receiving updates as your trip progresses.
Before you head abroad, get a virtual fax number that gives you the ability to fax to email. Then download the mBox app that turns your phone into a mobile fax machine. The way it works is by using the internet to send fax documents as email attachments up to 1GB. You enter the recipient’s fax number into an email, attach the document and send it – straight from your phone. There’s free cloud storage of sent faxes so you can access them wherever you have an internet connection, and you get a confirmation notice when they reach their destination.
It is easy to get overwhelmed in a foreign country – just working out which departure gate to go to in Rome, or which train to catch in Tokyo can take a lot of mental stamina.
A business trip is not a good time to be winging it, or making things up as you go along. Make sure you have a comprehensive itinerary stored in two places – hard copy in your suitcase and on your smartphone’s organiser – so that you know where you are supposed to be each day and how you’ll get there. If you have been communicating with accommodation or clients on your office desktop, contact details need to be copied over to your laptop and smartphone. Print out a hard copy too, so that if your devices are lost or stolen, your trip will not be a total disaster.
Your mobile phone, even more than your laptop, will be the tool that makes your business trip a success. Make sure it will function overseas, that it contains your schedule and contacts; and use its camera and the mBox fax app to turn it into a scanner and virtual fax machine.