Basic Preparations for International Business Travel

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Traveling abroad for business can be beneficial, productive and exciting for your company. It can produce new business and networking opportunities, but it can also be hard on you. Especially if you are a business-travel novice.

Stay Connected
One of your most important considerations, especially for international business travel, is staying connected— to your office, to your contacts overseas and to anyone in the States who you rely on to conduct business. Start by managing your technology to preserve your ability to communicate en route: put your laptop, tablet, digital camera and anything else electronic in your carry-on luggage, rather than in your checked luggage. To make sure you have access to smartphone technology while traveling abroad, your best bet will be Internet-based solutions, which depend on data instead of cell technology. Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VOIP) applications like Skype let you make free calls to other users of these apps and very inexpensive calls to land lines and mobile phones— anywhere in the world. For text messaging, use free services like Google Voice.

Send Things Ahead
Sending materials ahead of time if you’ll be presenting at a conference may be a necessity or simply a convenience. Either way, one of the most important steps in the shipping process is international address verification. The last thing you want to worry about is undelivered mail.

Take Care of You
Jetlag is a common problem for business travelers. Drink plenty of water in the days before your trip, and cut back on alcohol and caffeine. If you’re going to a destination that requires more than 12 hours of air travel, stopping in a city en route for a night or a few hours or arriving early at your destination can help to break up your trip and allow your body to adjust to the time differences. Try to sleep and eat according to your new time zone, not the one you’re coming from.

To protect your data, files and presentation materials while traveling, Microsoft recommends these precautions:

  • Don’t carry your laptop in a designated computer bag— it’s a dead giveaway that you’re carrying a laptop. Instead, consider a suitcase or a padded briefcase.
  • Create strong passwords with capital letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t carry them anywhere near your laptop.
  • Encrypt your files.
  • Use a screen guard to make it difficult or impossible for anyone to see what you’re looking at on your computer.

Familiarize yourself of common cultural practices through books and videos before your trip. Take note of idioms (whether or not you speak the language of the country) and customs. You can even pass the time on the plane by reading up on the culture of your destination. If you can do this, you and the people you meet will all feel much more relaxed.

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International Airports Now Online

After many months scrubbing data, I am finally confident enough to put the international airports online alongside the US data. There is not as much information out there for the international community so bear with me as the airport pages are modified and tweaked over the coming months.

If you have a good source of data for any international area such as the UK or France, I would be more than willing to talk about an arrangement to get this data supplied on an ongoing basis.

If you see any issues with the data please let me know. Otherwise, enjoy!

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International Airports Being Added

Ever since the United States government stopped releasing the DAFIF data to the public, it has been very hard to build a complete list of international airports. I apologize for the time it is taking to get the international airports up on but I want to let everyone know that each airport’s codes are being verified prior to posting them on the site. There are over 10,000 airports outside of the FAA’s jurisdiction so this will take a while but as I always say ‘don’t waste your time doing it if you don’t plan on doing it right.’

To that end, as the international airports are released onto the site, I will be adding the links to the countries on the Browse Airports by Country page. Initially, the list of airports will not be complete for a country but you will be able to watch the list grow over time as I release more and more airports into the database.

If you have any questions about what I am doing, have suggestions on how to speed this process along, or just have a recommendation for the site, please feel free to contact me.

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International Airport Update#2

I have been working many long hours on cleaning up the international airport data and unfortunately it was much worse than I thought. Ever since the US government stopped publishing the international data in 2006, it has been a very tedious and laborious process.

So here are the plans for the release. As soon as I can I will be releasing the basic airport data with the name, location, etc. Definitely no frills here but it will be enough to get you the basic airport data. The one thing I must verify first is that the ICAO and IATA identifiers are correct. There have been quite a few changes over the years and I want to make sure this is accurate.

In the meantime, I will be building up the database in the background and slowly adding items such as airport diagrams, approach charts, and other detailed information to the website so check back often.

If anyone reading this has a good for international data that is known to be clean please tell me.

And as always, if you have an aviation product that you think would integrate well with this site, such as a flight planner, please contact me so we can discuss it. I’m always looking for ideas to make this site the best aviation site on the web.


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