Because so much of the business world is international these days, more people are going on business trips than ever before. To ensure that you represent your company that best you can, there are some etiquette rules you should follow every time you travel. Representing your company in a positive light while traveling is where the etiquette begins. You have to remember that you are the face of your company during your trip. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember this, especially after hours. You have to be able to control yourself. If you are tempted to do something that you would never do at work, you cannot do it on a business trip.
In addition to behaving professionally, it also is proper business travel etiquette to be as polite as you can to everyone you meet. This even includes the air staff if you are flying. Even if they do not know the company for which you work, you still want to be polite. It will be good practice for when it comes time to do your business. Because you are meeting most of the people on your trip for the first time, you do not want to offend someone, and then later find out they are the person with whom you are meeting. That only will end badly because they could file a complaint with your boss. A good rule of thumb is to assume that everyone you meet is who you are supposed to meet.
Another smart business trip etiquette rule to follow is to research any customs that the country may have where you are traveling. If you do not check these out, you might end up insulting a person or even an entire company. You actually could get fired because it could blow an entire deal or relationship. Some of these customs could be related to dining, while others are the proper ways to introduce yourself. It also is proper etiquette to avoid racking up large bills at restaurants and bars. The only time it is acceptable to foot a large bill is if it is during a business meeting.
It also is proper business travel etiquette to be on time and to dress professionally for every meeting or dinner. Even though it might seem like a vacation every now and then, you have to remember that you are there to work. You need to dress as if you were at work. It also is unacceptable to discuss politics or religious beliefs while on a business trip, unless of course that is your profession. You do not want to offend anyone because it could jeopardize your business position, as well as your company's deal. As long as you remember you are there to work the entire time you are traveling, and to not mistake it for a vacation, you will be well on your way to being a business travel pro.
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