Top 10 international travel tips for the holidays

Top 10 International Travel Tips for the Holidays

December is probably the busiest time of year for international travel. Expats head back home to spend the holidays with their family. While others take this break to explore and experience a new country or culture.

If you’re taking a break from the office this December and travelling abroad, here are my top 10 tips to help you get prepared and organised for your international travel. 

1. Set Up Your Out-of-Office Auto Reply With a Festive Message 

Use something along the lines of, “I will be out of the office from [date] to [date] as I am currently enjoying a much deserved break over the December holidays. If you are contacting me for an urgent matter, please send your query to [name] at [e-mail address]. Otherwise, I will reply to your e-mail when I am back in the office. I wish you a wonderful holiday.”

2. Print Two Copies of Your E-Ticket, Itinerary and all Necessary Travel Documents Before You Leave

Carry one set of the documents with you in one bag, and place the other set in a separate bag. This gives you a back up in case you lose one set.

3. E-mail All of Your Travel Documents to Yourself

In case you lose both sets of printed documents in tip #3, you can always access them again in your e-mail account.

4. Prepare Your Luggage According to the Airlines Requirements

This includes both your carry-on luggage and your check-in luggage. Check the requirements on the airlines website. For ideas of how to travel comfortably, take a look at “Top 10 Executive Travel Items”.

5. Invest in a Pair of Noise Cancelling Headphones for the Plane

I recently tried a set of BOSE Quiet Comfort 25. I was a little reluctant at first, but I have to admit, the silence you hear is truly amazing.

6. Learn Basic Customs and Culture of the Country You’re Going To

Remember you’re in another country. So it’s up to you to make an effort to learn their customs. You’ll find a wealth of articles on the Executive Impressions blog to help you get started.

Take a look at these articles for more tips:

3 Tips on Doing Business in France

5 Ways Haragei is Used in Japanese Non-Verbal Communication

Your Guide to Punctuality in International Business

7. Learn a Few Words of the Language That is Spoken in That Country

Hello, goodbye, please, thank you should be the minimum.

8. Carry Roll-On Perfume with You on the Plane

I’m a huge fan of roll-on perfume for travelling. It’s easy to carry, and the perfume odour is light enough so it doesn’t disturb passengers around you like spray perfume can.

9. Buy a Souvenir for Your Family Back Home

It’s such a kind gesture to bring a piece of your holiday fun back to share with your family and friends. Chocolates or candy always work well. Magnets or key rings are another useful gift.

10. Relax

Any kind of travel can be stressful. But with time zone changes, longer travel time and cultural barriers, international travel can be really exhausting. Make sure you always drink plenty of water. Take moisturising cream to nourish your skin on the plane. And stay calm. Remember, you’re going on a holiday. Relax and have fun.

About Kara

Kara Ronin is an international business etiquette expert and founder of Executive Impressions. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider India, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Daily Muse, Women 2.0, and more. Kara offers corporate seminars and online training programs on business etiquette, leadership skills, and executive communication around the world. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox