Scalise Experiential Marketing CEO, Jay Scalise, has years of experience traveling abroad for trade shows. We recently sat down with him so he could share some tips for those of you who may be getting ready to make your first trip overseas for a show or just want a smoother trip.
- Take a picture of the first page of your passport and store it on your phone and/or your computer– just in case. This may never be an issue but better safe than sorry!
- Making calls back home is expensive! So, use a system like Skype. The Skype app works very well on your phone—and it can access your contacts. This can also be used on your computer. You will need internet/wireless but your venue & hotel will typically have that. This tip can save you (or your company) a lot of money. Also pick up a prepaid calling card in case a call needs to be made, and you don’t have internet service. Calling cards can be used from a public phone, and it is best to use one with local access numbers.
- Timing is everything which is especially true when you are overseas. This seems simple but you need to make sure to think about what time it is at home versus what time it is where you are. A pre-arranged call time with a colleague or family member can save you from making an enemy the middle of the night!
- What is the best way to pay for things? Jay says pay by credit card if possible (Jay likes using American Express) because you get the best exchange rate & credit card companies offer protection against potential fraud issues. And always have a backup card—not everyone takes American Express. And let your credit companies know you are traveling abroad so your cards work when you get there!
What about cash? Jay’s advice is to exchange a small amount of money at the airport for things like tips. The exchange rate there is typical and the fees are nominal compared to doing it at your hotel or an ATM.
- Sometimes it can seem easier to hail a taxi or hire a driver when in a foreign city but that can be expensive and make for longer travel times depending on traffic. Jay says to travel on metro trains when possible—they’re fast, inexpensive, direct and run frequently. Many go right into the exhibition center making for a stress free way to start and end your long day!
So, whether you are traveling abroad to a trade show for the first time or just looking for a few tips to make your next trip a little less hectic, use these tips and enjoy your trip!