Culture of Business Travelers in Asia

Culture of Business Travelers in Asia

When you’re heading out for your business trip to Asia, you’re stepping into a new world with different cultures and different expectations. The culture in Asia is different from place to place, and often time’s different things are perceived differently in Asian culture. With such a vast culture, you may feel lost or out of place unless you take some time to learn a little about the business culture.

Put Your Input into Meetings

 
In cultures such as the United States, or Canada, people are considered responsible for their own decisions. Any decisions to do one thing or another are decided individually, and it is seen as negative to ask for the input of others. In China though the opposite is true. There may be CEO’s and other business leaders making decisions, but they will always ask for a consensus from a group of people. There are many meetings or negotiations that end up leading the business to a final decision, be prepared to put your input into these meetings when asked.

Be Flexible and Prepared for Multitasking

 
A frustrating experience may come if you don’t understand how people in Asia do tasks and manage time. Most of the time they multitask unlike in Canada or the United States where tasks are done one at a time. In Asia, this means that schedules are not set in stone and can change at the drop of a hat.

Authority in the United States and Canada is solid, business owners make the decisions, but in Asia business, owners use their station to guide people in what they believe is the right direction. You should also try to avoid using numbers unless you must, and you may need to research what numbers mean in the culture you’re involved in. Some people will refuse to work with you if certain numbers depict negative outcomes.

Use the Correct Form of Address

 
Don’t use the first name to address people until they offer it to you. You can use the formal title “Mr.“ or “Mrs.“. There are some cultural characteristics in some countries such as Thailand where “Khun“ is used instead of “Mister“. In Myanmar it’s customary and politely to address people by their complete name.

Both of your hands should be used to exchange cards with business partners. And take into account, that’s important to keep business cards save. Don’t note anything on them – otherwise you may insult your business partner. Business cards should also be written in English as well as in the language of the country you visit.

Be Respectful and Don’t Come Too Late

 
To show your respect, it’s necessary to be punctual and don’t plan too less time between two business meeting because they can take longer than expected. It is also important to watch your behavior and look. When you’re in a meeting and talking to someone, always wear a business suit, don ‘t put your hands in your pockets, pay attention to your feet position – it may be rude to point them directly on someone – and don’t touch people ‘s head. You have also be prepared to take off your shows in some places, so wear suitable socks.

Be Able to Move from One Culture’s Norms to The Others

 
Some cultural changes may seem drastic or shocking, but they simply are the norm in many cultures in Asia. Understanding and being able to fluidly move from one culture’s norms to the others makes you a better business person, allowing you to make considerable progress toward positive goals.

With these possible differences in mind note that there are many more changes that you’ll have to be considerate of. The most important thing is that you’re prepared and manage to keep from offending the people you’re conversing with. Your business partners in Asia will have different customs that may confuse you or even cause you discomfort, but know that these practices and ways are normal for them. Adhering to their customs ensures that they are comfortable with you and your propositions. Ensure that you research the culture of the country and peoples that you’re going to be visiting.

Find a Good Laptop for Business Trips

Find a Good Laptop for Business Trips

If you are a business person, you need a good laptop that is more serviceable and sturdy than a standard ultrabook. After over thirty hours of research and testing, Lenovo ThinkPad T450s has been found to be the best laptop due to its mix of features that include user serviceability, configuration options, durability, speed, and a high-quality keyboard.

Who Does the Laptop Serve and How the Decision Was Reached at?

 
Many people including business people no longer require a conventional laptop. An ultrabook will be lighter, smaller, and just ideal for many business people; however, some still require a better battery life, more parts, long battery life, or improved security features which an ultrabook won’t give you. A majority are willing to carry a heavier and thicker laptop due to its longevity. Many business laptops have similar guts as ultrabooks – the performance was tested to ensure there are no surprises. The main focus were the features that make business laptops stand out from the rest. Among the essential features are including warranty and support, upgradability and serviceability, battery life, display; build quality, trackpad, and keyboard.

The Verdict

 
If anyone has to use one laptop, daily for five years, it would be the Lenovo ThinkPad T450s. It is an upgraded version of the base model with a 1920×1080 IPS screen, backlit keyboard, and 12 GB of RAM. Although it doesn’t have a screen as an ultrabook, it is thicker and heavier with a rugged chassis and spill-resistant keyboard. The ThinkPad keyboard is among the few best on any laptop; it has the Ethernet and VGA ports, which are ideal for internet connectivity and screen presentations. It is easier serviceable and upgradable than most ultrabooks. The batteries are hot-swappable making it easier to use for longer without needing a charger. You will get a warranty on on-site repairs.

The Runners-Up

 
In case, you cannot find the T450s consider taking Dell Latitude E7450. It has almost similar price and features. The Latitude has an HDMI port and dedicated mouse buttons for the trackpad distinct from the ThinkPad. It is easier to upgrade due to its RAM slots and hard drive that are more accessible. The keyboard is almost as perfect as the ThinkPad and is a bit cheaper than the ThinkPad when configured. It has a longer base warranty and just like Lenovo; it is worth paying to upgrade from the horrible default display to a 1920×1080 screen. It runs warmer and louder than the ThinkPad, although it is among the few real business laptops left on the market. Some may want it, due to its rounded look compared to the square-shaped ThinkPad.

The Common Man Business Laptop

 
Consider buying the 13-inch MacBook Pro; it has a Retina Display if you are willing to carry adapters, and don’t need Windows or something that can be upgraded in the future. The laptop has a screen with high resolution and a more powerful CPU compared to the Latitude E7450 or the ThinkPad T450s. It has two thunderbolts 2 ports, good battery life, and top of the range Wi-Fi card.

You will require adapters in case you want to use Ethernet cables or VGA. Compared to already expensive business laptops, it is quite costly, although if you run out of RAM, you cannot upgrade it. Although it is not a conventional business laptop, it is the ideal laptop for doing business.

Conclusion

 
Although the business is a dying breed, there is still life in them. The Lenovo ThinkPad T450s is easy to service and upgrade, has a tough chassis, offers great support, and has a great keyboard. It can serve you for many years, even though it is not as flashy as you would wish to imagine.

How to Work Outside the Office (on a business trip)

How to Work Outside the Office (on a business trip)

If you travel a lot, and you are a business person, you may consider working as you travel. The working culture is shifting fast as technology allows us to stay connected, and as a result, you can decide how, where and when to work, so suit your busy lifestyle. More and more people are adapting to this new approach; hence, if you have an opportunity to work while travelling, here are a few tips to bear in mind to ensure you remain as committed and productive as possible.

Learn Self-Control and Say No

 
Even if you are working right in the heart of Hawaii, you must learn to say no to the beach life, to stay focused, keep time, and keep your deadlines. Just because you are away from home does not mean that your priorities and focus can switch, you should not spend half of your day beaching or drinking just because someone is not breathing down your neck. Your work and fun time should be clearly defined, and the total number of hours spent working should largely be the same. Do not give yourself too many breaks because you cannot afford to be distracted.

Do your best not to change your sleeping schedule. Depending on the number of days you will take on your trip, try to sleep early and wake up early to help remain focused during the day. It can be tricky if you are going to a different time zone, but somehow try to find a balance so that fatigue and sleep do not catch up with you during working hours.

Make Sure You Create a Conducive Office Space

 
Create a working space and make it work. It could mean not having lunch where you work. Make your workspace psychologically separate from the rest of the coffee spot, catch up joint, or park you like to visit when you are bored. That way, when you are in your working area, you will remain in a work mode and increase your productivity by making sure you are in the right mindset. If you are in a place with so many distractions, carry along a pair of travel headphones to improve your concentrations.

Find A Way to Stay Organized and Stick to It

 
There are so many organization gadgets and tools out there, but, it would be ignorant of you not test some of them. One good habit is to keep yourself updated at all times using an online calendar. It becomes easier to access whenever you want to work. You can still set it up to share with your co-workers to stay constantly updated and in the know about what needs to be done. It becomes easier to schedule teleconferences and meetings. The travel features on your TripCase app can help you manage your time wisely.

Take Breaks and EXERCISE

 
Staying away from home should not stop you from getting sweaty. Call the hotel you will be staying in advance to confirm if they have the kind of workout gear you want or if you can bring your personal gym equipment. You should invest in a transportable gym gear. Just being alone can offer you a good opportunity to push through piles of work; however, without your co-workers around motivate you and offer you natural breaks, it can be overwhelming. Therefore, try not to burn yourself out. Think of something as simple as laying down, stretching or walking around for about fifteen minutes to recharge your batteries.

The idea is to stick to normal schedules, eat a balanced diet and exercise faithfully. If you follow these tips, you will become more focused, efficient and relaxed while you are on the road.

Make Your Business Trip Greener Every Day

Make Your Business Trip Greener Every Day

Business travel is an important tool for fullfil our business work every day; hence, we need to establish practical policies that guarantee we maintain to promote our effectiveness while lessening our environmental impact at the same time. Green traveling has its own rules and methods, yet for most corporate, sustainability is yet to penetrate fully into business travel programs.

While business travel is an essential segment of work, it causes environmental damage. Traveling green on business trips is finally a grassroots movement; however, you can be a good ambassador by finding someone with common interests to encourage personal improvement, ask questions and suggest simple and sustainable solutions. If you travel a lot and are concerned about the impact you have on the environment, you can use the following green travel tips to encourage integration and sustainability into travel.

Use Alternative Transportation or Fly Non-Stop, and Schedule Back to Back Trips

 
Other than take a plane, consider taking a train. You can share a rental car or cab to get around town, or use pedal power or public transport. There are many bikes of rentals you can hire and make the city eco-friendlier. However, if you must board a flight, avoid pit stops and layovers, meaning you will have at least one extra take-off and landing. Such activities are responsible for over half of the carbon emissions during a single flight. With the need to fly several kilometers off – course to get a landing strip, the result is more carbon spewed and fuel consumed. With proper and extra planning, you can lump together several trips, rather than taking each of them separately to save fuel, and consequently money and time.

Fly Economy during Daytime, Carry Less and Avoid Using Plastics

 
According to some studies in sustainable travel, flying daytime flights cause minimal impact on the climate. The economy class allows higher passenger numbers per plane, meaning there will be fewer emissions per individual. While traveling, try your best to carry less weight which commensurate less fuel, and a single bag is easier to move around. Also, you avoid the scrimmage at the baggage carousel.

You can contribute to a greener environment by staying away from plastic bottles and cans and replace them with a vessel which can be reused. Such practices limit the deposition of waste, given that the average plastic requires close to a thousand years to biodegrade. Group meetings are easy areas to green by policy and by mandate. Employees and customers always comment about greenhouse firms, serving bottled water during a meeting and providing devices that are anything, but sustainable on tradeshow floors. In most cases, meetings and groups may not even measure as part of corporate carbon travel footprint. There are public resources, that can get you started on setting a practice or policy for meetings.

Use Green Event Venues and Hotels and Buy Offsets

 
You should choose properties with a proven record of environmental stewardship. You can check with the Green Key at greenkeyglobal.com. It rates hotels on every aspect, that include green building infrastructure and housekeeping practices. You can make a list and contact the hotels and venues with probing questions on green meetings and accommodations. Likewise, carbon offsets are an important service, where the buyer pays extra to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of his/her behalf.

Influencing Travel Patterns and Behavior

 
If you are informed of guidelines for traveling, it becomes much easier to affect sustainable travel practices. For instance, a traveler can use dynamic messaging on certain routes to promote traveling by rail in contrast to air travel. Another one can highlight green hotels in their preferred list of hotels, and encourage the others to book the green options. Working with your technology providers and travel departments, can positively influence more sustainable cultures at every step of the traveling process.

Airplane Seats: What You Have to Consider?

Airplane Seats: What You Have to Consider?

Frequent flyers understand, what it means to be kicked by restless kids, lack of legroom, and the war over an armrest. There is no safe way to guarantee that the aisle seat in the exit row near the front of the place with no one sitting close to you, there are a few tricks to help you.

Qualities of a Great Seat

 
The seats close to the front of the plane, window seats or exit rows are considered the best. When you are on a short business trip, you want to have an aisle seat, so that you can debark easily upon arrival. While taking an overnight flight, you want a window seat to rest your rest; nervous travelers may wish to sit over the wing, where they encounter minimal commotion. If you want more legroom, opt for exit row seats; however, they are not good for family travel. No one below fifteen is supposed to sit in the exit row, according to the federal law. Also, infants are not allowed in the row immediately in front of behind an exit row. A majority of flyers prefer bulkhead seats located directly behind the physical barriers; they separate the different segments of the plane and passengers do not nag each other, since there are no seats in front, and they offer additional legroom.

Buy a Better Seat

 
A majority of airlines nowadays offers economy class seats with additional legroom at an extra fee, depending on the airline and when you purchase the upgrade. Those who haven’t, are in the process of providing roomier seats in the main cabin, popularly known as the premium economy. You need to consider, whether the seats are worth the extra amount you are paying; the cost ranges from somewhere between $ 8 to about $ 130 per flight. Some airlines, like the American and Delta carriers, charge for what they prefer to call preferred seating, although it’s simply an opportunity to get yourself an aisle or window seat.

Choose Your Seat When You Are Booking

 
Some airlines, like the American Airlines, allow you to choose your preferred seat at the time of booking; others reserve the best seats for the upper tier loyalty program flyers. Many airline websites and booking engines allow you to book your ticket, after your first purchase then make your seat choice later. The process is free with many carries, although some ask for an extra fee to choose your seat in advance. If you are booking online, call the airline to inquire about the procedure will help you. Check at least 24 hours, before your flight to see if there are any changes or if any seat has opened up.

Spend Your Miles and Purchase an Upgrade

 
It is possible to upgrade your miles, although you might encounter some roadblocks. Some low-cost economy tickets are not eligible for upgrades or require more miles than the full fare tickets. In addition, you might have to add some cash on the miles. The American Airlines, for instance, charge between $ 100 and $ 700 for a round trip to move up to business class. Remember to keep your preferred airline alliance partners in mind as you can spend your miles to upgrade on their flights, too. Some airlines allow you to buy an upgrade to another cabin. Those who fly on US Airways can trade up from economy to first class for about $ 200 round trip, 24 hours before departure. Virgin America allows you an upgrade to first class or Main Cabin Select seats for a fee of between $78 and $598 for a round trip. Such deals go very first; hence, be among the first people to call.

What Are Frequent Flyer Programs?

What Are Frequent Flyer Programs?

A frequent flyer program is a motivation scheme, run by an airline company to reward clients for their loyalty. Travelers earn free miles, when flying a particular airline and it is designed to turn clients into lifetime customers. Therefore, if you are an avid air traveler then probably you’ve thought about getting a frequent flyer card to earn more miles for free travel. Still, you could already be having an assortment of frequent flyers in your possession. Nowadays, these programs provide more benefits far and beyond travel; you can earn miles without even traveling. Acquiring new clients is much harder for an airline, than it is to retain the existing ones. Therefore, the more you travel with the airline, the greater the rewards.

How to Choose a Frequent Flyer Program

These programs are a beginning of a long and loyal relationship between the airline and the customer. If you decide to apply online, your information will be stored in the several airline databases within no time. You can give the airline a call on their toll-free telephone to get a member number then signup in person while at the airport. Still, you can send the registration using an old standby mail. You will still come across different other elements to consider, when choosing the frequent flyer program to join; with the most important being to assess at the overall quality ratings of the program you want. Read credible surveys to obtain information about the credibility and quality of the program.

Airline Alliances

When choosing a frequent flyer program, consider airline alliances. The ability to reserve uniform travel is essential and the alliances give support for making that workable. It is usually a twofold business relationship between the foreign and the U.S. domestic carriers with the aim of allowing domestic carriers to gain access, beyond Europe and the foreign carriers to access the U.S. market easily. They offer global coverage and carry passengers around the world using only their carriers. Therefore, when you travel using alliance carriers, the miles are credited, and you can use them interchangeably to allow rapid accrual of miles, so that you can reach the elite status fast, and earn extra awards at that level.

Redeeming Frequent Flyer Miles

Redeeming your miles is a straightforward procedure as long as you have your frequent flyer number ready, when talking to the airlines. You buy a ticket with the miles the same way you do with money; they will use your number to access your account and deduct the correct amount of miles, when you buy the ticket. The tickets are available in paper form through shipping carriers, e-tickets, and regular mail. However, before you redeem your miles, consider a few points that can affect how and when you use your miles. It is smarter to save your miles and buy a lower cost ticket to your destination. In addition, you do not have to use your miles for additional travel; you can use the points and miles to buy other services and goods with certain merchants.

Frequent Flyer Program Fees and Taxes

Remember that frequent flyer programs are not immune to the phrase; there is always a catch. That notwithstanding, some aspects of this program are not exactly free. Remember that a member of the frequent flyer program, you do not fully own the miles as there are numerous terms and conditions that apply. Just like all programs, they are subject to taxes and policies. What happens to the miles, depends on the situation at hand. However, one thing that is for sure, frequent flyer programs are here to stay and will continue to evolve as time moves.

Good Packing List for A Business Trip

Good Packing List for A Business Trip

When packing for a business trip there are a few important things to keep in mind. Both to make things easier for you and to help on the bottom line – whether your own or your company’s.

Portable WiFi Devices

 
Pack your own portable WiFi device and use it everywhere you have cell service. Hotels and convention centers may often charge a premium for those who wish to use their offered telecommunication and internet services. You can take advantage of your cell phone plan (but not by wasting your cell phone’s data plan!) to use the internet and email at high speeds wherever you are with a portable WiFi device. These are available from most major carriers and simply charge via USB. From your phone or laptop, you just simply log on as you would any other network, except this is a device you can keep in your pocket or on your desk. You won’t feel tethered to spending time and money in the hotel lobby or café. Even better, if you have a company cell phone, you don’t have to worry about the billing and the reimbursement process to pay for your usage.

Personal Care Items

 
In this day and age, packing toiletries and personal care items is much more of a burden than it used to be as one can’t simply toss a few bottles in a toiletry bag and set out to take on the world. Doling out individual three ounce portions into special bottles adds an extra layer of chore to your routine, which is already probably a burden. And refilling them between trips is probably not on the top of your to-do list. But keep in mind that many of your personal care items will probably be available in your hotel room or from the hotel front desk if you ask. They may not have the exact brand or super particular soap, but it would do in a pinch for only the day or few days you’ll spend there. It will more than make up for all the time, expense and hassle you would otherwise go through in keeping track of your supplies and stock of certain goods if you just rely on what your hotel will provide for free.

Prepare for the Worst with Your Carry-On

 
We all know that there is a high risk of your flight being delayed at take-off or you’ll be taxiing around the runaway for hours on end. Worst of all, your flight, or the next available one, might not leave until the next morning. Yikes! Even if you are rerouted and diverted to a different airport in a different city, you still have to get to that first meeting on time. And in all that rush you may forget that you’re still wearing yesterday’s stressed-out wardrobe. Well, you can mitigate this risk by keeping a spare set of clothes in your carry-on for a quick change, best used in that otherwise wasted time between disembarking and before your baggage is on the carousel. These don’t have to be your best business clothes, but chose those that will cooperate best with the folding and cramming of a carry-on bag. Your cotton button-up shirt will probably wrinkle, but the collar won’t, and you can cover it up with a wool sweater that will still look fresh. Keep a lint roller in your carry-on too.

With these tips in mind (and in your carry-on bag or suitcase!) you will be able to travel the world fresh and ready to overcome any potential setback and save some money for yourself or your company in the process.

Manage Your Business Travel Well

Manage Your Business Travel Well

Business travel can be quite a chore – combining two things many people don’t always look forward to: working and being in confined spaces away from home and your family. Here are a few tips to make the process a bit easier.

Prepare

 
As much as you can, take as much time as you can to prepare for where you will be going on your business trip. This is beyond the obvious basics like learning the local language and customs, and doesn’t require becoming an expert in the local culture and activities. What it means is find out everything you can about the status of your industry in this new region – and not just your specific industry, but any field that your company does business in. This is more than just checking up on your competition (and you will get a lot of valuable intelligence about your local competition), this is giving you some insight into how your business dealings are likely to be perceived by those you are dealing with, both directly and indirectly. Oh, and while you’re at it, yes, make sure to learn a few things about the language and the culture of where you’ll be going.

Loyalty

 
You’ve heard probably a lot of the perks from some of your friends and colleagues about how great their Elite Status is, whether it’s with an airline or a hotel chain. Sure, it seems like a given that they travel so much they’ve racked up so many rewards, but that’s not the only secret to their success. Instead of always booking the cheapest flights or hotel rooms, savvy travelers will stick to an airline and a hotel chain that can accommodate almost all of their varying traveling needs and rack up points with them, even if individual flights or bookings might cost a few more dollars in the short run, the benefits down the line more than make up for it. Especially if your flight is delayed and all the other passengers are struggling for a place to lie down or charge their phones and you’re in the lounge eating local delicacies and drinking complimentary wine.

Treat Yourself

 
Take advantage of the fact that you are getting a chance to travel somewhere you might not otherwise take a trip to. Don’t just take in the sights and culture, but remember this is a chance to eat authentic local cuisine! And you can be bold, something that you might shy away from at home as being too great a risk you won’t like the dish should be the first thing you order. After all, this meal is being expensed to your business anyway. Don’t take advantage, but don’t be afraid to use your whole per diem, either. Over your meal, or over some local adult beverages, share with the other guests. Likely many of them are also fellow business travelers and they might have a lot of valuable insight for you or, you for them. And not just about local sights, but also cultural differences and sharable experiences and advice.

Tips for Long Haul Flights

Tips for Long Haul Flights

Long flights are a necessary evil in today’s world. Business and family obligations are spread all over the globe and it is necessary to travel from one place to another expediently. While high-speed airplanes certainly have the advantage in time over continental-length train lines or ocean voyages by ship, they do sacrifice a bit in terms of personal comfort – but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Comfort in Your Seat

 
You know yourself and what kind of seat you want, so you have to make this decision themselves. Some people would hate to get up for others time and time again or know they want to look out the window. Some people don’t mind getting up for others or are too timid or self-conscious to ask people to let them by. It seems pretty obvious which type of person wants a window and which type of person wants an aisle, and if you know which type of person you are, don’t fight your inner voice and book the right seat! You’ll be there for a while, after all. Also, if you know you need more legroom consider the emergency row or the seats immediately behind a bulkhead (where a wall is directly in front of you). Don’t forget to check in via phone or online if there are any better seats to upgrade to. Some of the roomier seats are either pricier, reserved for certain membership classes, or both. But restrictions are lifted as the flight gets closer and they aren’t sold.

Comfort in Yourself

 
Make sure what you are wearing is effective for what you are doing more so than how you look. Remember that you will be going through security as well as sitting and standing and maybe running for a long amount of time before you are even on the plane. Wear sensible shoes like sneakers with socks, so you don’t have to walk through security barefoot, and they should be comfortable enough to sleep in and be tied so as to slip on and off easily. Wear comfortable pants with pockets and preferably ones that don’t need a belt – both for getting through security quicker and to be comfortable when you’re sleeping. Wear a light jacket that can be folded up and stuffed into a tight place or even used as a pillow. A cotton hooded sweatshirt is a good choice. If you’re in a hurry at security, put all your pockets’ contents in the jacket pockets rather than a bin – the jacket goes through the metal detector all together and you can re-proportion the items back to your pants pockets later.

Taking Care of Yourself

 
Eat well and eat normally. Even if you are used to frequent travel or have too much pride to admit to a minor inconvenience, your body does go through stress even if your mind refuses to believe it. Stay hydrated. If you can, try to time so you can use the restroom right before boarding and hopefully won’t have to go again until the plane is well underway on its flight and at cruising altitude. Taking off is already a bit nerve-wracking, no reason to over-hydrate and have to use the restroom when you’re not supposed to get out of your seat. Plan your sleep, too. Proper slumber is an important part of your health. Even try waking up earlier than you need to on a red-eye to ensure that you will actually sleep on the plane and when you land, you’ll have gotten a full night’s sleep albeit in two discrete chunks. With the right combination of rest and nutrition you will emerge from the airplane after a long flight as fresh as from your own bed after a full night’s sleep.