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The last few months have changed the way everyone feels about travel. While people have long worried about getting to the airport early enough to make it through security, these days people are also worried about germs. Luckily, with some good practices and lots of preparation, it’s possible to make international business travel as frictionless as possible.

The first step is to do some research about climate, food, practical matters, and customs. A good first step is to check the State Department website for information about travel advisories. Good research should also provide some key facts like what power adapters might be needed. In some countries, lateness is considered extremely rude. In others, it’s to be expected. Similarly, in some places, it’s impolite to discuss work at mealtimes. In others, it’s expected. Knowing this etiquette can be as important as business expertise.

The second step is to make a plan. Having a clear itinerary helps travelers stay organized and on schedule. One key to making a good plan is, to be honest about how much time each step of the journey is likely to take. Another important step is to leave this list with someone at work, and a friend or family member. If something bad happens, they’ll be able to provide it to the authorities.

Thirdly, study the local language. This issue can tie into research about local customs in some ways. In most nations, locals appreciate well-meaning attempts to speak the language. This can be a great icebreaker in places like Quebec. In some other locations, it may come across as rude to make this attempt. In any case, studying a phrasebook will make it easier to get around. Taxi drivers, waiters, and other service providers may not always understand English.

Finally, consider getting travel insurance. While trip coverage is still most common, there are now some insurers who provide options for annual plans. Each insurance plan is different, but the key part is that a plan should help cover unusual financial losses. There are also plans that provide for additional medical coverage, including repatriation in the event of serious injury or death. Travel insurance isn’t an exciting thing to consider, but it is a very prudent one.