Doing Business Overseas Part 3
11. Get connected. Don't suffer without e-mail while
you're on the road. A few years ago, you could afford to take a
break from your inbox but no longer. The Europe Access Pack from
1-800-Batteries all but guarantees you'll make a connection.
The package includes 20 telephone adaptors and six grounded power
adaptors, plus an in-line telephone coupler, a modular dual
telephone adaptor, a two-line adaptor and an RJ11 retractable phone
cable. Use them anywhere from Austria to Russia. The whole kit
Insider tip: Too thrifty to buy the package? Pack a screwdriver and make the connections yourself. (You'll want to practice before you leave.)
12. Stay connected. Make sure your laptop remains in peak
condition during your trip. Symantec's Mobile Essentials 2.0,
for instance, is a nifty application that helps you connect to the
Internet while you're away from the office. It handles complex
and time-consuming tasks, such as troubleshooting, with ease and
reduces your setup time significantly. At a cost of about $70, the
current release will probably save you lots of headaches.
Insider tip: A little know-how will make these kinds of programs unnecessary. However, if time is short, they're indispensable.
13. Remember your ATM card. Accepted in nearly every
major international city, ATM cards are safer than carrying cash
and less cumbersome than travelers' checks. Using credit cards
or ATM cards also helps you avoid the sky-high commissions banks
charge to exchange your currency.
Insider tip: Your bank can furnish you with a list of locations where your ATM card will be accepted.
14. Don't worry about the euro. You won't notice
much of a change-for now. Travelers heading to Europe shouldn't
give a second thought to the new currency being used in paperless
transactions. While the euro will mean significant changes in
Europe, for business travelers using [credit] cards, it'll be
business as usual.
Insider tip: Euro notes and coins won't be in circulation until 2002
15. Don't forget the chambers of commerce. There are
85 U.S. Chambers of Commerce around the world that offer a number
of insights and services for companies that want to go global.
Chambers will help a U.S. business owner get settled in his or her
new country and give start-up advice on everything from customs to
the business climate. Call (800) 649-9719 for more
Insider tip: A U.S. Chamber of Commerce is often an entrepreneur's first contact in a foreign city. The community of expatriates found there often becomes a de facto social club for travelers.