Tips for Traveling Safely Abroad for Business as a Woman

Woman business travelerThe number of professional women in business has certainly increased dramatically over the last few decades. Women are indeed a vital force in the business world. Often, their duties will take them around the town or to foreign locations. Traveling is a rewarding experience and very risky. The fact is that in some areas crime is on the rise also. Criminals look for easy targets that will not fight back. Therefore, women traveling alone are seen as more vulnerable than men or groups of women. It is important to keep safe to insure that the trip is a positive experience. Here are tips for traveling safely abroad for business as a woman to help ensure you have a carefree travel experience.

The first important tip concerns the business itinerary. It is important to let the home office and family know exactly where you are going and what meetings or functions that are on the itinerary. Supply contact number or address to business associates and family members. Consequently, if something should go wrong, people will know where you were going.

The second tip involves your attitude and body language. Criminals look for women with submissive body language. They realize that anyone with submissive looking body language will not fight back and is a soft target. Walk with your head up. Look people in the eye. Stand tall and proud. Look in control and walk with a purpose. Use a firm direct voice. This type of body language demonstrates that you are a confident and assertive woman who would stand up for herself and is definitely not a soft target.

Criminals are on the hunt for single women who are traveling alone. Slip an inexpensive wedding band on your finger to stop stalkers. Most criminals and stalkers will think twice about approaching a married woman. Once again, they are searching for an easy target. One without ties.

This is a tip that every woman should follow when traveling abroad or at home. Modern technology has made keeping in touch very easy. Always carry a fully charged cellphone with you doing travel or social engagements. This tip will help you stay safe. If trouble occurs, help is just a call away.

Try to blend in with others around you. Leave the expensive jewelry and fashionable clothing at home. Wear the type of clothing that does not draw too much attention. Thieves and criminals target women with expensive jewelry and designer clothing.

Business travel abroad can be a throughly rewarding, enjoyable, and a safe experience for women who follow the tips included here.

 

How to combat motion sickness while traveling

Motion sicknessA few years ago I was on a plane from Atlanta to Johannesburg sitting in a middle economy seat between two big guys. It was the longest flight I have ever been on at a full 17 hours. About half way into the flight I felt it coming on and I ended up rushing to the bathroom where I essentially lost all of my cookies. It was a miserable rest of the flight. Whether it was motion sickness, food poisoning, or a mix of the two, it would have helped to know ways to combat all of this while I was traveling. Luckily, I have since researched these things and have tried a few out, with success! These are a huge help when traveling for business, especially if you are getting right off of the plane and going straight to a client meeting or presentation.

So, without further ado, here are some tips on combating motion sickness while traveling. Trust me these tips will help you have a wonderful and carefree travel experience.

  1. Stick with simple foods. Listen to your body to know what settles well and what doesn’t, especially while traveling. Steer clear of spicy and “heavy” foods as these can upset your stomach. Fruits, vegetables, and light fresh meals are usually pretty safe.
  2. Ginger. I know, this sounds weird, but ginger has been proven to help fight nausea. Try some ginger cookies or ginger ale, which is available on most flights.
  3. Breathe. Make sure you are getting enough oxygen. Take deep breaths and try to focus on that, rather than your upset stomach.
  4. Bio bands. These bio bands motion sickness bands work miracles. I first tried them out for seasickness and was converted. You wear them on your wrist and they use natural acupuncture to help with nausea. They are simple, natural, and don’t harm your body.
  5. Pills. If your sickness is pretty severe, you can always try out some of the nausea pills available at drug stores. Ginger pills are a great natural alternative if you are worried about over the counter drugs.
  6. Essential Oils. There are a lot of essential oils that help combat motion sickness. I like peppermint because it smells good and is very effective.
  7. Distractions. Have some distractions on hand to keep your mind off of the sickness. Whether it’s music, a book, or a movie, it will help to have something to pass the time.

It helps to be prepared. If you have gotten sick before, be ready to fight it again. Have all of your weapons ready to combat the nausea and find what works best for you. Hopefully it will get better each time!

 

Holiday Travel bag essentials

For a lot of us, the holiday season means travel season. Whether it’s to visit family, friends, or just to get away, a lot of working women are ready for a travel break this time of year. One of the most stressful parts of traveling can occur before you’ve even left. Deciding what to pack and how much to pack is a process that can consume us for hours. In order to save you some stress and time, we’ve put together a list of our favorite and essential travel bag essentials. These are the things that you must have in your carry-on and will save you from any emergency.

Toothbrush/paste: After hours of traveling you will feel grimy and gross and you will probably not have the best smelling breath. Stick a small toothbrush and travel sized toothpaste in your bag to help you freshen up before you arrive at your destination.

Scarf and light jacket: Airplanes can often be unbearably cold and they aren’t handing out blankets like they used to. Make sure to have a scarf or light jacket to keep you warm.

Book or magazine: Airlines are still making us turn off all electronics during takeoff and landing, so you’ll want to bring something to keep you entertained during these “unplugged” moments.

Lip-gloss and Chap Stick: When travelling between places, you will experience different altitudes, as well as pressurized airplanes. Basically your lips will thank you for bringing along some moisturizer.

Lotion: For the same reasons as bringing lip-gloss, your skin will be parched after travelling. Plus, if you have a nice smelling lotion it will help you feel refreshed.

Extra outfit: You never know when you will come across unexpected travel trials so you want to be prepared. If your luggage gets lost for a day or you end up staying somewhere unexpectedly, it will come in handy to have an extra outfit so you don’t have to wear the same thing 3 days in a row.

Headphones or earplugs: Airplanes can be a noisy place and there is no getting away. If it’s a long flight you will almost always encounter a crying baby or snoring old man on the flight.

Makeup: Show up to your destination looking great by packing a few essentials from your makeup bag in your carry on.

 

 

 

Tips for exchanging money Internationally for entrepreneurs

When you’ve only just started out in running your own business or working from home, it might be reasonable to assume you won’t have that much call for access to quick and easy foreign exchange services for your business.

You may think that all of your business will be domestic, but this may change at any time, especially with the amount of e-commerce that takes place today.

When you do need to make a payment in another currency, it can be a pain if you’re not set up and ready to do that. You need to get hold of a currency broker, get an account set up and send in all kinds of documentation to get it verified. This process can take a week or more. The alternative is to go down to the foreign exchange counter at the bank and accept whatever rate you’re offered – if you need to organise a payment quickly.

However, there’s a much easier and cheaper way to organise money transfers abroad. Individuals and small and medium size businesses can be ready to exchange foreign money from hifx.co.uk in just a few minutes. All you need is online access. You can set up an account with the online foreign exchange company in a couple of minutes and then when you’re ready to actually place a trade from one currency to another, you can get a real time quote in seconds.

As the company trades more than £9billion a year in foreign currencies, its margins for buying and selling are very competitive and it passes the savings it makes through low overheads to its clients.

If you can take your work abroad with you and are contemplating a move to a foreign country, you can even get emigrating money advice from www.hifx.co.uk. An setting up an account with HiFX doesn’t oblige you to place a trade – it just means you’re ready to trade currencies at any time in the future.

 

The realities of International business travel for this crazy woman

I’ve made the same mistake now, about three times. I over packed. I over packed, and paid $1000 for it on United Airlines. I think the old adage is that the less you have, the more you hoard? But I’ll say for international travel, the less you know, the more you hoard.

Reflecting on the two weeks I spent in the city of Yeketerinburg, Russia last month, I think I could have gotten away with a lot less stuff; about four pairs of shoes (not the 10 pairs I brought). I could have brought two dresses a couple of shirts and skirts—instead of the nearly thrice that I brought. I didn’t need any reading material for the flight or long hotel nights. There are in-flight movies and sleep and night were spent mostly processing the day’s events and sleeping. I certainly didn’t need the two sets of toiletries and make-up (one for the carry-on in case my luggage didn’t arrive). Oh and the mountain of power bars too—I brought a whole bunch home uneaten.

The mistake is not so much misinformation or ignorance as it is fear. I run an international women’s empowerment program in remote areas of the world and the irony is that in my own silly ways, I’m still working on my own empowerment. I fear that I won’t have what I need, that I will be naked and makeup-less, filthy and hungry in the middle of nowhere and be expected to present a PowerPoint on my corporation to donors. I would like to tell you exactly what I imagine, but it may not be precisely accurate to say I have an idea in my head. I can’t really imagine it at all. Is there food? Is the weather hot? Cold? Will I need to wash everyday or every other day? Who exactly will I be meeting and what will they expect from me? I’m not just touring here, where I can throw on my flip flops and wander down to the hotel lobby and around town. I’m in power meetings with influential people, able to make or break my efforts in the area. I can’t just walk in wearing week-old smelly clothes.
So like any good woman obsessing on her future needs, I sorted through all the possible darkest scenarios and packed for the worst. Ironically, the worst is actually standing in a psycho crazy international airport without a stitch of the local language in my head and trying to negotiate my way out of a $400 over weight fee and then hauling all that heavy crap through the airport when I arrive in the states. That’s the worst! And I’ve forgotten that three times—Jerusalem; Yerevan, Armenia and now Yeketerinburg, Russia.

So, I’m writing this blog and committing to getting myself a reasonable suitcase- one that rolls on four wheels, that’s durable enough to get through to Banjul, Gambia (West Africa) intact and one that will not compromise my stuff. I’m NOT packing a full first aid kit and sewing kit, a stack of books, three curling irons (yes three—I was concerned that one would blow out—er…or that two would blow out), enough power-bars to feed myself for two weeks, a closet full of clothes and more shoes than the women in my classes own. And no more of these heels! Heck, I packed a formal floor-length dress for this last one. In my defense, the agenda called for a formal reception the last night of the program and like a 12-year-old packing for camp, from a list, I packed my formal. I brought it home unworn and paid a good $1000 for the privilege of hauling it, and a sundry of other junk, to the border of Europe/Asia and back. It cost me $400 at the US airport, $200 in Moscow and then another $400 on my way back.

When the agenda calls for a formal, I’m going to bring a set of pearls and put it with whatever I’ve got. If they want to see me in a formal, they will need to come to Salt Lake City, UT where I can access my closet for free. And for that matter, if I am starving, naked, filthy and pitiful and someone asks for a PPT on my corporation, it will be all the more dramatic!

Written by Tamee Roberts, Executive Director at Women Empowerment Global Outreach