Tips for Traveling to Europe on Business
More and more business is being done overseas, and while you may be hopping business class flights to Europe, there are ways to make your travel both entertaining and more productive. You may be flying to Europe to meet with clients or co-workers, to go for training or to implement training, but regardless of the reasons for your trip there are ways to make things go a great deal more smoothly.
Flying air business class can leave someone tired and generally in poor spirits. After spending such a great deal of time on a plane the odds are relatively good that you are not feeling or looking your best. One of the best tips when it comes to taking business flights to Europe is to try to travel a little early. Try to reach your destination a couple of days in advance. If you're doing business in France there are a few things you could do on your extra day – everyone who visits Paris stops by the Eiffel tower, but Paris has so much more to offer than the typical touristy destinations. Odds are you won't want to bother with large crowds if you've only got a small amount of time, so try taking a leisurely walk along the Seine. Not only is it beautiful, but spending some time in the sunshine will help acclimate your body to the local time. Spend some time in a local pavement cafe and enjoy the decadent coffee as you watch Paris stroll by you.
Another thing to consider is the differences in the ways in which business is conducted in Europe versus the United States. For example, business dress is very much required in most of Europe, but differs slightly from country to country. In Germany dark colored, conservative suits and ties are a must, casual business attire – polo shirts and khakis – is not acceptable. In Italy business attire mixes with fashion and your business associates will pay close attention to the small details such as shoes, belt and ties. It is key to try to dress to impress while meeting with your European partners by being dressed in a way in which will allow them to take you seriously.
The Eurail might be suggested to you as an alternative to business class airlines when traveling throughout Europe to your meetings. While this mode of travel can be a bit more comfortable and offer a traveler more amenities, the ticket prices tend to be a bit more elevated than business class airlines, and the trip itself can take a bit longer. You may care to give this a try when visiting, but be certain you are prepared for delays and a longer travel time.
On your initial foray, when you first purchase business class to Europe, try to keep in mind the general differences in the various countries when it comes to getting to meetings. For example, in France there are cab kiosks and you need to go to one of those to catch a cab as trying to hail a cab off the street is illegal in Paris. Also, it's good to note that if you call for a cab in Paris, you are charged not from when the driver picks you up, but when they get your call! In Greece don't be surprised if your taxi driver stops to pick up other passengers while on route to your destination. While not exactly legal, this is a normal practice and each patron will be expected to pay for their full fare. So don't purchase a business ticket to your destination expecting to meet up early without plotting out your travel from your hotel to your meetings!
European stopovers offer a huge range of interesting and fun things to do. If your business takes you to Moscow, be sure to stop in at GUM and TSUM, two incredibly elaborate shopping malls near the Red Square. It's not an experience you'll soon forget as these malls are the epitome of opulence. Conversely, if you're visiting Prague try to take a walk on the Charles Bridge at sunrise, not only will you beat the crowds, but the views and the statuary are amazing. There is so much to see and do that it might not be remiss for you to do a little bit of research on local sights before you buy your business class tickets to Europe and give yourself a little time to soak up some of the local culture and cuisine.