Back when countries closed their borders and everyone trickled back home to serve months of quarantine, the travel industry took a nosedive. Thankfully, it is slowly and steadily getting back on its feet today, as pockets of the world open up and many of us emerging from lockdowns are looking to stretch our legs and travel again.
In fact, as vaccination rates increase and the pandemic begins to wane, businesses are starting to plan for overseas trips once again.
As an employer, you may face questions on when the company can enjoy a team-bonding overseas trip again. So, here’s a complete guide to everything you need to know about how to organise your first overseas company trip in 2022.
Determine your destination based on the travel rules and entry requirements
If your company is planning an overseas trip in the near future, there are a few things you need to do in order to prepare. First, check the entry requirements for your destination country and make sure that all travellers have the necessary documents. You should also research any quarantine or testing requirements that may be in place. After all, these factors may influence your decision on which country to fly to for the overseas company trip.
You can keep track of each country’s travel restrictions and revised rules through the live table compiled and auto-updated by Headout. The table includes policies regarding each country’s:
- Lockdown status,
- International travel restrictions,
- Visa rules,
- Number of active COVID-19 cases, and
- Link to the official government website with authoritative answers to travel questions.
Next, make sure you have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 related expenses, as this tends to be an entry requirement for many countries. You might still want to get said insurance as it will protect you in case you contract the COVID-19 virus and fall ill during the trip.
All in all, familiarise yourself with the local COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions.
Book flight tickets that offer free cancellation
Once you’ve decided the travel destination for the overseas company trip, confirm your employees’ availability and start booking flight tickets for those who are joining the team-bonding adventure as soon as possible! However, you’d want to check on whether the airline you’re booking tickets with offers free cancellation.
Many airlines don’t like it when you cancel a flight. That’s why they don’t make the cancellation process easy. After all, fully-refundable tickets are often double the price of regular economy fares. Sometimes, even refundable tickets will still have a cancellation fee.
If the airline you’re booking with doesn’t offer free cancellation, you’ll notice a trade-off of sorts involved. Your company can pay less money for a non-refundable ticket but if you end up not using it, they won’t be able to get that money back. On the other hand, your company could pay more to fly but have the reassurance of knowing that they can get the money returned if your travel plans change.
Prepare the essential travel documents
When preparing for an overseas company trip, one of the first things you’ll need to do is make sure you have all the necessary travel documents for your employees. This includes a valid passport, visa (if required), and proof of vaccinations; keep these items handy for security checks to ensure a smooth overseas company trip!
After all, when it comes to travel, vaccinations are now more important than ever. Many countries are now requiring that travellers have proof of a negative PCR test and/or vaccination in order to enter.
For companies that are planning on travelling overseas, it’s important to make sure that all employees who will be travelling are up-to-date on their vaccinations. The last thing you want is for your employees to be denied entry into a country because they don’t have the proper documentation.
These vaccinations can also help protect your employees from getting sick while they’re travelling.
TLDR: Refer to this Travel Documents Checklist for each of your employees when preparing for the overseas company trip!
Travel Documents Checklist
- Personal ID card
- Boarding Passes
- Vaccination Certificate
- Proof of PCR and/or ART Test (if needed)
- Health insurance cards/documents
- Travel insurance information
- Reservations and itineraries
- Emergency contacts list
- Copies of all documents
Making sure you have all your travel documents in order is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for an overseas trip. By taking care of this ahead of time, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your trip knowing that everything is in order.
Know the quarantine rules for international travellers
You might also want to make sure you have a plan in place in case an employee does get sick while travelling. Having a plan in place will help ensure that your employee gets the care they need and so they do not put the rest of your team at risk. This includes understanding the quarantine rules for international travellers in the country you’re planning to travel to.
Get live updates of each country’s quarantine rules here (updated daily).
Remind employees of Post-Covid practicalities when travelling internationally
You want your employees to pack smart for the overseas company trip! Encourage them to bring items that will keep them comfortable during long flights or layovers, such as a neck pillow, eye mask, and noise-cancelling headphones. And don’t forget medication!
Also, as you already know, everyone now needs to follow hygiene protocols and standards to keep ourselves safe. Keeping this in mind, here is a checklist of items that would be good for everyone to carry to tackle the pandemic while on the company trip.
COVID Safety Checklist
- Extra face masks
- Hand sanitisers
- Alcohol wipes
First Aid Kit Checklist
- Antihistamine tablets (for allergies, bites and stings)
- Cough and flu medicine
- Diarrhoea medicine
- Motion sickness pills
- Bandaids / Plasters
- Personal medication
- Insect repellent
In an increasingly digital world, it is important that you do not forget your personal digital devices or their chargers. More often than not, most of your tickets and credit card transactions are on your phone and you do not want to make the mistake of not packing your phone’s charger and being stranded in an unfamiliar place.
Here is a list of digital devices and some miscellaneous items that you can consider carrying.
- Laptop & charger
- Smartphone(s) & chargers
- Portable charger
- Shaving and hair-styling tools
Determine group activities that are inclusive to all employees
The last thing you want on a company trip is to have certain employees feel left out in group activities. Consider team-building activities that can include everyone on the company trip!
Photography adventures to tourist hotspots in the day can be a great activity that include all employees – from the Instagram-savvy whizzes to the old souls who simply enjoy looking back on memories of travel. Consider chartering a bus that can conveniently take your team from local attraction to local attraction.
Group painting classes are a relaxing alternative and a great way to let your team members unwind, catch up over some drinks, and express their creativity.
Local cooking classes are also great for team-bonding! Between the multiple courses prepared before your eyes, your team will have plenty of time to strike up a conversation and enjoy the delicious aromas.
If your team is generally a little more adventurous, sporty activities like kayaking or canoeing tours are great to consider! After all, nothing says “we’re in this together” quite like trying not to end up in the water. Just ensure each everyone has a spare change of clothes to get comfortable in at the end of the activity!
With a little planning and forethought, your company can make the most of its next overseas trip.
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